Solar PV uses energy from the sun to produce electricity and is one of the most affordable and sustainable (in the truest sense of the word) forms of energy we have. They don’t need direct sunlight to work and will still produce some energy on a cloudy day.
When the Feed-In Tariff (FiT) was introduced in 2010, it did a good job of creating a solar industry and reducing the installed cost of systems. It did this by offering an incentive of receiving payments for generating their own electricity.
It is estimated that almost 1 million homes in the UK now have solar panels fitted (source: Solar Trade Association)
When the FIT scheme came to an end on 31 March 2019 it sparked rumours that solar may no longer be such a hot option.
The current government is looking into replacing the feed-in tariff under its Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) and from 1st January 2020, the large energy companies are obliged to offer tariffs for solar.
This is good news for the industry and means you should definitely consider solar panels as an option, if you still need convincing, here are three great reasons why.
1. Save money
The cost of solar panel installation has come down considerably in the years since the introduction of FiT.
Fitting solar panels is now, on average 25% of the cost of when the tariff was first introduced in 2010 when it was around £20,000 to buy and install panels, but now it’s about £5,000.
And long term it’s a great investment. Using the sun to generate your energy will payback over time in some instances reduce your energy bills by 50% and more.
The even better news is that the installation of solar panels is classed an ‘energy efficiency measure’ and will raise the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of your property, which can increase the value of your property.
2. Future proof your home
The technology is getting better and better. Lots of the main suppliers including LG and Panasonic have improved the technology meaning that with regular care – we recommend that solar panels are cleaned twice a year – they can last for up to 25 years (with a slight degradation of performance of around 20% over 25 years)
It also provides the bedrock of a great system that you can build on and be able to use additional energy created for your own need.
With FiT, homeowners were generally restricted to installing 4GW but with these restrictions now lifted, you can go bigger and installing 5.2GW on a roof can generate up to 5000kWh per year on an unshaded south facing roof.
The benefit of this is that you can build onto it in the future with extras including storage batteries, charge hot water cylinders, electric car chargers and heat pump technology.
Household solar batteries allow people to consume their own electricity rather than export it, and could provide power in the event of a power cut (back up battery systems)
Electric Vehicles are growing in popularity, the number of new cars registered increases month on month energy generated through solar panels could power an electric car charger – no more expensive fuel bills.
An air source heat pump runs on electricity and is a good alternative to LPG or oil or electric heating. You could use some of your solar power to run the heat pump, on sunny cold days.
3. Making a clean choice
If you have concerns regarding the future of planet Earth, you will be conscious that every day we continue to use fossil fuels to provide energy the more we are adding to our carbon footprint and the climate change crisis.
Renewable technologies like solar power, give you a choice. It is estimated that once 10 million people have solar power in the UK one third of households could be utilising solar energy meaning 40% of the total volume of electricity would be generated from the sun in the summer. How fantastic would that be?
Generating your own energy means you will reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and protecting you from rising energy costs.
Solar panels need to be installed on your home by an MCS certified (or equivalent) installer and the average installation can be done in one day.
If you are interested in installing solar panels call our renewables team for a free survey and quotation.
Updated: 12 January 2020