Save On Soaring Energy Bills With Solar Panels
March 21st 2022
Over the last six months, energy prices in the UK have risen at an unprecedented level, and they’re set to rise further. Increased remote working has also seen British workers foot the bill for rocketing energy prices, since employers are no longer covering electricity costs incurred during the workday.
These shocking price increases coupled with the threat of the looming climate crisis make the future look bleak for the use of traditional fossil fuels to heat our homes. Do solar panels provide the ray of hope we need for a more sustainable future?
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels provide a sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuels. These powerful panels are made with photovoltaic cells that convert energy from the sun into electricity. The electricity generated can be used to power your home or even exported back to the National Grid.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
Solar panel installation can cost up to £6000 if you include the cost of a battery, which allows energy to be stored for use at a later time.
Domestic solar panel systems typically consist of between 10 and 15 panels, with each panel generating 200w and 350w of energy. There’s a higher installation cost the more panels you have, but you’ll also increase the amount of energy created, your potential earnings, and the money saved by switching from fossil fuel use.
A 3.5kW system requires space for 15 to 20 square metres of panels. Solar panels systems are best suited to South-facing roofs, with East - or West - facing roofs also yielding adequate energy.
Don’t be put off by the initial cost of installing solar panels, since their use in your home will save on energy bills and allow you to make money on surplus energy. While solar panels incur short-term installation costs, the long term benefits of solar panels guarantee a return on investment.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
Solar panels are classed as ‘permitted development’, so it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission before installing them. However, the rules may differ if your house is a listed building or based in a heritage or conservation area. If in doubt, contact your local council to double-check.
If you install solar panels, you’ll need to inform your Distribution Network Operator - in other words, the company that provides electricity for your home. You can use this handy tool on the Energy Networks Association’s website to find out which company operates in your area.
If the solar panel system you’re installing is unusually large, you may need permission from your Distribution Network Operator before the installation can go ahead.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
In short, yes. Not only do solar panels cut the cost of your household energy bills, you can actually earn money from their use. As well as financial benefits, solar panels can have a significant positive impact on your household’s carbon footprint.
Make Money Back
The government-backed Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a system that allows households to export the solar energy they don’t use back to the grid and get paid for it. In effect, you’re selling your sustainable energy to the national grid.
You can shop around using comparison tools to find the best remuneration for the energy you generate. The trade association, Solar Energy UK, has a handy list of the best rates for homeowners looking to sell their solar energy.
Your earnings will vary depending on the location of your home, how much energy you use and the direction of your roof, but all solar panels help users cut energy costs significantly. Estimates suggest you earn up to £110 a year for selling your sustainable energy, with the installation of solar panels also boasting annual savings of up to £440.
If you don’t want to sell your energy to the grid, and instead want to save money on some of your other household bills, you can use solar energy for heating your water. You can use a PV diverter switch to power the immersion heater in your hot water tank, which will store hot water for you to use later.
Solar panels also prove worthy of investment when it comes to selling your house. A property with solar panels is an attractive proposition for a potential buyer, as they increase your home’s energy efficiency and environmental credentials. Most UK homeowners are feeling the pinch since energy costs skyrocketed, meaning those in the market for a new home are more likely to factor in the option of renewable energy.
Save The Planet
The climate crisis threatens wildlife, natural habitats, weather patterns and the human world. It’s crucial that we all take significant steps to prevent it, and solar panels do just that.
One of the biggest contributors to any individual’s carbon footprint is the use of fossil fuels. Using a renewable form of energy will reduce your carbon footprint significantly, a vital step in combatting climate change.
Renewable energies such as solar power also help to reduce air pollution, therefore keeping the people in your community healthier. As more of us than ever work from home, we can further support the environment by ensuring the energy we use to run our laptops is sustainable.
Easy Installation And Low Maintenance
Solar panels are really easy to install. It typically only takes a couple of days to get your home up and running with solar energy, and once they’re installed, they require little to no maintenance.
The Bottom Line
Solar panels save your wallet and the planet simultaneously, with minimal fuss. These renewable panels pay for themselves, with savings on your energy bills and the potential to earn money on your surplus energy.
They’re also excellent for the planet, so you can feel smug about your eco-credentials every time you put the kettle on.
With the cost of solar panel installation cheaper than in previous years and energy costs rising by the month, there’s never been a better time to install solar panels on your roof.