Solar power helps reduce your electricity bill because it provides you with the electricity you need to run your appliances. It also helps lowering the pressure on the grid.
Installing solar panels not only reduce your electricity bill, it also increases your asset value. You get the 100% return on investment at the time you sell your home.
Utilising solar power can reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, which means there is no need of importing these fossils from other countries. In reaction, it can help lowering the energy cost throughout the country.
As said, preferring solar power is not expensive, it is an investment. Residential solar power installation offers higher return on investment as your solar power is tax-free and inflation proof.
If you asked someone from Southern Europe, say sunny Spain, to name a few European countries where solar energy is used extensively, the UK would probably not be at the top of their list. And, if you told them the country is actually fourth in terms of photovoltaic systems installed, one place above Spain, there is a strong chance that they would laugh at you. How could the rainy, gloomy United Kingdom be installing more solar panels than the country with the best solar potential in Europe? And yet, the figures keep growing, and the future seems bright
Last year alone, solar power in the UK almost doubled. New installations in homes, workplaces, and solar farms amounted to a total of 709,000 installations. Experts believe that 10 million homes should be equipped by 2020, which means that more than one-third of households would be utilizing solar power and up to 40% of the total volume of electricity would be generated from the sun during summer.
Today, the number is still around 1.5 million houses, but it’s easy to see how fast the numbers are growing: the gigawatts of solar panels installed went from 2.8 to almost 5 between 2013 and 2014, and the 5GW threshold was surpassed in 2015. The UK is installing solar panels faster than any other European country, and solar seems to be one of the most popular forms of energy generation with 80% support from the public, despite the weather conditions. Surprisingly, the country’s temperatures can make the panels more efficient, while clouds are not a problem for electricity production.
First, you need to have a roof (and we’d hope your home has one!) – and the bigger and more exposed to the sun it is, the better. Solar panels work best on south-facing roofs, but also work reasonably well on east and west-facing roofs. But on a roof that is north-facing or very much in the shade, they may not get enough sunlight to make the cost of installing them worthwhile. For most homes, however, solar is a viable option
Solar panels can be installed in blocks of flats, but you’ll need to find out whose permission you need as even if you own the flat, you may not own the freehold.
You don’t usually need planning permission to install solar panels unless you live in a conservation area, listed building or World Heritage Site. In these cases, you should check with your district or borough council if you have consent. You should also let your home insurer and your mortgage company know that you plan to install solar panels.
The power of solar panels is measured in kWp: kilowatts peak. The kilowatt is a measure of electrical power, so the kWp figure tells you how much power the panels can produce when they are operating at their maximum capacity. This will be when it is sunniest
A typical domestic system will be between 1kWp and 4kWp. Obviously, the more powerful your system, the more electricity it will generate, but the more expensive it will be to install (although this won’t increase exponentially, because double the number of solar panels doesn't equate to double the work to install). Once you get over 4kWp, the Feed-in Tariff rate isn’t usually as good. As a rough guide, for each kilowatt, you’ll need about 7 square meters of roof space.
The amount of electricity the system generates in a year is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). Each kWp should generate around 800 to 850kWh per year. So based on the figures in the previous paragraph, a typical domestic system would be likely to generate between 1,200kWh and 3,200kWh per year.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that an average 3-bedroom family home in the UK uses around 3,000 kWh of electricity per year.
Your annual 3,400kWh from a 4kW system would give you:
4,856 hours of the washing machine (202 days without stopping – that’d even get red wine stains out 7,142 hours of the fridge (so you could run 11 fridges for the whole year)
Your solar panels will come with a meter, which will show you exactly how much electricity they’re producing and how much you’re selling back to the Grid.
Solar panels aren’t cheap – but they’re not meant to be. They’re a long-term investment which, once you’ve had them installed, will cut your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint every day for several decades.
They can cost anywhere between £1,500 and £8,000. As a rough guide you can expect to pay:
|1kw solar panels||750 to 850kWh per year||£1,000 to £2,000|
|2kw solar panels||1,700kWh per year||£2,000 to £3,000|
|3kw solar panels||2,550kWh per year||£3,000 to £4,000|
|4kw solar panels||3400kWh per year||£4,500 to £6,000|
There are 4 factors you should consider when deciding whether to install a 4kW solar system:
You can earn upto £630 each year and turn aprofit of over £5000 over 20 years by installing a 4kW solar system onto your home. This makes it a sensible investment with a guaranteed income over a prolonged period of time.
A 4kW solar system requires approximately24 to 28 square metres of roof space to install. Your roof also needs to be in little to no shade and ideally south-facing for your solar system to be efficient.
A 4kW solar system produces around3,400kWh of electricity each year. This is typically enough energy to power a household of 4 people. You should review your monthly electricity bills to determine your annual electricity needs.
You can save a staggering40 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years by installing a 4kW solar system. Investing in this renewable energy is a great way for you to become more eco-friendly and build a more sustainable future.