Solar PV panels might not be on every homeowners’ roof yet, but with increased electricity bills and the general public’s will to ‘go green’, they are becoming more and more frequent – and for good reasons too.
There are plenty of aspects to take into consideration before you install solar PV panels, and it might not be a solution for everyone; current financial situation, roof access, what sorts of panels to go for etc. are important deal breakers to think about. Here are 7 reasons why installing solar PV panels might be something for you .
1. Save on your energy bills
During daylight you can use the generated electricity for free, which is a much better alternative than paying for it the old school way. With electricity prices soaring year on year, and gas prices following suit, this is a great alternative if you want to safeguard from rising fuel prices. As much as £300 can be saved on bills. Remember however, that at night you’ll still need to buy electricity as usual, as the solar panels don’t function in darkness.
2. Earn money
The Government has initiated and incentivised the UK ‘Feed-In Tariff’ scheme, which means that you can earn money from the electricity you generate from solar PV panels. You earn a fixed income for every kilowatt hour of electricity you generate and also for any spare electricity you don’t use in your property, as you can sell it back to the national grid. As a homeowner you can earn up to £900 a year (based on an average three-bedroom home). The scheme guarantees an income for 25 years, and the investment will be paid off approximately after 7 to 12 years.
2. Solar panels adds value to your home
The typical panel installation cost comes to between £4,500-£6,000 per kWp (kilowatt-peak is a measure of power output). Most homeowners need a system of 2-3 kWp to efficiently use their solar PV panels, which means that the installation itself can sound quite pricey. However, solar panels add value to your home and if you’re signed up to the Feed-In Tariff system, the new buyers can take advantage and make money off the scheme too.
3. Do your bit for the environment
Clean electricity that lowers carbon emission is a winner for the Greenhouse Effect. Solar PV panels are renewable energy sources and are a much better alternative than fossil fuels, which will eventually run out (sooner than later). With less harmful CO2 released into the atmosphere the zero carbon goal will more easily be achieved.
4. Slate panels look good
One argument against solar PV panels is that they don’t integrate well enough with the roof. Fair enough, regular solar PV panels really do stick out and don’t exactly harmonise with the rest of the house. However, new technology is constantly on the rise and now there are discreet slate panels on the market that really do blend in. They’re easy to install and depending on the amount, can take up to a day to install.
5. No planning permission
A bonus with solar PV panels is that they don’t require any planning permission. Unless you own a period property or are aware of very specific building regulation in your area (in which case you will need to consult the council), there’s no one stopping you from fitting the panels first thing tomorrow.
5. You become more aware of the energy you’re wasting
As the solar panels won’t generate enough electricity when it’s dark, you’ll become more alert to what you’re wasting in the evenings. Make sure you run electrical appliances during daylight and follow the usual electricity savings advise – only boil as much water as you need in the kettle, switch off the lights when you leave a room and use energy efficient light bulbs.
6. The solar PV panels are not weather-dependent
Cynics of the British weather might worry about cloudy or rainy days, but the panels generate energy from daylight (not necessarily direct sunlight), so it doesn’t matter what it looks like outside. It might reduce the efficiency however, but never make it useless.
7. Require no maintenance
Unlike the tempestuous boiler, the solar PV panels require little or no maintenance and they have a long life span (some claim 60 years). An annual visual inspect is advisable, but as it’s a low-risk technology, you don’t need to worry about its soundless operation. The panels also come with a 25 year guarantee should it not produce 80% of its optimal production.
For more information about the Government’s ‘Feed-in Tariffs’, read more at Energy Saving Trust’s website.
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