You may well have noticed more than a few homes investing in solar panel kits in your local area – and there’s plenty of great reasons why they’re making the most of them!
It goes without saying that harnessing energy from the sun to heat and power your home just makes sense economically in the long run – and on top of this, the right solar panels installation could result in you earning a nice bit of cash on the side just for generating your own energy.
There’s been a few changes over the years as to how much you could be set to earn from setting up your own solar panel roof tiles – but it’s hardly time to think about putting away those kits just yet! Here’s our guide on Everything You Need to Know About Installing Solar Panels.
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Buying Solar Panels
One of the first factors you should be looking into is the cost of solar panels in the UK. It’s common knowledge that setting up with solar panel kits can be a fair investment from the off, but many people who use them regularly will likely tell you that the money you stake up front will be paid off through regular use and earning along the way.
No matter who you buy with, the general solar panel cost UK providers lead with tends to fall in the bracket of £5000 to £8000. That’s the price of a reasonable new car – but it’s worth remembering that solar panel costs have fallen dramatically over the years thanks to increased adoption and interest.
Therefore, while this can be seen as something of a hefty cost up front, if you have the money available to invest and the benefits you are fit to reap outweigh the initial investment, it may be high time you purchased yourself a kit or two.
Are Solar Panels Right For Me?
The main reason why people buy solar panels from UK suppliers remains obvious – to save cash, and to generate further income. The government maintains what is called a feed-in tariff – a tax-free rate at which you will receive money for every kWh of energy you generate.
You’ll be paid via an energy supplier directly, and you can expect to receive 4.07p per kWh – some sources such as the Energy Saving Trust advise that this could mean you receiving up to £150 per year, on average, from the panels you have fitted.
You could also save serious cash on your current bills. The electricity you’ll generate from the sun’s rays will mean that you need to use less directly from your supplier – meaning that you could knock considerable money off your annual rates.
The amount you could save depends on when you use your solar panels, how often and how large the system you have installed actually is – using the system during the day will require you to use less energy from your supplier, too.
You should also bear in mind that panels are generally very low-maintenance – you may only need to replace certain mechanisms once in around 25 years. Do, however, make sure you have valid warranty from your supplier before you get too deeply involved.
Installing Solar Panels
Now that we’ve covered a little bit about solar panel costs and savings, it’s time to look at exactly what you need to do to get everything up and running. This is a remarkably easy process, but it’s one which is always worth following to the letter, where you can.
- Call up for estimates. Locate your nearest solar panel suppliers online and try to get quotes in writing wherever possible. A good place to start may be the Renewable Energy Association.
- Once you’re happy with a quote, arrange for your solar panels installation – you won’t have to worry about waiting too much longer – within a matter of weeks you’ll have a firm installation date, and it only takes a day or two to put everything together.
- If you’re interested in making the most of that brilliant feed-in tariff – which is guaranteed for twenty years – you’ll need to send an MCS certificate and application form to an energy supplier. You’ll also need to make sure that you enclose proof of your identification, your purchase of a solar panel kit and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
As far as the main solar panels installation goes, that’s about it! But there are a few other important factors you’re going to need to bear in mind before you install.
Other Things to Consider
Check Your Energy Rating
If you are interested in getting the full feed-in payment, your home is going to need to be registered with an EPC advising of an energy efficiency rating of D or higher. The difference is huge – as any homes ranked from E to G – those being particularly inefficient – will see their tariff drop from 4.07p to 0.43p per kWh.
Consider Your Location
Studies and data show that homes with solar panel installations tend to make more money in the south of England – generally, the closer you are to the capital – depending entirely upon the amount of daylight you’ll receive. You’re also going to need to consider the way your roof faces – if it faces south – on the whole – you’ll get maximum daylight up to 4pm each day, which means more money for you. Make sure you install solar panels by the spring, too – it just makes sense!
Consider Solar Panel Types
The two main types of solar panel do very different things. The main type, known as Solar PV, will convert sun energy into electricity – whereas Solar Thermal panels will focus on water heating. Well worth bearing in mind!
Our conclusion is this – if you have a large family and the capital available to invest in a solar panel installation – why not give it a go? Grab some quotes from local installers and see how much you could save with the right supplier.