The energy bills crisis has prompted a big rise in demand for solar panels.

Just over 3,000 solar installations are being carried out every week, according to trade association Solar Energy UK, up from 1,000 a week in July 2020.

One provider said this month it had seen enquiries about solar panels rise tenfold.

“More solar panels are being put on British roofs than ever before,” said Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK.

The fact that renewable energy helps protect the planet has always made it an attractive option.

The way they work is simple: the panels absorb sunlight through photovoltaic cells which convert it into electricity that can be flowed through your home, or into a battery.

The process significantly reduces the amount of electricity you will need from the network.

People who have successfully installed solar panels report saving hundreds of pounds on electricity bills.

But they are not the answer for everyone, as installing them means an upfront investment of thousands of pounds and you’ll need the right type of property.

Soaring energy prices, however, have slashed the time taken to recoup your initial costs.

How much does it cost?

A decade ago a typical solar panel system cost around £20,000 and would take around a decade to cover those set-up costs.

But prices for solar panel systems have fallen by more than 60% since then, meaning it takes between four and five years for a system to pay for itself.

The price includes installation and the number of panels will depend on how much space you have on a roof. A typical 20sq m roof could hold 12 panels.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests a standard solar panel system costs between £9,000 to £11,700, while Solar Energy UK lists the cost of a “typical” 3.1kWp system for a three-bed house as £3,925.

What you’ll end up paying will depend on the size of the system, the type of panel you choose, the quality of components, the accessibility and state of repair of your roof, and the individual installer.

How much could solar power help reduce your bills?

The amount of electricity solar panels generate depends on the type and size of system and home.

A report for Solar Energy UK suggests that a typical home could cut electricity bills by more than £300 a year. Households with electric heating could be more than £900 a year better off, the report said, although most UK households remain on gas central heating.

If energy bills rise as predicted this winter, then the value of electricity generated through solar panels could almost double, says Kevin Holland, managing director of The Solar Shed, a Norfolk-based renewable energy business.

He says a typical solar panel system could generate £1,200 worth of electricity in a year at current prices.

If energy bills rise by 80% in October plus a further 50% in January, as forecast, then the value of electricity generated by a typical system could climb to around £3,240.

Also, if you don’t actually use all the electricity you generate, you can sell that surplus to an energy firm.

What else should you bear in mind?

It’s a big investment so there are several things to consider.

“Well-chosen solar panel systems can provide a reliable source of renewable electricity for decades, helping to cut your carbon footprint, but buying an inappropriate system could leave you out of pocket,” says Which?

In other words it’s important to do thorough research and get a variety of quotes.

It is also worth considering that however much you splash out, it may not add an equal value to your home. Ageing, unattractive old solar panels could well put some potential buyers off.

“As long as you can’t see them, solar panels are a great idea,” says Charlie Wells, managing director of estate agency Prime Purchase.

“Estate agents are unlikely to offer a higher valuation if a property already has solar panels installed,” says Brian Davenport.

But some buyers will be attracted by renewable energy and the chance to save cash on energy bills, says Kevin Holland.

“If there are two houses in the street for sale, one has no solar and a £4,000 energy bill, the other has solar and a £1,500 energy bill, which one are you buying?” he says.

 

Originally published by BBC


Get your free solar quote today!

Get Quote or call us on (08) 9300 9324

We are local energy experts, providing residential solar power and commercial solar power solutions in Perth, Western Australia. We are a family owned and run business providing solar solutions (solar panels, solar hot water, solar battery storage, electric vehicle chargers and more), for both residential and commercial customers. We have been in operation for over 11 years and are trusted for our technical expertise, honesty, professionalism, aftercare support and consultative, friendly approach.

Useful links: