What are the benefits of investing in solar panels for your home? The sight of solar panels on the roofs of people’s houses has become increasingly common around the UK over the past few years, and has been driven by government backed initiatives, and by efforts to cut down on energy bills during the recession. With the long term potential to provide cleaner and cheaper energy for the home, it’s worth reviewing the benefits of investing in solar panels.
1 – Savings
A solar panel system comprises of photovoltaic cells on the roof, which convert light into electricity. This is stored in generators as backup power, and can also be connected to a mounting system for the use of powering lights, kitchen appliances and heating. Most people tend to use solar energy as an emergency backup.
It costs about £10,000 to install a new system, with the understanding that the investment will eventually save on bills. Current estimates suggest that solar panels can generate about £140 to £200 a year in savings, which is expected to rise over time. Solar systems are typically designed around a 3kWp model, which generates around 2,500 kW of electricity a year.
2 – Ease of Installation
Solar panels are easy to install, and can be set up within a day or so. Roofs need to have enough space to fit the panels. You can also get solar tiles and squares in place of panels. However, these are generally not as effective in terms of cost or energy generated. There are no moving parts in the panel system, and maintenance is small, with a one hour annual check typically that is needed outside of a fault. VAT on installations is also low at 5%, and some companies will offer lower installation fees in exchange for a share of the electricity generated.
3 – Feed-In Tariffs
One of the best features about owning solar panels is that the Government have a feed-in tariff system in place that allows you to sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid, as well as the amount of electricity you create for use outside of a normal electrical supply. You can receive approximately £670 a year under this scheme, which is currently set to last for the next 25 years.
4 – Property Value
Installing solar panels can result in an increase in the value of your home. As well as providing new homeowners with the chance to benefit from solar power and feed-in tariffs, your property can receive a higher Energy Performance Certification (EPC) rating. This can be used to promote lower maintenance costs to prospective buyers. Some councils may also offer better taxation for areas that show a commitment to cost effective green measures. As a result, you might be able to raise the value of your property by 4% or more.
5 – Long Term Future
Solar power is set to be the most widely used and invested in source of alternative energy in the UK. Funding and investment in panel schemes are directed towards lowering prices and boosting incentives for solar panel owners. A 224 acre solar farm with 135,000 panels was recently opened in Cornwall, joining others in the New Forest and around the UK. Investing in solar power now could consequently mean getting ahead of an increasingly popular energy saving trend.
Rob James recommends you remember to renew your home appliance insurance, to avoid extra expense in the event of a break down. Rob can be found blogging about many things, including DIY, eco-friendly homes, and white goods maintenance.