Solar panels are devices that capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity that you can use in your home. They are a great way to save money on your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and increase the value of your property. But how do you get started with solar panels installation? And what are the benefits and challenges of going solar in the UK? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more, and show you why solar panels installation is a smart choice for UK homes.
Benefits of Solar Panels Installation
There are many benefits of installing solar panels on your roof or in your garden, such as:
1) Saving money: Solar panels can reduce your electricity bills
by up to 70%, depending on the size and location of your system, and the amount of electricity you use. You can
also earn money by selling your excess electricity to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which
pays you a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you export. The SEG rates vary depending on your
supplier, but you can compare them. According to the Energy Saving
Trust, the average UK household can save up to £744 a year by installing solar panels and using the SEG.
2) Reducing carbon emissions: Solar panels are a clean and
green source of energy, as they do not produce any harmful greenhouse gases or air pollutants. By switching to
solar energy, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help the UK meet its net zero target by 2050. The Energy
Saving Trust estimates that the average UK household can save up to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year
by installing solar panels.
3) Increasing property value: Solar panels can make your home
more attractive to potential buyers, as they indicate that your home is energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.
According to a survey by YouGov, 38% of UK homeowners said they would pay more for a property with solar panels. A study
by the University of Leeds also found that solar panels can increase the value of your property by up to 14%.
Challenges of Solar Panels Installation
Despite the many benefits of solar panels installation, there are also some challenges that you need to consider, such as:
Solar panels installation can be expensive, as the average cost of a 4kW system (the most common size for UK homes) is around £7,000. However, there are ways to reduce the upfront cost, such as applying for solar panel grants, taking out a solar panel loan, or joining a solar panel scheme. We will discuss these options in more detail later in this blog post.
Solar panels require little maintenance, as they are designed to last for 25 years or more. However, you still need to check them regularly for dirt, dust, leaves, or bird droppings, as these can affect their performance and efficiency. You also need to ensure that your solar panels are covered by your home insurance, and that you have a warranty from your installer in case of any faults or damages.
Solar panels work best in sunny and south-facing locations, as they can generate more electricity when they receive more sunlight. However, this does not mean that solar panels are not suitable for other locations, as they can still produce electricity even on cloudy or rainy days. The amount of electricity you can generate depends on several factors, such as the size, angle, and orientation of your solar panels, the weather conditions, and the time of the year. You can use this solar calculator to estimate how much electricity you can generate with solar panels in your location.
How to Get Started with Solar Panels Installation
Find a reputable solar panels installer:
You need to find a qualified and experienced solar installer who can help you choose the best solar system for your needs and budget, and install it safely and correctly. You can use this website to find local solar installers who are accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), which is a quality assurance scheme for renewable energy products and installers. You can also read reviews and compare quotes from different installers to find the best deal.
Apply for solar panels grants or loans:
You can apply for solar panel grants or loans to help you cover the cost of solar panels installation. There are two main grants available in the UK: the Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO4) and the Home Upgrade Grant. The ECO4 scheme provides free or subsidised solar panels to low-income and energy-inefficient households in England, Scotland, or Wales. The eligibility criteria and application process are determined by your local authority. You can find out more about the ECO4 scheme here. The Home Upgrade Grant provides up to £10,000 for low-income, off-gas grid homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D, E, F, or G in England. The grant can be used to install solar panels, as well as other energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, heating, and ventilation. You can find out more about the Home Upgrade Grant here. Alternatively, you can take out a solar panel loan from a bank or a lender, which allows you to pay for your solar panels in monthly instalments. However, you need to be aware of the interest rates, fees, and repayment terms of the loan, and make sure that you can afford it.
Join a solar panels scheme:
You can join a solar panel scheme to reduce the cost of solar panels installation and benefit from a group discount. One of the most popular schemes in the UK is Solar Together, which is a collective purchasing scheme that organises solar panel auctions for homeowners and tenants (with permission) in participating council areas. You can register your interest online, receive a personalised offer, and decide whether to accept it or not. You can find out more about Solar Together here.
Solar panels installation is a smart choice for UK homes, as it can help you save money, reduce carbon emissions, and increase property value. However, you need to consider the cost, maintenance, and location of your solar panels, and find the best way to finance them. You can apply for solar panel grants or loans, or join a solar panel scheme, to make solar panels installation more affordable and accessible. At ECOlive energy solutions, we are providing cleaner smarter solar panels installations across Flintshire, north wales north west and across the UK. We have a team of qualified and experienced installers who can help you choose the best solar system for your needs and budget. We also provide after-sales service and maintenance to ensure your solar panels are working efficiently and safely. If you are interested in switching to solar energy, contact us today for a free quote and consultation. We will help you save money and the environment with solar energy in the UK.