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A Buyer’s guide to Solar Energy

With ever increasing energy bills more and more people are exploring the idea of solar energy. However, installing solar energy panels may not be as straightforward as it seems. Additionally, you may have read some of the stories in relation to their return on investment and how some homes may never make the money that they’ve spent back in savings on energy. With this in mind this guide will answer some of the key questions you may have in relation to solar energy, including who it may be suitable for, whether it can really make you a saving and how you may be able to get help with going green.

Key questions about solar energy
Does it really save a household money?
Yes! Typically solar panels that are part of a 4kWp system can save you as much as £125 per year! This does differ from household to household however and whilst some may save more, there will be some households who save less. Additionally, in certain parts of the UK, there is an opportunity to generate more energy than you need, in which instance you can sell this energy on to energy companies.

Is solar energy suitable to every home?
Generally yes, however you must have a roof that faces approximately 45 degrees of south; additionally your roof must be free from shade. These are generally the only stipulations, which means that the majority of homes are suitable for solar panels.

Can I get help with installing solar panels?
The government is running schemes in certain parts of England for homes that have roofs that are suitable for solar panels, meaning that you may either get a discount on the solar panels, or be able to have them installed for free! Check with your local authority as to whether you qualify.
If you don’t qualify for a grant then you can take a little solace in the fact that panels have, and continue, to drop in price. Where once these systems easily cost £12,000 today they can be installed from as little as £5,000.

Other considerations when considering solar panels
Are you planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable?
If you’re opting to buy your solar panels, rather than having them installed for free, then you really need to think about how long you’re going to stay in your home. At £125 a year it does take a while for your savings to recoup the cost of installation.

Can you save the same amount simply by switching energy provider?
Prior to committing to any solar panel installation you should do a little research as to whether you can make either the same saving, or more, by simply switching energy providers. In this instance energy price comparison websites are a great place to start.