Tagged in: UK Solar Panel

The UK Solar Panel Debate – Knowing Where You Stand

Solar panels and solar energy in general are big topics of debate in the UK, and many homeowners are wondering if they should even try to invest in getting the panels for their home. PV panels — as they are called — have a lot of incentives attached to them. It seems like no time passes between advertisements by companies telling you that they will gladly install your PV panels for free. Is this all too good to be true? That’s what we’re going to be talking about for you today.

You see, PV panels convert light energy into electricity. In the past, it was really an all or nothing system. If you wanted to honestly make sure that you got some benefits, you had to get the old-school panels that needed direct sunlight and heat energy. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way. The more light converted into electricity, the less electricity you’ll need from your energy provider.  A lower bill would be right around the corner.

Yet this is all theory at best — how it will fare in your home really depends on your energy usage, as well as the setup itself.

There are a few government schemes that have lit the solar panel war on fire. The government is giving a feed-in tariff scheme where customers are actually paid by the energy company that serves them for any electricity produced — even the electricity that they end up using later on. The National Grid also chips in a small bonus payment for electricity that feeds back into the grid. So the right solar panel system will actually make you money, not just save you money. That’s something that can be hard to wrap your head around, but it does get better from here.

The FIT (feed in tariff scheme) payments are tax-free as well, which encourages even more switching over to solar panels.

There are companies that offer free solar panels, and you might have seen their advertisements as well. Is there any way to get in on this action? Actually, there is — but keep aware of the fine print anywhere that you look. No company is just going to give you free solar panels because they like you, after all.

The catch is clear — if the company pays for the panels, then they actually get to keep all of the income from the FIT scheme instead of you. Whoever invests the money into the panels is the one that benefits from the 25 year FIT scheme payout.

This could be a good thing if you’re not planning to really be in the house for very long — if you plan on selling the property and getting out, you can take advantage of the cost savings on your energy bill and that’s it.

The position of your house also makes a difference. If you are a home that faces to the south, you’re going to get the most benefit out of the solar panel setup. However, companies are willing to install the panels even if you live with an east or west facing roof.

There’s also the upkeep for the solar panels that needs to be considered. Even if you do take a company up on installing solar panels for you, you’re still going to have to maintain their functionality. That would be the best way to make sure that you are always getting the most out of these panels.

It’s a hot topic in the UK, with many residents feeling that the initial set up cost just isn’t worth it. Where do you fit in? Well, you have to look at your energy use as well as your savings to really figure out if this is something that’s going to serve you well in the future — check it out today!