If you are wondering do solar panels save money, this article will show you why they do. Installing solar panels brings many advantages including environmental benefits, lower electricity bills, and even increased home values.
Although the initial cost can be high, in the long run, solar panels will help you save money and live greener and simpler lives. You can live off-grid, or sell extra electricity you produce and get a return on investment faster.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost Initially?
A residential solar power setup typically costs between £2,800 and £13,000 upfront. The price depends on the types of panels and the size of the entire system, among other factors. Depending on the system you want to install, your initial cost can be significantly higher. The majority of the cost comes from the solar module.There are also some extra expenses. The inverter, which converts the direct current generated by the panel into the alternating current used by home appliances, metering equipment, a variety of housing components, cables, and wiring equipment are all additional pieces of equipment required for installation. Some house proprietors also consider a battery backup.
Do Solar Panels Save Money and How Much Are We Talking?
You can estimate how much you can save on energy expenses annually once you know how much a solar power system will cost upfront and how much energy it will produce. However, because so much relies on how you currently pay for electricity, this is another difficult calculation.
Regardless of when electricity is used, utilities frequently charge residential customers a flat fee. This means that homeowners' solar power systems simply offset the price they are charged for electricity, which is much closer to the average cost of power production, as opposed to the expensive cost of peak electricity production.
Depending on the cost of electricity in your area, the typical home can save anywhere from $16,000 to $79,000 throughout the solar panel system. It depends not just on how many solar panels you have but also on how much electricity you use and how big your household is.
Here are the main reasons to consider if you are asking yourself do solar panels save money:
1. Lower Electricity Bill
Your monthly electricity bill could be significantly reduced or even eliminated, depending on how much of your energy requirements the freshly installed solar system can supply. In some areas, you might be able to sell the excess energy back to the power company if you have a chance to produce more electricity than you consume.
2. Low Maintenance Costs
Solar panel maintenance is incredibly minimal. This is one of the main reasons that explain how solar panels save money. The only upkeep needed is periodic cleaning of the solar panels and inverter replacement every five to ten years. Many solar panel producers also provide over 20 years of guarantees.
3. You Can Sell the Energy to National Grid
By enrolling in the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) programme through your electricity provider, you can sell any excess energy produced by your solar panels. You will be compensated for each unit of energy you feed back to the National Grid once you register.
4. Zero VAT
The UK government announced a temporary zero-rate VAT for putting energy-saving materials in residential buildings in its Spring Statement 2022. March 2027 is the last month for this.
This grant will help you switch to renewable energy sources even if it is not specifically meant for solar panels. The goal of the strategy is to fight high energy costs and reduce carbon emissions through investments in green homes. You will save an average of £800 thanks to this strategy when you buy new solar panels for your home.
5. Independence From the Grid
Having a solar panel system can allow you grid independence, which is amazing for everyone who wants to lower their bills. Solar batteries' storage capability provides you with complete energy independence. You won't have to contend with price increases or energy suppliers as a result of this.
6. Solar Panels Boost Home Value
Solar panels put on a home will probably increase the price. When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, the money made from selling surplus power back to the utility and reducing electricity costs both go in the positive category. Solar energy systems for homes are very valuable and can raise a home's resale worth.
7. You Can Change the Energy Supplier if You Want
You are free to transfer energy providers as long as they are not the same ones who pay you for the solar energy you produce. However, if your supplier also provides your power, you can get better export rates. With rates wildly varying between businesses, it's just as easy to switch your export tariff supplier, so make sure you're always receiving the best deal.
8. Solar Energy is Free
Sunshine is there for everyone, and if you utilise it you have a limitless source of free energy. Through the years you are using solar panels you will see many benefits. The most important one is saving money. The longer you use solar panels the more benefits you get to enjoy.
In addition to producing electricity, solar energy has another application. Although we typically only consider solar energy in terms of PV panels producing power, it is possible to use solar energy for heating. This process, which merely entails converting sunlight into heating options, is carried out using solar thermal systems.
9. Solar Energy Helps Avoid Rising Energy Costs
The cost of energy keeps rising nationwide each year. You can protect yourself from potential increases in electricity costs by investing in a solar energy system now and locking in the price you pay for electricity today. This is why the answer to the question do solar panels save money is always YES.
People Also Ask:
What Kind of Maintenance is Required for My Solar Panel System?
Regular maintenance must be carried out on every solar panel system. Over time debris and dust can build up on your solar panel components, which may compromise the function of the system. Elements such as water, wind, vermin, sunlight, and hail can all cause damage which is why it’s important to have your panels regularly inspected.
Safety is also a top priority. To ensure that everyone living in the house with a solar panel system is safe you should perform regular maintenance and checks. Routine maintenance will also ensure system performance is kept, enabling you to maximise savings on your power bills for many years.
Tasks for solar panel maintenance include:
- Making sure panels are clean and functioning properly
- Checking if any parts have deteriorated
- Vents must be free of dust
- Switches are working
- The wiring is intact and has not deteriorated
- Electrical checks of all the components.
- Making sure that everything is securely fastened
- Take a look at the inverter display panel for any issues
- Ensure that nothing has obstructed access to the isolator switches
- Check if the shutdown and isolation emergency protocols are on display
Are There Any Government Incentives for Installing Solar Panels?
The UK government is offering grants for everyone willing to switch to solar or greener energy alternatives, but you must qualify for it. Here are the grants that are available now:
ECO4 - This is the most recent government programme for low-income households to build more energy-efficient houses. They want to not only save energy but also make homes warmer and cut pollution. It aims to guarantee that major energy companies assist households with limited incomes through their local governments. You can check your eligibility here.
LA Flex - This is the extension to ECO3 (the previous version of ECO4) which had a goal to help those families who did not qualify for that program. LA Flex gives power to local authorities to give grants to a wider list of people, which is decided by a local council. Here is the form you can fill out to check if you are eligible for this grant.
The Green Deal - This grant used to be financed by the government, but once they stopped the program the Green Deal Finance Company, which is a group of private investors, decided to still offer a similar program to users. You can still obtain loans to pay for energy-efficient improvements to your house and repay the debt with your energy costs.
SEG - This program mandates that energy providers with more than 150,000 clients compensate homes for any solar electricity that isn't used. Everything you do not use will be sold to the grid. Check who are SEG suppliers here.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
On average solar panels last 25 or more years. With the technology innovations, their life cycle is extended even longer. We now see solar panels installed even in the 80s that are still functioning. This means that with good maintenance and a reliable source of energy, you are set to save money for a long time if you install solar panel systems.
How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Run a Home?
If you are wondering do solar panels save money you are probably also asking how many solar panels your home needs. Before you decide how many panels to install in your home you should find out how much energy you use per year. Usually, homes use between 4 and 18 solar panels, but you can use as little and as much as you want, especially if you decide to sell extra energy to the National Grid.