When it comes to taking the plunge and investing in solar panels, one of the key questions that you’re bound to ask yourself is: are they worth it?
Will those solar panels keep working in bad weather? Will you see financial returns on your investment? Will you achieve less reliance on the grid? Will your energy bills be lower? Will they add to the value of your home?
These are just a few of the myriad questions that might cross your mind as you’re making the decision to invest.
Read on, as we have decided to answer some of those questions, to put your mind at rest and demonstrate that solar panels save money in the UK
Do solar panels work in bad weather?
There’s a long standing myth about solar panels being less efficient in the UK, thanks to our often inclement, gloomy weather.
Many people – mistakenly – believe that in order for solar panels to work, you have to live in a super sunny climate.
While it’s true that solar panels need exposure to sunlight, that’s not to say that they have to be situated in a hot country.
In fact, many solar panels suffer from overheating if they are exposed to extremely high temperatures and can even become less efficient.
What they need is daylight, not necessarily blazing sunshine.
Solar panels are still capable of producing electricity even on cloudy days. They just need to be exposed to daylight, which is capable of penetrating clouds on even the gloomiest of days.
That means that they should be situated in a high position – on a rooftop, tilted at a 35 degree angle.
It’s essential that nothing impedes sunlight from reaching the panel. Take care that they aren’t in the shade of a tree or that there aren’t branches obstructing the light of the sun.
Ideally the panels should be facing south in order to harness more sunlight, and special attention should be given to the cleaning and maintenance of the panels.
If all of these guidelines are followed, then there is no reason why your solar panels wouldn’t be capable of producing solar energy on even the muggiest and rainiest of days.
What about nighttime?
If you’re wondering about the nighttime, there’s no problem there either. If you invest in batteries, then any daylight energy produced by the solar system will be reserved in the batteries.
Those reserves are then drawn upon in the hours of darkness or during hours with less sunshine.
What’s more, any extra electricity you generate will be taken into account by your energy provider if you participate in a net metering scheme.
That means that excess energy unused by your household will be deducted from your energy bills and you’ll receive a discount.
So ultimately, solar panels save you money – something we could all benefit from in these times of soaring energy costs.
A worthy investment
The initial cost of your solar panel installation should be considered as an investment in the future in more than one sense.
Solar panels save money and they help to save the planet. These days we are all more conscious of the need to cut back on fossil fuel consumption and reduce our carbon footprint.
Solar panels are worth the investment because they not only produce clean, renewable energy, but they also withstand the test of time.
If you stay in the same house for long enough without selling it, then you’re sure to see financial returns from solar energy.
Most solar panels can expect to enjoy a lifespan of around 25-30 years, and within just a few years of installing a solar panel system you’ll start to see financial returns.
Eventually the cost of solar panels will have paid itself, and furthermore, you’ll receive discounts from your energy provider, and less reliance on the national grid.
You can also look into solar panel grants like the Smart Export Guarantee, which can help you to increase your savings.
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a new solar PV incentive scheme designed to help you save money. Energy companies can decide their tariffs for energy exportation.
By opting in to the SEG, your solar panels save money by allowing you to live more independently from the grid.
Your solar panel payback times will be significantly shorter than they would have been without the SEG.
How many solar panels do I need to power my house?
If you’re questioning whether solar panels save money then it’s logical that you should consider the needs of your household.
If you live alone, then you’ll be using less electricity and therefore need less solar panels than a house that contains five people and uses many appliances.
Most solar panels produce about 250W every four hours of full sunlight.
Take into account whether you’d have enough roof space for the panels, and how many appliances you use on a daily basis.
Solar panels are great for powering domestic appliances, but you will still need to use traditional energy sources from the grid as well in tandem with the solar system.
If you decide that you don’t want to use a lot of solar panels, then you can choose to install fewer panels, although it may not be as profitable for you in the long run.
Do Solar Panels Increase the Value of My Home?
Solar panels save money in one other way – they can help you to sell your home in the future.
As more and more people are becoming conscious of environmental issues and want to protect the environment, having solar panels installed only serves to make your property more attractive.
Not only that, but homeowners are looking for ways to save money in a time when energy bills are surging and look set to increase over and over again.
The value of your property could increase too, especially if you invest in new, top-of-the-line panels.
As you can see, solar panels really are a worthwhile investment. If you have any more questions or are interested in getting started on your solar journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.