Make up to £628 per year with solar panels and a feed-in tariff! Save money on your energy bills as you produce your own energy. Fill in the form to compare up to four free solar panel quotes.
Consumers with a typical 3kWp Solar panel system could make combined saving and income of £628 per year.
Average annual payment from
the Feed-in Tariff scheme
Average annual earnings from
exporting back to the grid
|Annual savings on your electricity bill||£173|
|Total annual earning and savings||£628|
|Total 20 year benefit||£12,560|
Having a solar PV system installed on your property can be a great way to reduce the cost you pay for your electricity. As with other solar products, photovoltaic solar systems use daylight energy from the sun to generate the electricity, which runs appliances and lighting in the home; meaning less electricity used from your traditional supply and thus lower energy bills.
The cells used to convert solar radiation into electricity consist of one or two layers of a semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell, it creates an electric field across the layers, causing electricity to flow. The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity.
PV systems generate no greenhouse gases, saving approximately 325kg of carbon dioxide emissions per year - adding up to about 8 tonnes over a system's lifetime.
PV systems now also come in a variety of shapes and colours, ranging from grey 'solar tiles' that look like roof tiles, to panels and transparent cells that can be used on conservatories and glass to provide shading as well as generating electricity.
PV systems can be used for a building with a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees south, as long as no other buildings or large trees overshadow it. If the roof surface is in shadow for parts of the day, the output of the system decreases.
Solar panels are not light, and so the roof must be strong enough to take their weight, especially if the panel is placed on top of existing tiles.
Solar PV installations should always be carried out by a trained and experienced installer.
Prices for PV systems vary, depending on:
For the average domestic system, costs can be around £4,000- £9,000 per kWp installed, with most domestic systems usually between 1.5 and 2 kWp.
Solar tiles cost more than conventional panels, and panels that are integrated into a roof are more expensive than those which are installed on top.
If you intend to have major roof repairs carried out then it may be worth exploring PV tiles, as they can offset the cost of roof tiles.
Grid connected systems require very little maintenance, generally limited to ensuring that the panels are kept relatively clean and that shade from trees has not become a problem. However, the wiring and components of the system should be checked regularly by a qualified technician.
Standalone systems, i.e. those not connected to the grid, will need maintenance on other system components, such as batteries.
Some local authorities require planning permission to allow you to fit a PV system, especially in conservation areas or on listed buildings. Always check with your local authority about planning issues before you have a system installed, because obtaining retrospective planning permission can be difficult and costly.
Solar water heating systems work alongside your conventional water heater, using the heat from the sun to warm the hot water you use in your home. This essentially means that instead of sourcing this heat from your gas supply, you instead use the heat provided by natural resources, which, of course, has a multitude of benefits.
A solar water heating system can provide a heating source for almost all of your hot water during the summer months, and about 50% year-round; saving you a considerable amount of money on your gas bills.
Another core benefit of these systems is the limited impact they have on the wider environment. Because solar water heating systems necessitate less energy use in your home, you can reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emissions by around 400kg per year, which is a considerable benefit to the environment.
The systems that best suits your needs depends on a range of factors, including the area of your south facing roof (solar water heating systems are installed on the roof of the home to gain the most access to the sun), your existing water heating system (i.e. some combi boilers aren't suitable), and your budget.
A competent, professional installer should assess your situation and discuss with you the best configuration to meet your needs.
For domestic hot water there are three main components: solar panels, a heat transfer system, and a hot water cylinder.
Solar panels - or collectors - are fitted to your roof in order to collect heat from the sun's radiation. The heat transfer system then simply uses the collected heat to warm the water supply contained in a hot water cylinder, which stores the hot water that is heated during the day and stores it for use later.
Preferably you will need 2-4m2 of southeast to southwest facing roof receiving direct sunlight for the main part of the day. You'll also need space to locate an additional water cylinder, if required.
The typical installation cost for a domestic flat plate collector system is £2,000 - £3,000. Evacuated tube systems will cost £3,500 - £4,500. You should discuss which options best suit your needs with a professional, experienced installer.
Solar hot water systems generally come with a 10-year warranty and require very little maintenance. An annual check by the householder and a more detailed check by a professional installer every 3-5 years should be sufficient (consult your system supplier for exact maintenance requirements) to maintain your system.
Conventional energy supply companies are now able to offer green energy tariffs, meaning that the energy provided is sourced from renewable sources - so you could switch to one of these and help the environment.
You can use an energy tariff comparison website to enter in your details, receive quotes, and then select a green option. The results are displayed in a table to make comparisons easy, and you may even be able to save money on your energy bills, too. Simply enter your postcode into the form on the right to get started.