Solar Energy – A Home Improvement that Pays You BackOctober 17, 2011 // Posted in:
Last Updated on October 17, 2011
Are solar panels worth investing in?
With the constant rise of electricity bills and government-introduced schemes such as the Feed-in Tariff, there hasn’t been a better time to invest in solar power.
What is solar power?
When energy from the sun hits roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels, a chemical reaction takes place which sends down an alternating current (A/C) to provide power to the home, or get fed into the national grid should it not be required.
But aren’t solar panels an eyesore?
When we picture solar PV panels, we often think of the ‘traditional’ thick aluminium framed panels that might not be a fit for every home. Fortunately, there are now far many more types of panel available, including slate coloured tiles which seamlessly integrate into the roof. This in turn not only generates electricity, but it will also improve the insulation of the home – saving even more energy and cash!
Will solar panels work outside of Southern California?
Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly, solar panels don’t actually need sunlight to work. The photovoltaic cells react to daylight, meaning the panels can generate 40% of their potential electricity yield even on a completely overcast day. The home also remains connected to the national grid, meaning power is still available outside of daylight hours. In addition to this, extra electricity generated from the panels that goes unused will be fed back into the grid, which the homeowner will be paid for.
So what are the options?
There are currently two options when it comes to domestic solar power. For those who are able to buy the panel system up front, large returns can be seen through both the savings on the electricity bill (between £70 and £130 a year) plus large returns through the Feed-in Tariff. Over the 25 year solar panel lifespan, this can see a profit of over £15,000. Alternatively, the solar panel installer can pay for the solar panel system’s installation and maintenance. They will then own the rights to the Feed-in tariff, whilst the homeowner saves on electricity bills with the benefits of a free solar panel system.