More than 450,000 homes in Britain now have solar panels with an extra 2000 solar panel systems being installed each week. The Great British summer paid off this year, driving up the returns homeowners made on their investment, but can we really still see high percentage returns after the cuts to feed-in tariffs?
The Solar Trade Association estimates a cost saving of £823 a year on an average utility bill for an average £7000 pound investment in solar PV, which equates to roughly a 12.5% tax-free annual return over 25 years.
So what do i need to consider?
The main factors (there are others) to take into consideration when thinking about an investment in solar PV are:
The pitch of your roof. In the summer the angle of the sun is 50 to 60 degrees and the standard UK roof is 30 to 40 degrees resulting in a combined angle of 90 degrees, the ideal angle to catch the most sun.
The direction your roof faces. To produce the most electricity your solar PV array should be facing South. There will be a varying degree in loss of efficiency when pointed more towards the south east or south west.
The type of system you go for. Different makes and models of solar panels will have different efficiency and output ratings, effecting how much power they produce. More expensive solar panels may generate more electricity and generate you more money through the feed-in tariff. In the UK the most popular solar panel manufacturers are Solarworld, Schott, Sharp, Mitsubishi, Yingli and Canadian Solar.
The hours you spend at home. If you are at home during the day you can use more of the electricity you are producing yourself. It can take a decade to cover your initial investment if that is the way you want to look at it, so some thought towards the long term is generally a good idea.
Possible unforeseen maintenance requirements. Many homeowners who invested in solar panels early on, when the FIT first started are now realizing what impact poor install methods had in regards to the returns on their investment. When panels have been installed incorrectly many issues can occur with the roof in which they are installed on, leaks being the major culprit. This can lead to expensive repair bills which are likely to diminish returns considerably. Your chosen installer should reassure you that the method they intend to use on your property will not lead to these issues arising.
All you will need to know can be found HERE but if you have any further questions, then the The Renewable Energy Hub staff are always happy to help.
‘Email Us’ to get a quick estimate of how much income and savings you could receive from the domestic feed-in tariff scheme. Then choose at least three MCS accredited companies to approach for a quote. Use our database of UK installers to find the professional for your install.