Free electricity for life? Solar panels are the answer to slash your bills and even earn money
It is estimated that the average Brit could save more than £21,000 over their lifetime by installing solar panels for their electricity needs.
It’s the perfect way to halve or even end those monthly utility bills, be more environmentally friendly and you can even make money if you have spare electricity to sell back to the national grid.
What’s more, it’s a lot easier to switch to solar energy than people think and, in many cases, you can get grants to finance the initial outlay of installing the panels as part of the government’s drive to a greener more energy efficient Britain.
Do you need planning permission for solar panels?
Probably the first question people ask is ‘Do I need planning permission for solar panels and the great news, is no you don’t.
You do however have to meet certain criteria. That is the building roof can support the panels safely and that your electricity supply is also installed safely.
For that reason, you should use a qualified installer and then you will receive a certificate that approves your solar switch.
How do solar panels work?
Basically, you are using the sun as a charger for batteries that you can then use to power all your electrical needs. These ‘batteries’ are known as Photovoltaic (or PV) Cells. They are normally put on a roof but can also be installed at ground level.
What if I get no sun?
As we know the weather can be pretty dreary in the UK, but you don’t need sunny days to get power. If it’s light, you will generate power which is why they can work in Britain as well as sunnier climes.
How much do they cost?
OK, so this gets a little complicated as it depends on how much energy you want and how many panels you can safely install. The latest stats show installation costs are falling by around £200 a year as solar power becomes more widespread. The cost per kilowatt of a small solar PV installation (0-4kW) average £1,458 in the UK now. That is because it is measured by the energy or wats the panels supply. It’s perhaps easier to grasp by looking at what this means in terms of a typical house. This comparison shows a three-bedroom house will typically cost between £5,520 – £6,040 for installation.
What grants are available to install them?
Well, it’s good news as there is a new ECO3 grant scheme introduced by the Government this year which means you could be eligible to free solar panels. You simply apply and if you’re eligible you will get a grant that you don’t need to pay back. This is because the government wants us all to be greener and is doing everything it can to help those who want to be more environmentally friendly.
Hopefully, we’ve shown you that getting solar energy is easier than you think and if you are thinking of a switch, then do it now as you could get it for free with the ECO3 grants!