Solar Panels - Good or Bad
Solar panels may still
involve a substantial outlay but a Government incentive offering
payment for the electricity generated means it could also turn out to
be a profitable long term investment. The FIT (Feed in Tariff) scheme
means you could receive payment for electricity generated using PV
(Photovoltaic) solar panels. Any excess electricity you create could
also be sold back into the national grid.
Before considering solar
panels you should ensure your home is already energy efficient.
Adequate loft and wall insulation, double glazing and an efficient
bolier will often save you much more than those savings made by
installing solar panels.
panels are available in two types. The photovoltaic (PV) system uses
the sun to create electricity whilst solar water heating
create hot water for your home use.
Whilst they both look similar,
the systems are totally different and only the photovoltaic (PV) system
is currently supported by the Government FIT scheme. The cost of the
two schemes also differs with a photovoltaic (PV) system costing around
£11,000 whilst the solar water heating system costs around
The Photovoltaic (PV) solar
panels are usually roof mounted and face
south to ensure they capture the maximum amount of light. You should
check that your roof is strong enough to support the panels before
purchase. Alternatively your panels could be fixed to a frame at ground
level providing the light is not obstructed by buildings or trees.
Check with your local council to see if planning permission is required
before installation. Solar Panels
generate electricity during daylight hours, even when the sun is not
shining. A typical 3kw domestic system will cost around
£11,000 to install. You could then expect to save around 40%
off your electricity bill. Providing your system has been installed
by MCS (Micro Generation Certification) installer, you will
also qualify for the government Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme which
guarantees index linked payments for years to come. However, it may
still take more than eight years before you see a return on your
investment, especially when you also factor in expected maintenance
costs. Ideally you should purchase solar panels without the need
for a loan or remortgage as the interest paid will often exceed the
potential savings made.
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