Residential solar panels are becoming more popular amongst homeowners. A lot of houses now have solar fitted on the roof, and the number continues to increase. However, many people still aren’t aware of the benefits of solar energy for homeowners, and they are missing out!
We all have different reasons for choosing solar energy: whether we want to save money, reduce our environmental footprint, or depend less on the national grid.
In this blog post, we are going to list the top 7 reasons why homeowners decide to go solar.
Energy bills are growing at an intense rate right now. Relying on the expensive grid prices is avoidable when solar panels let people produce their own electricity for free (after the initial installation cost). This can result in significant savings and return on investment after only a few years.
People living in the UK can save £170 to £440 a year (with the current 2022 electricity rates) by installing a 3.5kW solar system.
And this figure is expected to grow by 40% in October 2022, when the energy price cap is likely to increase again. From October 2022, UK households’ solar energy savings can reach £240 to £620 a year with an average size solar system.
More than 40% of UK electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, and 16.1% is nuclear energy. Although more and more energy providers are including renewable energy sources, some homeowners might not have a say in where their current electricity is coming from.
They might be able to switch to an energy provider that uses only renewables, but their tariffs are usually higher.
The best way to save money and use sustainable energy is to install solar panels. A standard solar panel in Southern Britain saves 23 tonnes of carbon over its 25-year lifetime which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 380 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
Another environmental and societal benefit of solar energy is that it’s renewable. The Earth has only a finite amount of fossil fuels we can use. However, we will be able to generate renewable sources of energy forever. Or at least until we don’t have sunshine, in the case of solar energy.
To facilitate the global transition to renewables, homeowners can have the biggest impact by switching to renewable energy themselves.
While geothermal, wind, biomass, and hydropower, are all incredible and very efficient energy sources, these are all large-scale projects. The cheapest and easiest way to source renewable energy for homeowners is by installing rooftop solar panels.
People living in remote locations might not have access to the national grid. They can use solar panels to generate their own electricity off-grid.
This also applies to people living on the road in converted vans who can add one or two panels on their roofs to produce some energy while travelling.
Transporting electricity is very inefficient. According to National Grid ESO, 1.7% of electricity is lost in the transmission network, and a further 5-8% is lost in the distribution networks.
By producing their own solar energy and storing it in a solar battery, homeowners are less affected by power outages. Even when the power is lost in the whole neighbourhood, some necessities can still be powered with electricity stored in batteries.
Generally, solar batteries also turn off during a power cut. However, some new generation energy storage solutions, such as the SolaX X-Hybrid inverters, now come with Emergency Power Supply switch that lets homeowners access the electricity from their solar batteries.
People with solar panels also rely less on buying energy for an increased price and are less dependent on governmental regulations.
Excess generated by solar panels can also be sold back to the grid.
PV panels generate the most power during the day when the sun is at its highest. But that’s also when most people are at work and don’t use electricity at home. But that electricity doesn’t have to go to waste. Even if they don’t store it in a battery, homeowners can sell energy back to the grid, and at night, use the grid energy to power their homes.
An average solar-powered UK household gets paid £110 a year for the electricity sold to the grid.
The biggest disadvantage of residential solar panels is the initial price, which can cost £5,000 and above depending on the size of the system, the price of the solar panels, and the cost of installation.
Solar panels generally have a positive return on investment, but it’s difficult to predict how much the return would be and how many years it takes to earn back the initial cost. The amount of energy that will be produced by panels is relatively easy to model for a trained installer. However, fluctuating energy prices make it difficult to predict the savings potential of solar energy. Obviously, the more electricity prices go up, the shorter the period of time needed to recoup the investment.
Plus, people who want to sell their homes aren’t likely to be able to take their solar system with them.
Getting the panels from the roof is impractical, however, some have been known to take the batteries with them.
On the other hand, solar panels might increase the value of a home. According to the latest report by Solar Energy UK, solar panels can increase the sale price of a house by half of the installation cost, around £2,000 to £3,000.
But even if PV panels increase the value of the home, they often make the overall aesthetic of the house less desirable.
This might have been true a few years ago, however, the solar panels manufactured today are much better-looking than their older counterparts.
The Perlight 400W Delta, for example, is a completely black and elegant solar panel – thanks to its busbar-less technology – that looks great with new builds as well as older buildings. Or homeowners can also choose the integrated solar roof tiles which replace roof tiles and function as solar panels at the same time.
Pollution of the manufacturing process is often mentioned as a disadvantage for solar. It is true that solar panels require resources, and manufacturing and transportation emit greenhouse gases. But solar energy still has a net positive effect on the environment compared to non-renewable energy sources.
For homeowners who have the budget to invest in a residential solar system, it is a good long-term investment, if they don’t plan on moving houses in the next 3-5 years.
Solar panels are also an investment in a more eco-friendly future that depends less on non-renewable energy sources.
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