It’s no secret that the cost of energy has increased in recent years; and this has lead to an increase in popularity among people looking to turn towards solar energy as an alternative source of power.
It is to be expected that there will now be an even greater increase in solar installations. As people strive to cut down on their bills. Not only is the current demand primarily a result of the huge increase in the cost of energy being felt by consumers across the UK; but also because of environmental concerns.
Understanding Solar Energy
As a renewable energy technology; solar electricity panels convert solar energy into electricity for home use. They are also known as photovoltaics (PVs). Solar panels allow you to generate your own renewable electricity and therefore reduce your energy bills.
What is the process?
Solar PV panels are made up of multiple layers of semi-conducting material, commonly silicon. Light shines on this material, causing an electric current to flow.
Sunlight is not required for the cells to work; and they can even work on cloudy days. However, the stronger the sun, the more electricity they generate.
Unlike household appliances that use alternating current (AC); they generate direct current (DC). Consequently, an inverter is installed along with the system in order to convert DC electricity into AC electricity. Homeowners can use or export this electricity.
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Why are costs rising?
Once the pandemic was eradicated and gas demand increased again, the supply shortfall led to increased gas prices in 2021.
A report from Solar Energy UK estimates that a typical home could save up to £300 a year on energy costs and homes with electric heaters could save up to £900 a year. But with predicted energy prices on the rise, energy savings by installing a typical household solar system could jump to as much as £3,240. Additionally, if any of the unused energy remains, it can often be sold back to the electric provider- win win!
How popular is solar energy?
Another recent study by Solar Energy UK noted that solar installations are at three times their 2020 level; up from 1,000 a week in July 2020 to more than 3,000 a week during the summer of 2022. There has been a tenfold increase in enquiries with some providers. At this point, it is believed that the recent demand is primarily due to the huge increase in the cost of energy felt by consumers across the country.
In other words, renewable sources of energy will protect the Earth from greenhouse gases and a new reality; considering environmental issues and origins of power is emerging. For many, the cost of solar PV installation had been one factor against the wider take-up of this simple but hugely effective renewable solution for homes and businesses.
For consumers to enjoy lower energy bills, coupled with the falling price of installation, it has been found that the time it takes to pay off an initial outlay costs in the form of a solar installation has been radically slashed.
A typical photovoltaic solar system would take an average of over a decade of use to pay for itself. Prices, however, have fallen by more than 60% since then; meaning that it would only take an average of four to five years to recoup the initial outlay. If you factor in the possibility of an 80% rise in energy prices for consumers over the duration of this energy crisis; as well as all of the accompanying hikes in living expenses; the economics of going solar make all the sense in the world for so many people in the United Kingdom.
Benefits of Solar Energy
- Gives you control over your electricity: Solar panels can provide reliable back-up power for your home; helping you avoid peak electricity rates and providing freedom from utility companies.
- Provides clean, renewable energy: Unlike fossil fuels like coal and natural gas; home solar does not emit harmful pollutants or greenhouse gases into the environment.
- Increases home value: A study in 2019 revealed that solar panels raise a home’s value by 4.1%, on average; which would add £9,500 to the value of the average UK home.
- Costs have fallen: In just the last decade, the cost of home solar systems has dropped by over 70% – but there is still help out there. Take a look at our low-cost finance options.
How do you get started?
It should be pointed out that some homes and offices are better for solar panel installation; the building’s size, the position, and aspect need to be taken into account when figuring how efficient the solar panels will be in generating power. Those who live in or work in an apartment building should ask around among the other residents or the landlord about how to put together an installation on a communal rooftop, or any other areas where the sun would shine.
Please contact us to see how our experts at SwitchedOn Yorkshire, can help you.