Maybe you are interested in renewable energy, or perhaps think solar panels would be a good a investment, but before you jump into the deep end, let us help answer the important question of ‘Should I buy Solar Panels’? From the costs involved, to the requirements, and even the benefits, let us help you decide whether you should buy solar panels.
Cost of Solar Panels?
When asking ‘should I buy solar panels?’ the cost of solar panels is likely to be a major contributing factor as to whether you choose to install solar panels. In recent years, the cost of installing solar panels has dropped significantly, mostly thanks to a decrease in the manufacturing costs, combined with competition between installers reducing labour costs.
For an average 3 bedroom semi-detached property with a 3kW solar photovoltaic system, you could expect to pay from £4,000-6,000.
Solar Panel Requirements
In most circumstances, solar panels are considered a ‘permitted development’, meaning you do not need planning permission to have them installed. However, there are some locations where solar panels are prohibited or restricted, such as within conservation areas. It is important that you are the property owner, and you should check whether solar panels will affect your insurance. Ideally, your roof should be southerly facing, and remember that it will need to be able to support the weight of the panels.
Benefits & Disadvantages of Solar Panels
There are many benefits that come with Solar Panels, from the reduction of carbon emissions to the electricity savings. Solar Panels can also make you money, with the government backed Feed-in Tariff, as well as adding value to your property. One of the main downsides of solar panels is that need sunlight to function, so their use is restricted at night and over the winter months, but batteries can be used to store any energy produced during the day for use in the evenings.
Free Solar Panels vs Feed-in Tariff Solar Panels
The feed-in tariff (FIT) is a great way to earn a considerable return on the investment cost of your solar panels, with the scheme providing a payment for every kWh of electricity you produce, regardless of whether you use the electricity yourself. Solar Panels that are bought outright can also increase the value of your property.
Both Free Solar Panel & Feed-in Tariff schemes have great environmental benefits, producing clean and green electricity. However, Free Solar Panel benefits are not as great in terms of financial returns, but you can still save big on your electricity bills. Free solar panels are a great solution for property owners who cannot afford the initial outlay costs of solar panel installation.
So, should I buy solar panels?
As everyone’s circumstances and motivations are different (not to forget differing properties and climates), the decision to purchase solar panels is subjective. Although there isn’t a definitive answer as to whether you should buy solar panels, we hope the above information will help you make an informed decision.
For some more information on Solar Panels, why not check out our infographic on What you need to know about Solar Panels in the UK!