Should I fit solar panels to help lower my energy bills and reduce my carbon footprint?

by Tim Deakin Domestic Energy News

Should I fit solar panels to help lower my energy bills and reduce my carbon footprint?

Solar panels are becoming more and more common on the roofs of domestic homes and commercial buildings. But what do you need to know before investing?

We’re all feeling the pressure to be a little greener these days. From reusable straws to electric cars, there is always something new on the horizon designed to make our carbon footprint a little lighter. It’s even better when these green initiatives can also help us cut down our energy bills too.

This is the case with solar panels. More and more houses are adding solar panels to their features, but it’s important to do your research before taking the plunge.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels work by harnessing the sun’s energy through photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into electricity. It might sound complicated but it can cut down both your bills and your consumption of energy generated through the burning of fossil fuels.

One concern many people have is that solar panels will be effectively useless on cloudy and rainy days (which, let’s face it, we have a lot of in the UK). But this isn’t true at all. In fact, solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to work, and they can still generate some power on an overcast day.

The benefits of solar panels

So why should you consider solar panels for your home? For one thing, you’ll be cutting your carbon footprint – which is a big plus. Panels are an environmentally friendly energy source as solar power doesn’t release pollutants like CO2 into the atmosphere. What’s more, scientists estimate that the sun will continue to burn hydrogen and generate power for around 5 billion more years … so we shouldn’t run out of rays any time soon!

Speaking of bills: solar panels can help you significantly cut energy costs. While there is usually a cost attributed to the installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaics, harnessing the energy itself is entirely free.

If you are a homeowner looking to add panels to your roof, now may be a good time given that there are a number of initiatives on offer, such as the hire purchase options and credit facilities.

Solar home system models

If you still aren’t sure what’s the best way to make solar part of your life, here’s an overview of the options:

Cash purchase This is the most straightforward option for those looking to buy solar panels and begin saving on their energy bills immediately. A cash purchase can mean spending a considerable amount of money up front, but it can also mean slashing your energy bills dramatically. In a home with an electric boiler it is even possible to reduce your bills to £0.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that solar photovoltaics can add value to a home when you come to sell.

Finance purchase There are a number of schemes on the market currently, enabling homeowners to install solar panels at no upfront cost. Instead, payments are recouped over time from the energy produced by the PV panels. It’s worth noting that it can be a number of years before enough energy is generated to fully benefit from these schemes. However, you will be able to live in the knowledge that you are reducing your reliance on fossil fuels.

Arranging your panel fitting

If you’re willing to put up with the short-term inconvenience for long-term benefits, then solar panels can be a great addition to your home. There are a few things you’ll need to do first though, such as informing your buildings insurer about the installation.

You might also want to consider separate insurance, as home insurance is unlikely to cover any mechanical fault in the panels.

And remember: fitting solar photovoltaics does not prevent you from switching supplier on your home energy supply!

Switching your energy supplier can help you discover cheaper and greener tariffs more suited to your needs. So what are you waiting for? Start comparing with The Energy Check today by clicking here. Or you can call us on 0800 031 48 00.

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