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If you’re reading this you must be thinking about whether solar panels are worth it before deciding to go ahead with the switch to renewable solar energy. That’s great! You’ve already started your journey towards energy independence.

Installing solar panels will help you save money by significantly reducing your energy bills, and save the planet by cutting your your greenhouse emissions.

In this article, we explore the financial and environmental benefits that make solar panels a worthwhile investment.

Why solar panels are good for your wallet and the environment

Solar panels are worth it thanks to the various financial and environmental benefits they offer. The cost of our solar installations typically ranges between £4,000 to £10,000 but the exact amount will depend on the size of your solar system and any unique requirements of your particular property. This initial cost already presents great value for money which only improves with all the savings solar panels allow you to make over time.

Ofgem recently increased the energy price cap meaning the maximum amount people could pay on their energy bills rose by 5% for the first quarter of 2024. And in such uncertain times, this could further rise. By installing solar panels your household will be less dependant on the grid’s energy supply, limiting the impact you feel from energy price hikes like this one.

The emergence of solar PV battery storage is one of the main reasons why there’s now less reliance on the national grid. Rather than only being able to use solar energy as it’s being absorbed by your panels, it can now be stored in batteries for later use. So, whether you aren’t at home or just aren’t using any electrical appliances at that moment, your energy can now be saved for when you really need it. Again, this slashes your energy bills because you don’t have to purchase any, or much less energy for use outside of daylight hours.

If you’ve managed to store more energy than you feel you could possibly need, you also have the option to sell it to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme. Payments are relative to how much energy you give to the grid, so sell more energy to receive more money. Utilising solar panels and battery storage in tandem, whether you eventually decide to use or sell your stored energy, can help you save anywhere between 2080% on your energy bills.

As well as being great for your wallet, solar panels are also good for the planet, presenting a variety of environmental benefits. They work by absorbing the sun’s energy, which is both renewable and infinite (barring any sort of apocalyptic global catastrophe). Unlike traditional methods of energy production, harnessing solar power doesn’t produce any harmful greenhouse emissions reducing your contribution to climate change even while you’re relaxing in the comfort of your own home.

Solar panels installed on the roof of a house with other properties and greenery in the background.

How long will it take to make my money back?

The time it takes to make a return on your investment is key to deciding whether solar panels are worth it. We find that our customers typically make their money back in anywhere from 4–12 years but often fall in the 6–10 year range. However, the exact time it takes depends on you having the best solar solution for your needs and being able to utilise it to its full potential.

Having the right balance between solar panels and storage batteries is key to achieving that. It isn’t worthwhile to purchase lots of solar panels if you don’t have sufficient battery capacity. Much of the energy will simply go to waste. Likewise, it doesn’t make financial sense to invest heavily in batteries if your panels will never come close to filling them. Failure to find the right balance can greatly increase the length of your return on investment.

Our team of trusted advisors will help to ensure solar panels are worth it for you by establishing how many panels you need and the ideal number of batteries, all while installing a system that complements your property and lifestyle. Get your free no-obligation quote today.

A man holding a solar panel on a roof during an installation.

Are solar panels as good in the UK as other countries?

One of the main concerns we come across when speaking to people looking into solar panels is whether they will work well in the UK. It’s completely understandable if you’re wondering the same thing. After all, solar panels rely on the sun which isn’t exactly something our little island has an abundance of. However, it’s nowhere near as big of an issue as you might think.

Of course, solar panels would undoubtedly work at their maximum efficiency if the sun was sizzling down on them 24/7. As great as that would be, we unfortunately have clouds and night time to contend with. Overcast conditions may slightly hinder your solar panel’s ability to absorb light, but it certainly doesn’t prevent it entirely. You’ll still receive an adequate supply of energy so don’t write off solar panels just because you don’t live somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The ability of your solar panels to absorb light even in sub-optimal conditions has been achieved through continuous improvements in solar PV technology. In 2023 research groups across the globe achieved a key milestone by creating a solar panel with 30% efficiency. This is just one of the many technological boundaries researchers have crossed over time, reducing the importance of ideal weather conditions on solar panel performance.

The only time your solar panels won’t be producing any energy is during the night, but that’s not a problem either. Solar batteries ensure energy absorbed during the day can be used outside of daylight hours to prevent it from going to waste. You can even store energy gathered in the long summer days for use in the winter when you’re likely to spend more time at home with the heating on.

So, are solar panels worth it?

If you want to save money and protect the planet then it’s clear solar panels are worth it, even in the UK. Less reliance on the grid gives you greater energy independence, helping you to slash your energy bills and speed up your return on investment, all while cutting back on your greenhouse emissions.

Solar panels help you save up to 80% on your energy bills and are also an excellent option for anyone trying to live greener. Solar panels are good for the environment for several reasons.

Solar power is the world’s most abundant source of renewable energy but its environmental benefits don’t end there. In this blog we’ll explore solar’s ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as all the lesser-known ways that solar panels positively impact our planet.

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room

Lithium. A material that has a bad rep for the harm it can cause to the environment, and for good reason. We don’t hide the fact that we use lithium-ion batteries, but we are very keen to highlight why we use them and how their qualities can actually help us to maximise the positive environmental effect of our solar panel systems.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute states that a lithium-ion battery has an energy density ranging from 200-400Wh/L compared to just 50-80Wh/L of the commonly used lead-acid battery. This means that our batteries are capable of storing much more energy, placing less reliance on the grid supply which largely comes from harmful fossil fuels.

The improved efficiency that lithium offers ensures that the positives of using it far outweigh the negatives. Without it, all the following benefits that come from using our solar panel systems would not be as greatly felt.

Ultimately, the use of solar panels has a net positive for the environment.  Here’s why.

A group of buildings with Solar PV panels on the roof taken from above.

1. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Once you have the right solar panel system installed it’s possible to fully meet your household energy demand using solar energy. This energy can be stored in batteries and either sold back to the grid for payment, or saved for use outside of daylight hours.

Not only does this mean that you have a greater supply of energy than you’re ever likely to need, it also ensures that the amount wasted is kept to an absolute minimum.

Every year a portion of the National Grid’s energy is wasted through transmission before it reaches our homes. According to Statista, this equated to around 25 TWh, or 8% of all the electricity the grid produced that year, meaning that a significantly higher volume of greenhouse emissions are being produced than is necessary.

Efforts are being made to make the grid more environmentally friendly. More energy is being provided through renewable sources than ever before but the outdated system prevents them from being used to their full potential. 

For example, edie suggests the grid wasted 1.35 TWh of wind energy last winter, enough to power 1.2 million homes, because it didn’t have the capacity to store it. Valuable resources are used and emissions produced to build and run turbines, only for a huge amount of the energy to be wasted. Avoiding energy waste is just one of the reasons why solar panels are good for the environment.

Hay bails in a field with trees, hills and the sky in the background.

2. Air and water pollution reduction

Despite the government’s efforts, much of the grid’s energy still comes from burning natural gas. The National Grid confirmed that gas accounted for 32% of the electricity used in 2022.

This percentage is decreasing but still remains a long way off reaching net-zero. Great volumes of harmful pollutants like carbon and sulphur dioxide are being expelled into our atmosphere, impacting the quality of our air and water.

Solar panels do not produce any of these harmful pollutants once they’re installed. You would be helping both humans and nature thrive off a cleaner, healthier ecosystem.

A row of houses with solar PV panels installed on the roofs.

3. Conservation of natural resources

If you’re still trying to decide whether solar panels are good for the environment then consider this if nothing else: the power of the sun is limitless. (Well, we’ve got approximately five billion years before  the sun begins to die, so plenty of time before colonising Mars.) Harnessing that power can be achieved sustainably through the installation of solar systems.

Other traditional methods of producing energy rely on finite resources like coal, oil and natural gas. Not only will these resources eventually run out, the process of extracting them also damages ecosystems, reduces soil quality, and adds unsightly eyesores to our landscape.

Solar panel systems can be relatively compact and placed in locations that best suit you. This minimises their visual impact while they produce renewable and almost infinite energy.

Sunlight shining through above a group of tall trees.

4. Land use efficiency

The visual impact of solar panels can also be kept at a minimum thanks to the abundance of suitable locations on offer within the built environment. A variety of surfaces, including rooftops, car parks, and other unused spaces are all excellent options for solar panel installation.

Being able to incorporate solar systems into residential, built-up areas reduces the need to expand. This preserves both natural habitats and our stunning countryside landscape.

Tesla car parked under a shelter with solar panels on top.

5. Mitigation of climate change

Using solar panels here in the UK is part of a much bigger picture. Traditional energy production emits carbon dioxide which is the largest contributor to climate change.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions estimates that CO2 accounts for about 76% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing the volume produced is a huge part of our global mission to limit climate change. Your decision to harness the sun’s energy without producing harmful pollutants will help to achieve that.

Close up of solar panels with trees and sky in the background.

6. Lower water consumption

Water consumption can often be an afterthought when it comes to energy production but it’s just as important as other environmental considerations.

Water is becoming an increasingly valuable resource with shortages being felt all around the world. At the current consumption rate, the World Wildlife Fund predicts that two-thirds of the global population could face water shortages by 2025.

Nuclear, coal, oil, gas, and biofuel power plants all use a huge amount of water for cooling to keep the system running at optimal efficiency. Unlike these methods, solar panels do not require cooling so don’t contribute to the depletion of global water.

This means that by installing solar PV you would be helping both the people and ecosystems whose lives depend on Earth’s natural water supplies.

Solar panels on the roof with greenery in the foreground.

7. Energy Independence

Energy independence is another key factor to consider when deciding whether solar panels are good for the environment. We already know that solar panels offer fantastic financial benefits by reducing your reliance on the grid, and the environmental benefits are just as great. Much of the grid’s energy is produced via fossil fuels, but the issue is compounded by the fact that the majority of these are imported. In 2022, the UK imported 37% of its primary energy, with oil and gas accounting for over 90% of those imports.

The process of transporting these fossil fuels further increases their overall greenhouse gas production. Living more independently from the grid by installing solar panels would reduce your reliance on imports, significantly lowering your carbon footprint.

Close up image of a solar panel.

8. Long-Term Sustainability

It’s impossible to completely remove your carbon footprint when switching to any renewable energy source because of the resources and energy required to produce them. However, the extensive lifespan of solar panels makes them a brilliant option for long-term sustainability.

Solar panels typically range from 25-30 years or more without suffering a significant dip in efficiency. Once they’re installed you won’t have to worry about replacing them for a very long time, which is great for both your pocket and the planet.

A worker using a screwdriver to install a solar panel.

9. Job Creation

Speaking of financial benefits, the solar panel industry creates employment opportunities across several sectors, including manufacturing, installation, maintenance, research, and development. 

All of these environmentally-friendly jobs support the growth of the green economy and help solar panels reach new communities, broadening the use of green energy across the globe.

Two workers in safety equipment installing solar panels on a roof.

10. Technological Advancements and Innovation

By choosing solar panels, you help the solar PV market grow. As the market grows, solar panel manufacturers can invest more in research & development to improve their products. Your money ensures solar systems are always improving in terms of efficiency, accessibility, and affordability so that they can be more widely used, all to the benefit of the environment.

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory created a silicon solar cell with an efficiency rating of 39.2%, up from the previous highest of 17.8% in 2012. This significant improvement highlights what is possible within a relatively short space of time. The more people who take advantage of these improvements by purchasing modern solar panels, the greater the impact on our planet.

A person carrying a solar panel.

Solar panels are good for the environment, providing a range of net positive benefits. These include reduced greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, protection of ecosystems through more efficient land use and resource conservation, and less reliance on imported fossil fuels thanks to long lifespans and ongoing technological advancements.

 

Firstly, congratulations! If you’re exploring the cost of UK solar panels and the benefits of installing solar PV in your home, you’re already one step towards energy independence.

Solar PV offers lots of benefits, with savings of between 20–80% on your energy bills and protection against energy price hikes. There’s also the bonus of selling the excess energy you produce back to the grid.

In this article, we’ll explore the costs, benefits and return on investment from the most abundant energy source on earth.

How much are solar panels?

The panels themselves only make up a portion of how much a solar panel installation will cost. Prices will inevitably vary between providers who base their costs on several different factors. The most obvious of those is the size of the panel. Larger panels generally bring greater costs, but it’s important to remember that you will require fewer of these panels to receive a similar output to smaller panels, potentially balancing out the cost.

Solar panels that look similar in shape and size can also be greatly different in terms of quality. The efficiency of a solar panel is determined by the percentage of solar energy hitting the surface that’s converted into electricity for general use. This could’ve been as low as 15% in the past but has seen a general rise to 20–22%, or even 22–24% on the higher end.

The efficiency of a solar panel at the start of its life is an important point to consider, but you must be aware that they won’t remain at their maximum efficiency forever. While degradation is less of an issue following the rollout of N-Type solar technology, which utilises phosphorus for its ability to remain pure for longer, panels will still lose efficiency over time. Some panels may stay as high as 92% after 25 years while others will fall significantly quicker. Both the efficiency and degradation rate will come into play when determining the cost of UK solar panels.

Solar PV panels installed on a roof with sky in the background.

 

How much is solar panel installation?

At Everyone’s Energy, we’re proud to provide a VAT-free service to keep the cost of your solar panel installation to an absolute minimum. Our prices for averaged-sized systems typically range from £4,000 to £10,000.

How much a solar panel installation costs is partly determined by the number of panels you require. However, this isn’t the only aspect of the job that you’ll have to pay for.

Installing solar panels is the same as having any other work done on your home whereby it takes both time and materials. Scaffolding is required to provide access to your roof while electricians and engineers are needed to ensure your panels are properly connected to your electricity network.

These are just the standard requirements of any solar panel installation but other considerations may also be involved. For example, certain types of roofs can offer unique challenges, groundwork may need to take place to lay cables for the connections, or you might have specific demands such as not wanting the panels to be in a particular spot. All of these factors can influence the price.

For an accurate quote, chat with one of our trusted advisors, who can guide you on precisely what your home will need.

Man kneeling down and placing a solar PV panel on a roof.

How many solar panels will I need for my house?

While some properties may require more, the number of solar panels usually ranges from 4–20 per home. This is partly determined by the size of your property and your energy consumption, but it isn’t as simple as just installing the number it takes to meet your household demand.

An inverter is a vital part of any solar system and greatly impacts the number of panels you need. The device works by converting the direct current sent by the panels to alternating current that your home appliances run on. Your inverter will have more or less capacity to convert energy depending on its size, meaning under-sizing your inverter would result in your output being capped below the maximum potential of your solar panels.

Thankfully, advancements in both panel and inverter technology mean this is less of an issue than it once would have been. Even customers with limited space now have several options available to them and contacting our advisors is the best way to find the right one for your needs.

Solar PV panels installed on a roof with an owl perched on the corner.

How long does solar panel installation take?

There is no long waiting period when it comes to installing solar panels. Our experienced team makes the process as straightforward as possible, with fast and simple VAT-free installation in just two days. This means you’ll be reaping the benefits of cheaper energy bills in next to no time.

Completing an installation efficiently relies upon us knowing exactly what we need to do prior to attending the job. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our advisors so we can discuss the requirements of your property and lifestyle.

Are solar panels a good investment?

Understanding their purpose is key to answering whether solar panels are a good investment. They generate electricity by absorbing sunlight, an unlimited source of energy, which comes with several long-term benefits.

Solar panels can significantly reduce your energy bills, particularly during winter months. In the summer and possibly throughout the rest of the year it is likely that you’ll generate excess energy that can either be stored for use outside of daylight hours via a battery storage solution, or expired back to the grid for payment. Both options can help you save anywhere between 20-80% on your bills!

It isn’t just your wallet that will feel the benefits of solar panels. Turning to this renewable form of energy will also lower your carbon footprint so you can rest assured that you’re playing your part in helping the environment.

A group of buildings with Solar PV panels on the roof taken from above.

Will solar panels save me money?

If you want solar panels to save you money then you need to be in it for the long run given their up-front cost. Customers can expect to make their money back in anywhere from 4-12 years but usually fall in the 6–10 year bracket on average.

One of the most important factors that influences ROI is ensuring you find the right balance between the number of solar panels and the number of batteries. Having an abundance of panels will help you generate a lot of energy but you’ll only be able to use it during daylight hours if your battery storage capacity is insufficient. It’s likely you’d still have to pay for energy during darker hours limiting the amount of money you can save.

Conversely, investing in lots of batteries if you aren’t producing the energy to store in them is not worthwhile either. Falling into either of these traps will quickly make you decide that solar panels are expensive.

If you have the right balance then solar panels can futureproof your energy security. According to the Office for National Statistics, the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) January 2022, 79% of respondents cited higher gas and electricity bills as the primary cause for a rise in their cost of living. These are exactly the kind of energy price hikes you can avoid by installing solar panels.

Society has also taken great strides towards wider use of electrical technology in recent times, whether it be electric vehicles, modern appliances or otherwise. By following this trend your energy consumption is only likely to increase, which would ordinarily result in higher bills. Purchasing solar panels early will allow you to avoid these price increases and reduce the time it takes to make your money back.

With fast and VAT-free solar panel installation from just £4,000 and 20–80% savings on your bills, it’s time to give solar PV the green light.

Having the opportunity to future-proof your energy production isn’t limited to a minority few. Advancements in solar panel and battery technology mean a solution can be found for virtually any property, irrespective of what direction your home faces, how large your roof is or how much sun you see. All we recommend is that you contact one of our professional, trustworthy advisors so we can offer the best solution for you.