The Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels

The Pros and Cons of Installing Solar PV Panels

It’s important you make an informed decision before you fit solar panels to your home, as the work can come with a hefty bill attached.

Research conducted on behalf of Ocean loans has shown that more than half (51%) of UK homeowners would not consider installing solar panels on their property.

Just over one third (35%) of respondents said they did plan to install solar panels, and one in six (14%) said they had already installed them.

If you’re currently sitting on the fence about solar panel installation, here’s some pros and cons to consider that could help you make your mind up:

Solar Panel Pros

Save Money
By using the energy generated from solar panels, you can cut the amount of electricity you use that’s supplied by the National Grid, resulting in lower monthly energy bills.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, based on a 4kW system, you could cut your electricity bill by up to £60 per year.

Make Money
Through the government’s Feed-In Tariff (TIF) you could actually earn yourself a little extra cash. Depending on the size of your system, the technology you install, when your system was fitted and how energy-efficient your home is, you can get paid for each unit of electricity you generate.

To get an idea of how much you could make, check out the Energy Saving Trust’s Solar Energy Calculator.

Help the Environment
By using solar panels, you’ll be harvesting clean and renewable energy and so reducing your carbon footprint.

Low Maintenance
The main manual maintenance for solar panels is to keep them clean, but you should only have to do this a couple of times a year. Because there are no moving parts on the panels, there’s no risk of wear and tear.

Most manufacturers will offer a 20 to 25-year warranty, so you can sit back and relax in the knowledge that you’re covered for a very long time if something were to go wrong.

Increase the Value of your Home
This will come down to personal preference. For some buyers the panels will be an incentive that they are prepared to pay more for. Others may be put off your home because of them.

Solar Panel Cons

Initial Cost
Price tags will invariably depend on the system size. You can purchase smaller 1kW systems for around £2,500 to £3,000, but larger 4kW systems can cost as much as £6,000 to £8,000. This is a large investment and, as such, solar panels will only really provide a worthwhile return on investment through lower electricity bills if you plan on living in your property for the foreseeable future.

Weather Dependent
Because solar panels rely on the sun, their efficiency slumps on rainy and cloudy days – although they will still function.

Additionally, because solar panels cannot collect energy during the night and are unable to store energy generated during the day, they can only supply your household during daylight hours.

Space Invasive
The more energy you want to generate, the more solar panels you will require and this could result in most of your roof being used, which some may consider unsightly. A 1kW system will take approximately 8m2 of roof space; a 2kW system 158m2; a 3kW system 218m2 and a 4kW system 298m2.

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