2023 is shaping to be a big year for domestic solar power, mainly if it follows the tremendous growth seen in 2022.
And it makes sense — solar panels are excellent tools for reducing your energy bills, shrinking your carbon emissions, and helping reduce your reliance on the grid.
So if you’re considering getting a solar panel system for your home, we’ve explained in this article why it’s a great idea, how much it’ll cost you, what you can save, and whether the UK is an excellent place to get solar panels.
Why Get Solar Panels In 2023?
Energy bills will rise again in April 2023 for UK households, and the end of the government’s cost of living support will make it even harder to pay the bills.
Recent data from The Eco Expert’s National Home Energy Survey 2023 revealed that 81% of Brits have admitted to altering their behaviour at home over the past 12 months to reduce the cost of energy bills. Increasing costs make energy-saving technologies, such as solar panels, more appealing.
Homeowners can reduce their energy bills by around 54% with solar panels, making them an excellent purchase for cutting costs and carbon emissions. And although the upfront costs of solar panels mount up to around £5,420 for a typical three-bedroom household, the average break-even point is an attractive 8.9 years.
Solar panel owners start to see profits when they hit the break-even point.
After 25 years, the average homeowner will have made a healthy £7,983 from their solar panel system. This includes savings on energy bills and profits from exporting excess electricity via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).
Do You Need A Solar Battery?
You could combine a solar panel system with a solar battery to increase your monthly savings, but it’ll lengthen your break-even point to an average of 19.1 years.
You’ll typically have to purchase two solar batteries within the lifespan of your solar panel system, as they last an average of 12.5 years. Solar panels, on the other hand, last for 25 or more years. For context, a solar battery typically costs around £4,500.
But a solar battery can dramatically impact your energy usage — drastically reducing your reliance on the grid, lowering energy bills, and often providing protection from power cuts.
How Much Can You Save With Solar Panels?
A typical 3.5 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system can save you roughly £450 on your energy bills yearly. Combine your solar panels with a solar battery, saving around £719 annually.
It gets even better if you export excess electricity back to the grid with the SEG — doing so will generate roughly £608 each year, climbing to £783 with a solar battery.
Solar panels can also help you reduce your carbon emissions, essential in light of the ongoing climate emergency. Solar panels can reduce your carbon emissions by an average of 0.7 tonnes yearly and by 1.12 tonnes annually when you use a solar battery.
They also have a remarkably light carbon footprint — 14–73 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour, which will cancel out after just three years of usage.
Will Solar Panels Reduce The Value Of Your Home?
Solar panels can increase the value of your home by 4.1% on average because their ability to shrink utility bills is an attractive feature for many homebuyers. They also don’t need to fork out thousands to install a system after moving in.
According to The Eco Experts’ 2022 National Home Energy Survey, 65% of the UK would buy or rent a home with solar panels.
After all, who wouldn’t want a home that reduces or even eliminates monthly electricity bills?
Are Solar Panels Challenging To Maintain?
Solar panels require very little maintenance — just the occasional wipe-down to remove any excess dirt or grime or to remove debris. Doing this just twice a decade will keep them operating efficiently.
It would help if you still have your solar panel system serviced annually to ensure it works optimally. You can also monitor their daily performance with an app and should note how much electricity your panels generate at the same time of day each day.
If the weather is the same on the days you monitor and the performance drops, it might be time to get them looked at.
The Growing Popularity Of Solar Power
According to the latest MCS installations data, solar panels are going from strength to strength, with more than 1.2 million UK households now having them on their roofs.
That’s roughly 4.5% of all homes in the UK – and while this is still positive, it shows plenty of room for improvement.
On top of this, 2022 saw the most significant increase in yearly orders for solar panels since the UK government removed the subsidies for them in 2015, with an impressive 130,596 installations taking place throughout the year.
Interest in solar panels continues to grow too. It was reported in August 2022 that the search term “solar panels” had reached a peak popularity of 100 on Google — the highest it’s possible to go — for the first time…
The spike in interest makes perfect sense when you realise the cost of solar panels has decreased by 82% since 2010.
Is The UK Suitable For Solar Panels?
The UK is an excellent place for solar panels, despite being home to Europe’s cloudiest city: Glasgow.
It’s a misconception that solar panels don’t work when the sun isn’t shining — they can generate ample electricity under cloud cover. Solar panels typically generate just 24% less electricity when cloud cover is light, dropping to 67% under heavy cloud cover.
Solar panels will still generate enough electricity to power appliances in your home in these conditions, but they’ll work more efficiently under direct sunlight.
Recent weather trends in the UK have made switching to solar power more pressing. The UK received 9% more sunshine than average in 2022; it was also the hottest year on record.
Now is the best time to get solar panels. With your system, you’ll shrink your energy bills, cut back on carbon emissions, and reduce your grid reliance.
This article was written by The Eco Experts.