Renewable Energy for the Home With Solar PV Panels
How solar panels work
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in the UK as people look to find ways to counteract increasing electricity bills. Solar technology has improved greatly in recent years and now is a viable option for homes in the UK as it still produces electricity on overcast days though the sunnier it is the more electricity is produced. Solar photovoltaic panels or PV panels are used to convert the suns energy into electricity that can run the appliances in your home. The come in different designs from grey to transparent ones that can be used on glass such as on a conservatory roof.
The government is keen to encourage adoption of this new technology across the UK and has introduced grants known as Feed ?In tariffs (FITs) to help households with the costs incurred with this new technology. FITs are guaranteed for twenty five years and are run by electricity supply companies. The companies pay you a set amount for each unit of electricity produced by solar system you install. The initial cost of installing a solar power system is usually in the region of £8000 - £12,000, similar to other household improvements such as a new kitchen. The FITs mean that this cost is usually recouped within ten to fourteen years. With the tariffs for the remaining ten to fifteen years being profit for the household in the region of £1,000 a year. In addition you will also benefit from reduced electricity bills and you can sell any electricity you produce back to the national grid. To be eligible for this grant you must make sure your panels are installed by an accredited engineer who is covered by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. Ongoing costs tend to be quite low, the panels do need to be kept clean and any trees which could overshadow them may need to be cut back.
Will they suit you
Solar PV panels are suitable for every house. You need to have a site where they can be installed which is south facing and isn?t overshadowed. Your roof or wall must be strong enough to hold any system you install as they can be quite heavy.
Planning permission considerations
Panels don?t usually require planning permission but there can be issues when the house is listed or if the system is unusually large. It is worth making a quick call to your local planning office to confirm there are no issues with installing a system on your home.