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Why get solar panels?

  • Generate free, green electricity
  • Reduce your electricity bill by up to 64%
  • Get paid for what you don't use

Case Study: Kassy, North Yorkshire

Kassy has solar panels and solar batteries, with a 13.8 kW capacity

The whole system cost her £14,500

She partially powers her heat pump with her solar panels

We spoke to Kassy, who had solar panels and a solar battery installed in her four-bedroom detached house in North Yorkshire.

Here’s what she had to say about them.

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Q: How long have you had your solar panels?

A: “The solar panels were installed in February 2023.”

Q: Why did you decide to get solar panels?

A: “We have recently moved, and are now in our forever house. I am a ‘greenie’ and my husband hates spending more money on energy than we have to.”

Q: How big is your solar panel system, and how roughly much did it cost?

A: “We had a combined package of solar panels and solar batteries, with a capacity of 13.8 kilowatts (kW). The total cost was £14,500. The panels were about £5,000.

“We have a detached house, and the panels virtually cover the rear roof.”

Read more about solar panel costs and solar battery costs in our in-depth guides.

Q: What was the experience like buying the panels?

A: “We started getting quotes in December 2022. We had three quotes. The package we picked was not the cheapest, but the company had a shorter lead in time as it had stockpiled solar and batteries […].

“[The installation] took two weeks. The scaffolding went up, then the panels went up, and then the electrics in the loft and garage were completed. The only issue we had was that the scaffolding was left up for a couple of weeks.”

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Q: Do your solar panels generate enough power to cover all your electricity needs?

A: “We have home charging needs for an electric car and a heat pump, and no longer use gas at all.

“We have an intelligent Octopus contract which allows us to charge the batteries overnight at 7p per kW.

“In June, which was sunny, we used solar for almost all our electricity needs, including the car and hot water. In July and August, we had to use some grid power overnight to charge the batteries because the weather wasn’t so good.”

Q: How much money do your solar panels save you on your electricity bills?

A: “We are saving with solar, but the heat pump and batteries are accounting for some of the savings.

“We used to pay about £100 a month to fuel the car, and £240 for gas and electricity. Our electricity bill for July 2023 was £60.

“As we haven’t had a full winter with the heat pump, we cannot say what the winter costs are. But overall, we are no longer concerned about fuel bills.”

Q: Are you receiving money via the Smart Export Guarantee?

A: “We have exported a little energy but only receive 8p per kW for exporting excess solar, and try to work things so we don’t export (e.g., car charging on sunny days).”

Read more about the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) on our page.

Q: Have you managed to break even on your solar panels?

A: “We won’t break even for a few years yet, but feel we have pre-bought our energy and are protected from the vagaries of the energy market.”

Q: Are you able to power your heat pump with the electricity your solar panels generate? If so, can you fully power it, or only partially power it?

A: “In the summer, when we used the heat pump for hot water, the solar panels were mostly sufficient to power our heat pump.

“I expect that in the winter this won’t be sufficient, but we will use overnight low-cost electricity to charge our batteries to power the heat pump.”

Interested in powering a heat pump with solar panels? Find out more about how to do it on our page.

Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before you bought solar panels?

A: “I would have preferred more batteries, but the National Grid had a waiting list for larger schemes at the time. The situation with delays is set to improve and we would have had more batteries if we did it again.”

Written by:
Tatiana has written about multiple environmental topics, including heat pumps, energy-efficient household products, and solar panels. She is dedicated to demystifying green tech to make eco-friendly living more accessible.
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