Why it pays to go solar for summer

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Make the most of the summer sun by considering solar panels for your home. Solar panels can mean big bucks because they reduce your energy bill and you can get paid for the electricity your panels generate.

Why solar panels?

Solar panels are one of the most cost-effective ways to generate your own energy and the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme means you can earn money from having solar panels installed at home. By going solar for summer, you can look forward to:

•  Being paid for the electricity you generate, even if you use it

•  Selling electricity back to the grid if your system makes more energy than you will use

•  Cutting your carbon footprint

•  Reduced energy bills! By using the sun as a power source, you’re getting free energy which you can use to power your home’s lights, appliances, gadgets and gizmos.

Aren’t solar panels only really effective in hot countries?

Not at all! Solar panels don’t need constant and direct sunlight and can still generate significant levels of energy on cloudy days. Most solar systems are installed to supplement your existing energy supply, so you’ll never be without power or experience a patchy power supply.

How do I qualify for the Feed-in Tariff scheme?

To be paid for generating your own green or renewable energy, you must:

•  Have used an installer and products certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme

•  Have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D or higher. It’s a good idea to do a Home Energy Check to estimate how efficient your home is.

How much do solar panels cost?

The cost of solar panels has reduced over time as the technology has improved. The average cost of solar panels and installation is now between £6000 and £9000 and they are available from a number of websites as well as furniture store Ikea.

Although they may be expensive to buy and install, solar panel feed-in payments and electricity savings could add up to around £15,000 over the course of 20 years according to Money Saving Expert.

If you live in certain parts of England and have a suitable roof, an installer may offer to fit your solar panels for free. In return, it keeps the feed-in tariff cash. Find out more about free solar panels.

How much money could I save?

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average solar installation could save you nearly £800 a year. The exact amount you’ll save depends on the size of your system and how much energy you use, but a standard 4kWp system can generate around 3700 kWh of electricity per year – which is about the same amount as the average household uses.

How much will I be paid?

Your energy supplier will pay you a set amount for each unit (kWh) or electricity you generate – a ‘generation tariff’. The rates vary depending on the size of your system, what technology you have installed and when your system was installed. You will need to use a certified installer.

You can also sell any extra units of energy you don’t use back to your energy supplier in what’s called an ‘export tariff.’ You’ll get 4.77p per unit of electricity. Try the Energy Saving Trust solar calculator to estimate how much you could earn using the FIT scheme.

Find out more about Feed-In Tariffs from First Utility, including how to apply. We put our energy into saving you money so you can do more of what you enjoy – like making the most of summer!

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