We’re guessing ‘cause we said so!’ is not the answer you’d be looking for here.
So, it’s a good job that isn’t the only reason!
Your bank balance, the planet and your peace of mind are all going to benefit from using more renewables… and solar is the most reliable renewable out there.
Solar Energy Has Never Been Cheaper
A big plus the solar industry has been shouting about for the last few years is the enormous 80% decrease in the cost of PV Panels between 2010 and 2019.
This has been due to a few different factors but mostly it is the old ‘economy in scale’ model – meaning, the more that people want solar panels, the cheaper they will become to produce.
Mass production of panels has meant wholesale prices on everything, from silicon to steel, being driven down by demand with savvy businesses passing that saving on to us, the customer.
This, coupled with improving efficiency and better technology, means solar panels have become the cheapest part of a solar system,
Inverters have also enjoyed a massive drop in price since 2013, again due to technological advances and demand, however this is now stagnating.
This isn’t because the materials are getting more expensive, but because the inverters are getting more efficient and more robust.
So, while the prices will remain the same for a fair while, the actual energy you are generating per quid will increase – swings and roundabouts.
Battery storage prices are all over the place though, with different manufacturers offering different USPs, warranties and capacities.
That said, the important thing is that the price of energy storage is going down per kWh, so you can store more, for less!
A Solar Power System Saves You Money
I bit louder for the people at the back – SOLAR SAVES YOU MONEY!
The myth still persists is that the UK isn’t great for solar, and you’ll only produce 1.6 watts a month or some such nonsense.
Truth is, from the minute you switch your system on you’ll be saving money by feeding your own energy into your home. Even if you were using 20-year-old panels, an old inverter and we had a really bad summer, you’d still be producing something and that would save you money.
An average system in the UK will produce about 3 times the power an average home needs during the summer.
In winter, while the generation reduces greatly, daylight hours will still produce a good amount of electricity, but you would need storage and excellent energy management to be able to use that free electricity through the night – plus, if you are on a good tariff, your electricity will be much cheaper at night anyway.
You Can Make Money With Solar
Talking of tariffs, it’s not just about saving money, you can make a few bob too!
In fact, the making money side of solar was the thing that almost killed it off.
Early take up of domestic solar benefited from the FiT scheme, where the utility companies were obliged to pay you for any energy you generated.
This wasn’t sustainable, as it wasn’t cost effective for energy shareholders, and there were some pretty dodgy, cowboy firms selling under-par systems to people who thought they’d get rich.
FiTs were discontinued in 2019 but the people who signed up for them are still under contract and making money – there are also companies that will buy the remainder of people’s FiT contracts off them.
SEGs are the new way to sell energy back into the grid and, as the companies set the prices, it’s a mixed bag to say the least.
As it is, once again, a legal obligation for energy suppliers to offer a buy-back scheme, some companies are showing their disinterest by offering as little as 2p per kWh.
But, if you shop around, you can get good deals from some of the more forward thinking energy suppliers – some paying as much as 45p per kWh at peak times.
A Domestic Solar System Puts You In Control
The last few years have been, er, let’s say ‘challenging’ when it comes to global and domestic politics.
Some of the things affecting our lives right now we can blame our own MPs and leaders for, but there are certainly other politicians and policymakers in the rest of the world that are making our living costs soar.
At the moment we are being affected by events like the Ukraine War and the hangover from the pandemic.
While these things are affecting our wallets right now, they will pass in time BUT you can bet your bottom dollar, or pence per kWH, that once these issues are sorted something else will be along to disrupt trade, supply and pricing.
One way to insulate ourselves from the rising cost of energy is to produce our own – both domestically and commercially.
The UK is moving towards this, very slowly, but while we are still looking at opening mines and fracking, we could open up more trouble in the future.
This makes, domestic solar the one, sure-fire way to guarantee you always have energy… and can control the cost.
Solar Systems are Super Easy To Maintain
There aren’t many appliances in your home that come with a 25 year warranty, but solar panels are so reliable that they usually do.
They actually last a lot longer than that, but manufacturers generally consider 80% of the panels original efficiency to be the cut off point for domestic systems.
Truth is, they will go on to produce electricity for another few decades.
As panels have no moving parts there is very little that can go wrong with them and they are unlikely to get physically damaged.
Once at the end of their life panels, can be recycled or DIY solar enthusiasts to be used until there is nothing left of their silicon cells.
The other parts of a system are low maintenance too.
The inverter is, basically, a small computer and, especially in solid state models that are naturally cooled, have no moving parts either.
Coming with a 10-year warranty, inverters will last for 15 years if kept in cool, dry conditions.
Batteries are victims of their own chemistry when it comes to their lifecycle as they will have a set number of times they can charge and discharge.
If it’s 6000, which is the average, and you charge and discharge once a day, your battery will still be good in 15 years.
Most solar batteries come with a 10-year guarantee, and we would suggest changing them at this point, but they will last longer if you treat them well.
You’re helping the country
The UK Needs YOU!
Well, that may be a bit over the top but domestic solar is becoming an integral part of the country’s overall power generation.
As it stands, the UK’s grid is 17.7% powered by solar – that’s commercial, domestic and utility size installations.
Forward thinking utility companies are happy to buy solar generated power from their customers as it helps them to reach their renewable targets.
So, when you are selling your energy back into the grid, you can be smug in the knowledge that you are allowing other customers to use electricity that is sourced directly from renewable sources.
Selling a FiT to a business or a company, so they can utilise that power, also takes a load (boom boom!) off their need to buy into solar farms or parks.
Finder recently stated that to produce enough electricity for the whole of the UK from solar panels we would need 29,690 km² of land to put them on.
That’s 12% of our land mass, so it’s never going to happen.
However, an emerging solar tech company called Power Roll have worked out the UK has over 25000 km² of available commercial roof space … so maybe that’s an idea too.
A Solar Power System Will Future Proof Your Home
Some of the things we have mentioned previously that are part of the future proofing of your home are in terms of protecting your supply and the price you pay for energy.
But there’s more to it than that.
We see a solar energy system as a massive home improvement – much like a new kitchen or landscaping the garden.
The UK’s energy rating of homes really affects the price of houses on the rental or sales market – in fact, there are rules about rented property having to conform to certain standards.
There are many ways to improve the efficiency of your home, from insulation to heat pumps, and solar is right up there as one of the best.
As well as increasing the value of your home, you’ll also be ready for the Zombie Apocalypse when it comes!
Soundgarden, and Jonny Cash, sang ‘I’m burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones’ and, while that may not be geologically accurate it does allude to what fossil fuels are.
As it happens, crude oil is made from the bones of animals and plant material that existed millions of years ago, before the dinosaurs were even a twinkle in a T Rex’s eye.
So, we are currently burning through the supplies we have, and we won’t be able to make any more once the reserves have gone.
With our current technology and mining techniques, we have about 130 years of coal, 54 years of oil and 49 years of gas left on the earth.
Before we even think about the harm burning all that fuel will do to the planet, even the least green of us has to admit we are at a turning point in the way we produce energy for our homes.
As the fossil fuel runs out it will become more expensive, as we are already seeing, and the trend will not stop until the ground is empty.
The sun isn’t going anywhere, and current solar cells are made using silicon which is still the second most abundant element on the planet after oxygen – plus it’s recyclable.
So, solar is the future.
Solar Energy Is Better For The Planet
OK, we’re not going to over-egg this and suggest that going solar is going save the planet on its own, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Almost every part of a solar panel is recyclable, from the silicon in the cells, to the metal that makes up the casing, so once you have finished with them, you can still make sure they aren’t polluting the earth.
It’s actually illegal to put solar panels in land fill in the UK.
Same with inverters and batteries, which must also be recycled.
On top of that, a solar system in your home will reduce your carbon footprint to 41 grams per kWh according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That’s based on the lifecycle of the panels including sourcing material, manufacture and use.
Compare that to coal’s 1kg per kWh and you can’t help but think that renewables are really the way forward.
All The Cool Kids Are Doing It
The first cool kid to push renewables in a big way was US President Jimmy Carter when he had a solar based water heating system in the Whitehouse in 1979.
But things didn’t take off quite as President Carter wanted and Ronnie Reagan, took them out again a few years later.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme has released data that shows 130,596 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems were installed that year – a 114% increase on the previous year.
This is pretty amazing as the government grants and schemes that were launched to encourage homeowners to invest in renewables are all but gone.
There has been a huge take up of solar with some of the biggest names in Hollywood with Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Silverstone all fitting solar on their homes and investing in ecologically sound businesses.
Homegrown stars are also getting in on the action, Pierce Brosnan is shouting about solar all over Los Angeles and fitted so many solar panels to his home that he can sell energy back into the grid – he’s even been Nicknamed “Best-Dressed Environmentalist”. He also has a solar-powered compost heap.
Other UK stars who are making the transition to solar include Adele, Lily Allen, and mockney food slinger, Jamie Oliver.
And Emmerdale actress Roxie Shahidi even had a full system fitted by the Solar Fast team her at house in Yorkshire.