Benefits of Solar Energy

Benefits of Solar Energy

Did you know that the average UK home produces over 20 tonnes of carbon every year? From transportation and travel food, clothing and health, we produce a large amount of carbon due to tasks we may not normally associate with pollution.

The biggest creator of CO2 in the home is energy. On average, UK homes produce about 30% of their carbon emissions due to energy used to power heating and air conditioning systems, operate appliances and keep the home running.

There are many ways to reduce your home or business’s carbon output, from using less energy by changing your habits to investing in energy efficient appliances that are designed to operate using the minimum amount of electricity.

However, the most efficient way to reduce your home or business’s carbon output is to change to a renewable source of energy such as solar power.

Solar energy, once viewed as an environmentally friendly but unaffordable source of energy, has become significantly more cost-effective for UK homes and businesses in the last decade.

Switching to solar energy not only reduces your home or business’s carbon output – it can also lower your energy bills, help you become energy independent, lead to an increase in your property’s value and even help you earn additional income.

Read on to learn more about the numerous benefits of installing solar panels in your home or commercial property.

Reduce your environmental impact

Solar power is one of the cleanest forms of energy available. Compared to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, the process involved in creating power from sunlight produces no emissions and has a minimal environmental impact.

In fact, the only emissions involved in solar power are those created as solar panels are built.

On average, between 214 and 228 pounds of carbon dioxide are produced for every million British thermal units (BTU) of coal energy created. Diesel fuel releases 161 pounds of carbon dioxide, on average, per million BTU of energy produced.

Even natural gas, widely regarded as the cleanest of the fossil fuels, produces 117lbs of carbon dioxide per million BTU of energy. In contrast, solar power is created with no ongoing carbon dioxide emissions.

We all have an obligation to reduce our environmental impact and prevent climate change from occurring. Switching from eco-unfriendly fossil fuels to solar energy is a great way to reduce your household or business’s environmental impact.

Interested in reducing your environmental impact? Learn more about how solar is one of the cleanest sources of energy in our Solar Energy and the Environment guide.

Save tens of thousands of pounds

Solar power not only reduces your carbon emissions – it also reduces the amount you’ll spend on energy. Over time, solar panels will pay for themselves by creating free energy for your home or business to use.

On average, solar panels produce a return on investment of two to four times their initial cost in the form of energy bill savings. Most solar panels pay for themselves within a period of seven to 15 years from installation.

In fact, the UK average for solar panel payback is just 9.5 years. There’s also little in the way of fluctuation between UK cities, with northern cities – even the UK’s least sunny major cities have an average payback period of just 9.8 years.

This means that after approximately 9.5 years, your home or property’s solar panels will have paid for themselves and will continue to produce free electricity for more than a decade.

Would you like to learn more about the cost of solar energy? Read our How Much Does Solar Energy Cost? guide to discover how little it costs to install solar panels and start saving money with solar energy.

Avoid fluctuating energy prices

Since solar energy is completely free, your home or business doesn’t need to worry about the fluctuating costs of energy. You’ll also be protected from energy blackouts during peak periods such as winter.

The UK’s energy supply is a serious issue, with many experts predicting that power blackouts could occur during winter as households increase their energy usage due to cool temperatures.

If your home or business can become completely energy independent through solar power, you can protect yourself completely from the effects of blackouts and other energy-related shortages.

Even if your home isn’t completely energy independent, using solar panels will lead to your home or property putting less of a strain on the national grid, reducing the risk of energy supply issues in your region.

Sell excess energy back onto the grid

Did you know that you can earn money from your energy supplier for generating surplus solar energy? The Feed-in Tariff scheme allows you to earn money from renewable energy generated using solar panels or wind turbines.

The government introduced Feed-in Tariffs in April 2010 as an incentive for UK homes to invest in renewable energy. Solar power, wind turbines, hydropower, anaerobic digesters and micro combined heat and power are all eligible.

If your home generates more solar energy than it uses, you can receive payments from your energy supplier for feeding excess electricity back into the grid. These payments can further reduce the cost of switching to solar energy.

You can learn more about the Feed-in Tariff scheme and view the eligibility criteria for solar power systems installed in UK homes on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Our guide to Green Energy Incentives for UK Homes also provides more information on how you can receive money from your energy supplier by producing solar energy at home.

Become 100% energy independent

Installing solar panels is one of the easiest ways to make your home or property energy independent. During the daytime, when the sun is shining, your home can operate without any dependence on external sources of energy.

Selling your excess electricity back onto the grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme also allows your home to reduce the cost of using external energy sources at night or during overcast periods in which your solar panels can’t operate as efficiently.

Combined with energy efficiency practices, switching to solar power can allow your home or commercial property to break free from dependence on energy companies, reducing your bills and lowering your environmental impact.

By using energy storage systems, you can also generate solar power during the day to use during the evening. This allows you to create further savings by avoiding the need to purchase retail electricity during periods with limited sunlight.

Benefit from low solar panel prices

Think solar energy is expensive? Think again. Although solar panels were once an expensive investment, falling prices for solar cells mean that the average UK home can be fitted with solar panels for just a few thousands pounds.

Since 1977, the average price per watt for silicon photovoltaic cells has fallen from almost £50 to just £0.20. Solar panel prices have decreased rapidly since 2005 as a growing number of businesses and homeowners caused an increase in demand.

Instead of being more expensive than fossil fuels – something that was largely true for several decades – solar power is now a more cost-effective option for most UK homes and businesses.

With the cost of solar panels steadily declining as supply increases, there’s never been a better time to switch from expensive, non-renewable fossil fuels to cheap, eco-friendly solar energy.

Increase the value of your property

Are you considering selling your home? Whether you’re actively marketing your property or simply interested in maximising its value, installing solar panels is a wise move if you’re interested in selling your home in the future.

Solar panels are an appealing feature for buyers that add a significant amount to your property’s value, research from the American Department of Energy shows.

The study revealed that homebuyers in the United States were willing to pay an additional $15,000 (approximately £9,760) for homes with average-sized solar panels compared to properties that relied on traditional sources of energy.

In the UK, installing solar panels could result in your home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) grade improving. This can have a significant effect on the market value of your home, potentially resulting in a higher price at sale.

Benefit from low maintenance needs

Since solar panels don’t have any moving parts, they require far less maintenance than other renewable energy systems such as wind or hydro turbines. In fact, the work involved in maintaining a solar energy system is extremely low.

In most cases, solar panels only need to be cleaned once or twice a year to remove debris that may have landed on them from nearby trees. Automated cleaning tools are also available, which can keep your solar panels clean without any active work.

Solar panels with battery storage – designed to allow users to ‘bank’ solar energy for use in the evening and at night – require battery replacement on a six to 12 month basis as the effectiveness of the batteries decreases over time.

Compared to other renewable energy systems, solar panels aren’t just inexpensive and highly affordable – they’re also a low-maintenance way to improve your home or commercial property’s environmental impact.

Are you interested in installing solar panels in your property? Learn more about the ongoing maintenance involved in generating solar energy in our Solar Energy Care and Maintenance guide.

Sleep well at night thanks to no noise

Solar energy isn’t just clean – it’s also silent. While other renewable energy systems such as wind turbines produce a significant amount of noise, solar panels are quiet, peaceful energy systems that work silently in the background.

Did you know that at 300 metres – the minimum distance at which wind turbines are installed to residential property – the noise produced by a wind turbine is just seven decibels lower than that produced by a working air conditioner?

Wind turbines have been linked to sleep disturbances and other health issues in a peer-reviewed study from the United States. While wind energy is clean and highly renewable, it can be an irritating disturbance for people that live near a turbine.

Solar energy, on the other hand, offers all of the benefits of renewable energy – as well as being significantly more efficient than wind power – with none of the noise or environmental effects of large wind turbines or hydroelectric generators.

Switch to a renewable source of energy

As well as reducing the amount of carbon emissions your property produces and lowering your environmental impact, solar energy helps your home or property lower its toll on the world’s limited supply of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels aren’t just environmentally unfriendly sources of energy – they’re also limited commodities which, if overused, could run out within the next century.

According to the 2014 Statistical Review of World Energy, the world’s supply of coal – a major source of energy – will be completely depleted within 108 years if current levels of extraction are maintained.

Natural gas and crude oil could run out even more rapidly, with crude oil reserves likely to be depleted within 54 years and natural gas within 55, based on current levels of fossil fuel consumption.

Switching to solar energy lets your home or business reduce its impact on the global supply of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, all the while reducing its total carbon emissions.

Would you like to install solar panels?

From lowering your environmental impact to helping you save thousands of pounds on your energy bills, there are numerous benefits to installing solar panels for your home or commercial property.

Are you interested in solar power? Low solar photovoltaic panel prices and financial incentives provided by the government mean that there’s never been a better time to switch to solar energy.

We offer high quality solar panels and solar water heating equipment for residential and commercial properties. Our team of solar energy experts and installers can help you learn more about the best solar power system for your property.

Contact us today to learn more about the solar energy solutions available for your property and the benefits of switching to solar power.