How Much Does Solar Energy Cost?
Until fairly recently, solar energy was viewed by most people as an environmentally friendly, albeit expensive, form of energy.
However, over the last decade – and particularly in the last five years – advances in manufacturing, increased demand and government incentives have resulted in the cost of solar photovoltaic panels decreasing significantly.
In fact, solar panels are now less than half as expensive as they were in 2009, and less than a 200th as expensive as they were when solar technology first started to gain ground in the late 1970s.
The cost of renewable energy equipment, and solar in particular, has dropped so much than The Economist, in a 2012 article, claimed that “alternative” is no longer an accurate description for green energy.
Green energy is no longer an alternative to non-renewable energy. Thanks to the massive increase in the affordability of solar photovoltaic panels, green solutions such as solar energy are now more cost-effective than other energy sources.
As a homeowner or business, how can you benefit from the increased affordability of solar energy? With the cost of solar panels far lower than ever before, now is an excellent time to switch your property over to renewable, eco-friendly solar power.
How much does it cost to install solar panels?
The cost of installing solar panels in your home or commercial property can vary based on the amount of electricity you consume.
On average, it costs between £5,000 and £10,000 to purchase photovoltaic panels and install solar energy technology in your home. The greater your home’s energy needs, the greater the amount of solar cells it will require.
Although this may seem like quite a lot of money compared to your home’s energy bill, it’s important to remember that the electricity generated by solar panels does not cost anything to produce.
You may be able to reduce the cost of installing photovoltaic panels by choosing a smaller system. However, in this case, your solar energy system may not provide sufficient energy to make your home completely energy independent.
By switching to solar energy, your home or property can significantly reduce the amount it spends on electricity. In some cases, you may be able to produce enough solar energy to completely power your home, resulting in no energy costs.
On average, the savings produced by switching to solar energy let UK homeowners completely pay back the cost of installing solar photovoltaic panels within 9.5 years of installation.
Since solar panels last for an average of 25 years, this means that UK homeowners can benefit from 15.5 years of free solar electricity, on average, by installing solar photovoltaic panels.
It’s also possible to earn money from your home’s solar panels by supplying excess energy back to the grid through the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme.
Feed-in Tariff scheme
The Feed-in Tariff scheme is a government incentive designed to reduce the cost of generating solar energy and provide a way for homes that install solar photovoltaic panels to earn money.
Homes that generate excess energy from renewable sources such as solar can send their excess energy back to the national grid. In turn, homeowners receive money from their energy suppliers.
Feed-in Tariffs were introduced in 2010 as an incentive for homeowners to switch to renewable sources of energy. The scheme also provides financial incentives for other renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity and wind turbines.
If your home generates more energy than it uses on a monthly basis, or simply has excess electricity to offset its non-renewable energy usage, the Feed-in Tariff can further reduce the cost of switching to solar energy.
Under the Feed-in Tariff, you’ll also be paid for electricity that your solar panels generate that is used in your home. This tariff can significantly reduce the cost of purchasing and installing solar photovoltaic equipment.
Learn more about the Feed-in Tariff scheme in our Green Energy Incentives for UK Homes guide.
Rising energy prices
Switching to solar energy doesn’t just reduce the cost of energy by allowing your home to generate its own electricity – it also protects you from any increases to energy prices that occur in the future.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has estimated that energy prices will rise at an average annual rate of 2.6 per cent for the next 15 years.
How much does maintenance cost?
Since solar panels don’t contain any fragile or moving parts – the only moving parts are inside the system’s inverter – they require very little maintenance and are very cheap to operate.
Most solar panels only need to be checked for wear and debris twice per year. If you live in a dusty area or close to large trees that could leave debris on the solar panels, you may need to clean your solar panels more frequently.
Cleaning solar panels is simple and inexpensive. Solar panels that are easy to reach and safe to access can be cleaned using a simple outdoor hose. Larger systems and solar panels installed at a great height can be cleaned by professional companies.
As a whole, the cost of maintaining a solar energy system is minimal. Even in areas that require more frequent maintenance, solar energy is an extremely cost-effective form of energy that produces significant savings over the long term.
Are you interested in solar energy?
Are you interested in solar power? From reducing your environmental impact to lowering your monthly energy bill, solar energy offers a wide range of benefits for your home or commercial property.
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 about the best solar power system for your property.
Contact us today to learn more about the solar energy solutions available for your property.