Should I get solar panels?

1 Jun 2023
3 min read
Solar panels on house roof

I can’t speak highly enough of solar panels. I had them fitted a few years ago and in the last 12 months 85 percent of my energy has come from the panels. And it turns out I’m not alone in being a solar panel fan. There are roughly 1.2 million homes in the UK like mine.

Record numbers of people are having solar panels fitted both in residential and business premises.

You can make money from solar panels by reading this:

And there are plenty of reasons to invest in them if you read this:

Growing trend

Workmen installing solar panels on roof

Record numbers of people are having solar panels fitted both in residential and business premises for environmental and financial reasons.

Just recently, a block of flats in Cardiff became the first in the UK to have shared solar panels. There are calls for city centre car parks to have solar panels as their access to the sunshine is rarely blocked and even the esteemed King’s College at Cambridge University is having some installed.

As of last summer, there’s a total of 1,178,241 solar installations and that number continues to rise. Last June saw a record uptake of solar panels in the UK with 79 percent of them in homes rather than businesses so lots of people are thinking along the same lines as you and getting panels installed. In fact, global solar uptake has increased in the last 12 months, resulting in over a million solar panels being added worldwide.

Save cash

There’s the obvious pull that they reduce our carbon footprints but with energy costs rocketing, they also save a lot of money.

For an environmental scientist like me, there’s the obvious pull that they reduce our carbon footprints but with energy costs rocketing, they also save a lot of money so even if you’re not particularly environmentally conscious, they’re a very wallet friendly option, not to mention the fact you receive payments for extra energy you generate.

They also fall under what’s called ‘permitted development’ so you shouldn’t need planning permission for them – there are exceptions though so it’s always best to check with your planning office before installing them, or look around your street, if anyone else has them, the likelihood is that they’re allowed.

Costs are worth it

Solar energy in the UK accounts for just 6.8 percent of our energy mix but the good news is, that’s increasing.

When it comes to cost of installation, they’re not cheap, averaging around £5,500 installed but you’ll make that money back. How quick depends on your location and energy use at home but installers will be able to give you a guide to costs and savings for your personal situation.. I personally don’t recommend batteries when buying solar panels as they add a lot of upfront costs but it’s a personal choice.

Around 173,000 terawatts of energy hit the earth at any given moment, that’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use during the same period of time, when you consider that, it does beggar belief our entire globe isn’t powered by solar energy – it’s there, we’re harnessing a miniscule amount of it in the grand scheme of things and the rest of it is going to waste while we burn fossil fuels.

Solar energy in the UK accounts for just 6.8 percent of our energy mix but the good news is, that’s increasing. I hope I’ve laid out the positives of solar and personally I’m a huge fan, but if you have a local Facebook group or neighbours on your street with panels themselves, why not ask what they think?

The trend for solar will continue to grow not least because it puts consumers in charge a little more, we’re paid for the energy we don’t use so everyone’s a winner.

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