Is it worth getting Solar PV?

Solar photovoltaic panels, known as Solar PV, are the most commonly used type of solar panel systems, as they convert sunlight directly into electricity.

Solar panels are made of smaller solar cells and semi-conductors. With the arrival of sunlight or daylight, this natural source of energy creates an electric current which is then inverted and flows safely into your electrical system.

 

What are the main benefits of Solar PV?

There are a wide range of benefits of having Solar PV installed in your home or business, both environmental and financial. 

  • Lower energy costs – by generating your own electricity through Solar PV, you will reduce the amount that you need to purchase from your utility company.
  • Protection from rising energy costs – by generating your own energy you can control your costs, when the cost of electricity provided by utilities companies increases.
  • Be paid to export unused energy to the grid – the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) means that you can sell back your unused energy to your utilities provider.
  • Lower your carbon footprint – solar energy is 100% clean and no harmful greenhouse gas emissions are made in its production.
  • Reduce your reliance on fossil fuels – by generating your own energy you will reduce your use of more harmful fossil fuels.

 

How much energy does Solar PV create?

This depends upon the size of the panels and the capacity of the local Power Grid. Also, while bright sunlight forms the perfect conditions for creating energy, daylight will also suffice.  As a general rule, energy demands are higher during the regular working day and also in the early evening.  For the working day, in most countries there is daylight that corresponds to those hours, and this in turn is when solar panels can reach maximum production.  For many homes in the UK, a 4kW solar panel system is a common size. Depending on demand and weather conditions, solar panels can cover over 83% of your electricity requirements.

 

How does Solar PV impact on the environment?

The impact of solar panels on the environment is much less than other energy sources as solar PV harnesses nature’s most powerful yet free resource: sunlight.

Production of solar panels will have some impact; yet the benefits of having solar energy at the flick of a switch had enormous ongoing positive effects.

As fossil fuel sources will run out in time to come, current and future generations will benefit from solar PV panels.

 

How many solar panels will I need?

This will depend on a number of factors including:

Your current electricity consumption

The size of your property’s roof (the average solar panel is 1  X 1.7 meters)

A Solar PV installation company like Myelectrical-Renewables can conduct a survey of your property and advise you on the right Solar PV installation for you.

 

How can I find an installer

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme, MCS is a nationwide industry-led certification scheme which demonstrates the quality and reliability of Solar PV installation companies.  You can find an MCS certified installer near you on the MCS website.

 

How much does it cost to install?

Installation costs vary according to the complexity of the project. Prices start at around £3,000.  If your interested in Solar PV it’s worth having a discussion with a professional installation company about your specific situation, and they can you help you to understand whether it will be a worthwhile investment for you.

 

Can I be paid for the energy I create?

The government is keen for us to switch to renewable sources of energy as soon as we can.  They created The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), to ensure that people generating clean energy are paid for any energy that they pass back to the grid.  This is done through your utilities provider, and all providers need to sign up to the SEG scheme.

 

Will I still get an electricity bill?

Yes you are highly likely to have to pay for some energy.  But the amount is vastly reduced because your solar panels are generating energy for you through the day.  You can reduce your bill down even more by adding a battery storage system.

 

Can I store the electricity I produce?

The short answer is yes; however, you will need to add a <storage battery> which can store electricity generated by your solar PV.  This enables you to use electricity in the evenings or maybe at a later date.  If you purchase your solar panels and storage battery at the same time you will benefit from a government incentive where the VAT on the battery is reduced from 20% to 5%.

 

Benefits for businesses

Installing solar PV on your business premises means you become a greener company and can make savings on energy bills, as well as protecting yourself from the impact of increasing energy costs.  There are some types of business who will specifically benefit enormously from producing their own energy through Solar PV.  Farms, Campsites, Holiday lets and

 

Reducing your carbon footprint

One of the main benefits is the reduced carbon footprint of your home or business as a result of installing solar PV.  Switching to solar energy means your carbon footprint is immediately less; it is a green, renewable source of energy and does not release CO2.

Also, solar panels can work all year round, working optimally in the sunnier months and producing energy on cloudy days.  The benefit is not only a smaller carbon footprint, but also a reliable source of energy in the future.

 

In most cases it is worth investing in Solar PV, both financially and environmentally.  A qualified MCS registered installer such as Myelectrical-Renewables can give you further details on your individual situation.  Myelectrical-Renewables covers the Yorkshire region, you can find your local MCS installer here.