The government benefits of having solar panels on the roof of you home have now ended. Whilst solar power might be a huge future benefit to the global population as fossil fuels run out, what do the current sums look like. What is the solar panel cost of setting up, the maintenance and how about the effect on the price of your house? Mrs Pinch is here to take a look.

Gloomy Britain

Firstly, let’s clear this one up. Some people think that our terrible weather means that solar panels won’t work here in the United Kingdom. That’s simply not the case. Solar panels only need daylight, not bright Australia style sunshine. This is good to know when we look out the window and see nothing but dull days.

The Investment Price

Shelling out the initial cost for your solar panel system is a large amount of money. It needs mulling over properly. The average price is around £6000, including installation. Now that the appealing government incentives have ceased, the only way to get money back is by making savings on your utility bill.

Recoup the costs

With over £6000 spent, how long will it take you to claw back that investment? The industry says that depending on where you live here in the UK (the further south the better in this case) you can knock between £90 & £240 off your electricity bill ever year. If your panels are helping you reduce your bill by the maximum amount noted, you’re looking at 25 years to break even. If you’re only reducing your bill by £90 a year, that’s over 66 years! This is without taking into account the price of simple maintenance and replacing the inverter every 25 years which can cost about £800.

South Facing

In order to try and gain maximum savings, your roof needs to be south facing. You will get some benefit if the roof faces south-west or west. Some early morning or late evening shadings from trees or nearby building is usually expected but generally your roof needs to be free from shade between the hours of 10am and 4pm.

Planning Permission

One bit of good news is that you usually do not require planning permission to install a solar panel system. There could be exceptions if you have a flat roof or if the building is listed or lies within a conservation zone. Panels normally come in under permitted development but always check with your local council.

Run during the day

Whilst you may not gain government incentives any more, one of the top tips is to run your appliances during the hours that you are producing electricity via your solar panels. This means you are drawing less from the grid. Put your washer on during the day and make sure the dishwasher is ready to go at lunchtime. Make sure you know how to use timers on your machines.

House prices

Some people might think that solar panels will boost the asking price of your home. This isn’t always the case. Whilst some potential buyers might love the idea of saving money on their bills, others might hate the appearance of the panels. Some agreements might lock the new buyers into dated technology when they don’t want to be. It’s not for everyone and you certainly shouldn’t expect to see the cost you shell out reflected in your asking price.

You can still switch suppliers

One of the key things to note is that you can still switch suppliers. You’re not stuck on the same tariff from the same supplier just because of your solar panels. You can move around meaning you can still get the best deal for you and your family and make savings.

The solar panel cost is pretty much the same for everyone, regardless of where you live. The savings you can make on your bills do differ depending on your location though, so you need to factor that into your maths. Whilst solar panel incentives may have stopped, you can save money on your bills in the long run but it might take longer than you think.

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