If you’ve £7,000+ knocking about, you could get some of this back in electricity savings and feed-in payments for the energy you produce.
The key to all this is that with the current feed-in tariff:
A typical system costs £7,000, but over 20 years, the feed-in payments and electricity savings could add up to roughly £16,000.
Solar panels used to be a no-brainer. When the Government launched the feed-in scheme, people typically got a gobsmacking £1,100+ per year in payments. The cash was guaranteed for 25 years, so that was at least £27,500 back – not taking into account electricity savings.
The Government slashed these payments so £630 a year is typical (at current feed-in rates), rising with inflation. Payments are now only locked in for 20 years, paying out £13,000 in total.
At the same time, solar panel prices have dropped. A typical system now costs around £7,000 rather than £10,000.
The cost-to-return ratio is less attractive now and it’s far from a guaranteed win at this level, though there are, of course, environmental benefits. You should do your sums carefully and explore other options,
WHO IS THIS BEST FOR?
Ideally, you’ll be planning to stay in your home for a few years to recoup some of the cost, though buyers may be attracted by electricity savings and feed-in payments.
Whether it’s right for you depends on system size, location, whether you’re at home during the day and other factors. Use the Energy Saving Trust’s Solar Panel Calculator to estimate the gain or call it on 0300 123 1234 for more advice.
You also need an Energy Performance Certificate of grade D or above to qualify for full payments. The Government estimates about half of all properties qualify.
If your home doesn’t make Grade D, it may not be worth it – typical payments on the current feed-in tariff would be just £340/year.