Are Solar Panels Worth It in the UK?
Is it sunny enough for solar power to be generated in the UK?
People often ask us whether solar panels are worth having installed in the UK, due to the perceived lack of sunshine. The simple answer is yes, there is more than enough energy generated by the sun to make solar panels a worthwhile investment to save on your future energy bills.
Even though the UK has a reputation for being cloudy and grey compared to most European countries, solar panels still work, even if it is not particularly sunny.
Solar PVs use light to produce energy, not heat, so the amount of daylight is important and not the temperature. They do produce more power on sunny days because there is more light produced but they still work well on overcast days too.
In the summer months, the UK gets almost 17 hours of daylight per day, while even in December it gets a minimum of 8 hours daylight (figures based on London), so there is plenty of daylight to generate power through solar panels.
Is my home suitable for solar panels?
In some areas of the UK, we receive the same amount of sunlight as Germany, which is one of the biggest markets for solar panels in the world. The majority of UK properties will be suitable for solar panels, and the bigger the roof space, the better. South-facing roofs will usually be better for generating more energy but southwest and west-facing will also work, although you might not achieve as many savings as you would south-facing roofs.
Before you start your solar project, it is important to consider your roof material, as solar panels will work most effectively with durable roofing materials that are easy to mount the panels securely onto. If it is likely that you will be replacing your roof soon, it is probably worthwhile waiting until after it has been replaced before you arrange to have solar panels installed.
Now that we have uncovered some of the frequently asked questions on solar in the UK – we wanted to make sure we cover our basis on other FAQ's on solar power.
Will the quality of my electricity suffer once I get solar panels in the UK?
If your solar panels are correctly installed by a professional company, your system should switch seamlessly between using power from the National Grid and the power generated from your solar panels. With good quality solar panels, you should not notice any difference in your electricity supply.
How does this work with my existing gas and electricity supplier?
When you have solar panels installed, your Feed-in Tariff is set by tracking market prices. If your current energy supplier is not in the Feed-in tariff scheme, you have the choice of switching your Feed-in Tariff to an eligible supplier and staying with your existing supplier for your household energy. Alternatively, you can switch to a new supplier for both your household energy and your Feed-in Tariff.
Please Note the Feed in Tariff ended in 2019 and is not available to new customers.
All energy suppliers who have more than 250,000 customers must be part of the Feed-in Tariff scheme, so there is a good chance yours is in the scheme. All of the most popular suppliers such as British Gas and Scottish Power are in the scheme, but it is worth checking whether your supplier is in the scheme before deciding on solar panels.
The amount of tariff you are eligible for will depend on the technology and capacity of your PV system, but it will not change when you switch energy suppliers, as the tariff is provided by Ofgem.
To summarise, if your property is suitable and you are going to be living there for at least 10 years, you will make your money back and start making significant savings. Even if you decide to move house, they will increase the value of your home, so in most cases, it is worthwhile having solar panels installed, even living in the UK.
To make sure that you generate the maximum amount of energy, you need a quality supplier and installer, so contact SolarCentric and we can help you to start generating solar power through our latest technology solar panels.