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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.

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.

The global renewable energy industry grew at its fastest rate last year since 1999, and according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power projects grew by 50% more than its growth before the Coronavirus pandemic! This clean energy demand could not be more timelier with the threat of climate change expecting to worsen the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. With more people investing, over time, we will get to see just how powerful renewable energy can be.

With the number in renewable investments predicted to increase again, we must keep this momentum going. But despite the fact more of us are committing to limitless, green energy – there are a few obstacles that some consumers face when it comes to investing in solar.

The reason for this is, some are weary of switching, especially homeowners due to not understanding the cost, not knowing how solar energy systems work and what type of maintenance is required. We understand that these areas are not talked about enough, but we can break this down, simplify the process and uncover common confusion and misconceptions around solar PV.

How does solar work?

A big misconception is that in order to own solar panels you need to live in an area that is always sunny. This is simply not true – anyone can have solar! The panels will always receive direct day light even on cloudy and rainy days.

The photovoltaic cells on the panels turn the light into direct current electricity. This current flows into an inverter and converts it to alternative electricity, which is then fed through a meter and then into your homes consumer units. Your system will automatically use the free electricity you generate but any energy you do not use, will be exported to the National Grid.

To avoid this, people invest in a solar battery system to store more of the energy they use – ready for the colder, darker days.

How much can you save?

This is a big confusion most people have when shopping for solar panels. Let’s use an example:

If a house is using 6000kW (kilowatt’s) a year, and then you were to install a 4kW solar panel system – over half of the energy used would potentially come from the solar system, saving you 50% of the energy bill.

If you’re at home most of the day, then you will see quicker and more obvious savings as you will be directly using your solar power during peak times when solar power is most effective.

But if you’re not home most of the day and use energy in the evening, your savings will reduce as most of your energy will be going back to the National Grid. Again, this is why people look to invest in battery storage systems to harness more of the energy they make.

You can also earn money from your solar panels – by signing up to the Smart Export Guarantee system and do Grid trading. Note that the SEG only applies to people who installed their solar panels after 31st March 2019. Some energy providers are offering around 5.5p/kWh of exported electricity, with a 4kWp solar panel system could make around £340 per year!

This is just another great way to encourage people to use renewable energy to power their homes.

Are solar panels hard to maintain?

To confirm, solar panels are definitely ‘fit and forget’ technology – but this should not be taken so literally, solar panel maintenance is still required. Your panels will come with warranties and guarantees but to conduct your own check-ups, we made a simple solar panel maintenance checklist:

– Clean your panels once a year to ensure maximum efficiency (but if you cannot access the roof yourself, always get a professional cleaning company that offers a solar panel cleaning service). If you would rather do this yourself, be sure to use a soft brush, as a scourer will scratch the panels and cause a lot of damage which can be costly to repair. Also, make sure to use lots of water to wash away any excess soap.

– Make a conscious reminder to check your panels for any debris. Overtime there could be a build or an unfortunate storm may hit your area causing lots of debris and this can result in your panels underperforming due to the photovoltaic (PV) cells being blocked. To remove this you should hire a cleaning company to ensure the mess has been removed properly and that your panels are receiving direct sunlight.

– The life span of solar panels last around 20 – 25 years, and if your system is failing this will most likely be down to your inverter – which typically needs replacing after 10 years. Replacing this will only maximise your energy production and again, potentially provide more energy that can be sold to the Grid.

It’s no secret that solar power is having its moment in the sun and will only become more popular, with fossil fuels becoming increasingly less competitive. But confusion around their functionality and maintenance is still an ongoing issue for some people and one of the main reasons for this is because other companies use lots of industry jargon. This is not exactly helpful, if we want to be able to meet our climate targets and avoid irreparable damage to our home. Whilst toxic, fossil fuel prices in the UK will continue to rise, you could be providing clean air and cheaper energy. Don’t forget, for your green efforts you could even make money back!

Start your solar energy journey with us
Our team are more than happy to take your call and organise a video consultation to show you how we design a system that works for you. We can then send over to you a free, no obligation quote!

Call us today!

t        0330 0552155
e      designteam@solarcentric.co.uk

Find us on:
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Power cuts in the UK can be caused by a lot of different things, and rural areas with overhead grid lines through dense vegetation are more prone to outages. Whether it is caused by acts of nature; voltage dips and short power cuts, we know that experiencing blackout electricity can be difficult, especially for those working remotely during Covid-19.

What causes power cuts?

At the moment, we are putting a lot more pressure on the National Grid, due to electrification of heating and electric cars, therefore, with the change in electricity demand, it is creating an increase in power cuts.

To reduce National Grid strain, clean energy is key when it comes to combating energy power cuts in your area! It is more important than ever to ensure your energy is reliable and most importantly, sustainable.

If you already own solar panels and a sonnen eco 9.53 battery storage, you can compliment your system with a sonnenProtect 2500 and if you have the sonnen SB10 battery, you can have sonnenProtect 4000. Not only will it help keep your lights on in the event of a power cut, but it can anticipate any potential power cuts. Also, when a grid failure is detected, the sonnenProtect takes a moment to switch over to island mode and this is designed to keep your sonnenBatterie and solar panels running without any problems.

Power Capabilities:
While you’ll be able to run many appliances during electricity power cuts, it is important to know that the sonnenProtect has a 2.5kW limit. Therefore, during a blackout scenario, you’ll be able to run items such as:

  • Fridge or freezer
  • Lamps
  • Chargers for handheld devices
  • Laptop/computers
  • Fans and portable evaporative coolers

It is clear to see that renewable technology is developing all the time, so we must take advantage of it! When you reduce your reliance on the Grid, you’re more in control of your own power, your money and your families future. However, if you do not own a sustainable energy system yet, you can contact us!

We will make sure to break down the product information so that it is 100% straightforward and we can ensure you come away with a better understanding of the entire system and how it can benefit you.

If you require a free, no obligation quote, contact our design team:

T    0330 0552155

E    designteam@solarcentric.co.uk

Feel free to direct message us on social media:
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Solar is the fastest and most generous source of new energy in the world – its not going anywhere and it is becoming even more popular! Did you know, the sun strikes more energy to Earth in an hour than the entire world consumes in a year?

Its an astonishing amount of power and when you think about your roof and all the suns energy hitting your tiles, think about how it could be going into your very own solar PV system instead, and providing all your energy requirements!

We understand that many people have found solar information to be rather complex, containing a lot of industry jargon. But at SolarCentric, we avoid this – and after reading this short blog, we are confident that you will come away with a better understanding of how solar works and feel reassured about how solar panel systems can benefit you:

How solar works

How solar works diagram

With solar panels ROI, it’s not about the instant return, its about the long term goal. When you invest in solar you can be bricks and mortar with your property and get the panels to pay you. It is said that properties that have solar sell for 14% more – by over £30,000 based on the average UK house.

So when you upgrade your property with solar panels – you hold value, an asset and with more people investing in solar, fossil fuels, oil and coal will just remain in the earth and cause no more harm.

The UK is undergoing a big change in how we power our homes and businesses and this is your chance to play a part. At SolarCentric, we provide an educational, inspiring and worry-free experience for our clients with our no-pressure sales approach. Our highly skilled design team will always guide you in the right direction when it comes to your personalised system, we can assist you in any project size and will ensure that you understand all the information we present and hand over to you.

If you’re environmentally conscious and looking to make green home improvements, our products page showcases our wide range of sustainable systems to view at your convenience.  

If you require a free quote and or further guidance from us, contact our design team today:

T    0330 0552155

E    designteam@solarcentric.co.uk

Feel free to direct message us on social media:
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

We can finally share information on our Welsh designed and manufactured solar car port, with integrated state-of-the-art battery technology.

SolarCentric have partnered with Solarwatt, Centregreat Group, SPECIFIC and Hayes Engineering to remove urban EV barriers, future proof EV demand and offer 100% renewable energy.

People are now becoming more accustomed to green energy, with clean air being a top priority for, urgent health, climate and development action. This EV car port certainly leads the way for local industries to power towards a greener future.

To read more detailed information about how our modular design can suit all applications, our Car Port page is now live for you to visit.

You can also read the latest articles of our EV car port when you click the links below:

“Solarwatt and Centregreat partner to develop solar-powered EV car port” – Renewable Energy Magazine

“SOLARWATT teams up with Centregreat Group to develop solar and storage EV car ports” –
Solar Power Portal, Altered Energy   

Whether you’re budding your knowledge on everything green or already a strong climate advocate, you will have ventured the idea or began to invest in renewable energy. However, you may not have considered all the elements. Do you know what products to invest in and if you’re controlling your energy management efficiently within your home or business?

SolarCentric’s partnership with SolarEdge is a great advantage for clients when looking to control energy management because they have become a real contender for those considering future integration of different products.

SolarEdge’s extensive range of products:

1. When increasing the output of a solar system, SolarEdge use their patented power optimiser technology which can be retrofitted or integrated to the solar panel with each panel individually wired to increase solar generation from the system. If you suffer from an underperforming panel you can rely on the market-leading monitoring platform which is free of charge by SolarEdge.

2. The app-based monitoring platform allows you to see your panels output on an individual panel basis, giving you additional peace of mind because you can allow remote access to your installer.

3. The SolarEdge immersion switch is another great alternative, as this product diverts all additional electricity to the hot water tank.

4. It’s also worth examining the cutting edge EV chargers which enables the charge of EVs directly from the inverter. A great option for those who don’t have EV but want to maximise their excess solar electricity.

Overall, our beneficial connection can ensure clients are getting the most out of their green energy, which is our entire objective. The high-point for SolarEdge is their significant safety features and industry-leading warranties. All of which is adding to their growing popularity with homeowners, councils, housing associations and businesses alike. A great investment for anyone buying solar with the future in mind.


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