By Ant Langston |
The sun is the oldest form of energy out there, but it has only been in recent years that we have realised that we can trap the sun’s rays to provide power and heat to our homes. Many people feel that here in the UK we just don’t get enough sunshine to make solar power a viable option, but this is not the case and there are lots of good reasons why everyone should be using solar power.
Solar is Renewable
Perhaps the most important reason for using solar power in the home is because it is environmentally friendly and will not add to your carbon footprint. Solar energy does not cause pollution or greenhouse gases, and if you are worried about global warming then this alone is reason enough to try to switch to solar. There is a counter argument that producing solar panels leads to pollution and wasted energy, but this is outweighed by the benefits of producing electricity in this way.
Everyone Can Benefit
Even in the very north of Scotland, homeowners can take advantage of solar power by installing panels on their roof. Fitters operate across the country, and all you will need is a south or west facing roof space to place your panels on. People living in the south of the country where cloudy days are less frequent may benefit more, but solar is a technology which benefits everyone.
Tariffs and Rebates for Using Solar Power
The UK government is committed to increasing the amount of energy generated from renewable sources, and offers financial incentives to people who install solar panels on their homes. For every kilowatt hour of energy generated, the government will pay you 6.85p. This is known as the generation tariff, and is paid even if you use the energy yourself. If you generate enough surplus electricity to feed it into the National Grid, there is an incentive for this too. This is known as the feed-in tariff, and should always be factored into considerations about whether or not it is financially viable to install solar panels.
Part of the reason that boilers and other heating systems break down is because moving parts fail or break. With solar panels there are no moving parts at all, making them very low maintenance and hassle-free. They are also much quieter than even the most up to date heating systems, and generate electricity silently.
Less Dependency on the Energy Companies
If you install solar panels to generate even part of your electricity needs, you are no longer as exposed to the electricity companies and the energy market. Prices are rising all of the time, and If you are generating your own electricity you will not feel the pinch in your pocket as much as friends who are wholly reliant on the energy companies for their power. You may not cut out your monthly electricity bill completely, but the savings will be considerable.
Solar Power Can Add Value to your Home
A recent survey by the Department of Energy and Climate Change found that raising your house up the scale of energy efficiency can increase its value by as much as 14%.
Solar panels, along with other energy efficiency measures such as double glazing and loft insulation are what buyers are looking for, and they are an attractive addition if you are considering selling on at some point in the future. Every home on the market has to have an energy efficiency certificate, and solar and other measures will quickly push your home up the rankings.
Quick to Install
It typically takes just 2 to 4 days to install a solar panel system on the roof of your house and get it up and running. If you live in a single storey house and the installers don’t need scaffolding to get on the roof, the job could be done in a day. In most areas planning permission is not required to install solar panels, and the whole process is simple and stress free.
There are also many specialist firms around the country who make and fit these sorts of solar panels, and homeowners are in a strong position to get a variety of quotes and then choose the most financially attractive and convenient in terms of timescales.