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At Compare Companies, we provide the best solar panel installation quotes available. Once we know what you’re looking to install on your home, we contact solar panel installers on your behalf to make sure you get the most competitive prices. This is a free, no obligation service, and you’ll meet the people who will be installing your solar panels. Everything is open and transparent for your peace of mind.

Read on to find out more about solar panels and the impact they can have.

What Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are used to capture energy from the sun and have increased in popularity over recent years as more home owners in the UK look for ways to lower their energy costs.

It’s a common myth that solar panels do not work when the weather is cloudy.  Solar panels actually contain photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight into electricity to be used in your home or business. This benefits the environment by lowering carbon emissions compared to using fossil fuels.

Photovoltaics, or PV panels, are a type of solar cell that uses semiconductor technology to convert energy from sunlight into electricity.

Read on to find out more about solar panels and what installation looks like for your home, or request a solar panel quote now.

12 Solar panels
A man installing solar panels on to a roof

Why Should You Consider Home Solar Panels?

The price of solar panels has been steadily decreasing since they were first introduced, making them more affordable now than ever. New technologies and improved production of solar energy components has helped lower the cost of solar panels, and this is likely to continue, making them an excellent investment choice.

Using sustainable energy can be financially rewarding, quick, and easy when you know the facts and use a trusted solar panel supplier and installer. Renewable energy, like solar panels, is cheaper, less damaging for the environment – and there’s a lot more of it than fossil fuels, which makes it the smartest solution for everyone.

In time, solar panels can pay for themselves through lower energy bills.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Inside a solar panel, there are a group of electric cells connected to the frame of the panel. These cells are made of different types of semiconductors (the most popular being silicon) which absorb sunlight and convert it into energy.

Each conductor is attached to both positive and negative terminals to form an electrical circuit, and, from this, electrons are taken as electricity and used to provide power to a building.

Where Are Solar Panels Installed?

Home solar panels are often seen on roofs around the UK, but can also be installed as ground-mounted units in the garden. There are also solar farms in fields that include thousands of solar panels used to generate electricity on a much larger basis.

The Benefits Of Home Solar Panels

As the popularity of solar panels continues to increase all over the country, more people are wondering what benefits they could receive by switching to renewable energy. The benefits of solar panels include:

Being a cost effective way of generating electricity
The cost of the initial purchase and installation being recouped over a number of years by lower fuel bills
Potentially selling surplus electricity that your solar panels have helped generate to the National Grid

Find out more about the benefits of home solar panels by contacting our team.

A man struggling to installing solar panels on to a roof
Family on laptop

What Do You Need To Know About Solar Panel Installation?

Solar panel installation will benefit your home through lower energy bills, but installing them can be disruptive. Knowing what to expect will help ensure the work is as easy as possible.

Primarily installed on the roof of a property, there will be a lot of noise and building work to be done. This involves:

Erecting scaffolding for the safety of everyone working on installing your solar panels
Installing the solar panel frames, with safe access
Attaching solar panels to the frames
Installing batteries and an inverter
Connecting the system to the National Grid.

In many cases, a typical home solar panel system can be installed in a day’s work, but larger systems and adverse weather conditions can cause delays.

About The Feed-In Tariff (FIT)

Introduced in 2010 to encourage property owners to invest in home solar panels, the Feed-In Tariff system paid bonuses to households for generating electricity and for selling any surplus electricity back to the National Grid.

Payments were made per unit of electricity generated or sold back to the Grid, measured in kilowatts per hour (kWh). Payments under the system were tax free and were guaranteed for 20 years, rising with the rate of inflation every 12 months. There were no bonus payments per kWh for the amount of electricity either generated or sold to the Grid – it was always paid at a flat rate.

The Generation Tariff

For the energy produced by your system, the generation tariff paid around 4p for each kWh.

The Export Tariff

The export tariff was paid at around 5p per kWH for electricity you sold back to the National Grid. The amount received by most homeowners under the export tariff was a best guess based upon a maximum of up to 50% of the energy a household generated being sold back to the National Grid.

The End Of The Feed-In Tariff For New Installations

The Feed-In Tariff scheme was closed to new applications on 31st March 2019. Any household which had their system installed on or before that date had to send their MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certificate to the scheme organiser before 31st March 2020 to continue to benefit.

The decision was taken by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, whose officials believed that the price of solar panels had fallen so much that the market did not need subsidising with grants to homeowners anymore.

During the nine years in which the scheme was run, over 700,000 UK households decided to invest in home solar panels, and they will all enjoy the benefits of the FIT scheme, adjusted for inflation, for twenty years after their solar panel installation date.

Are There Any Other Support Schemes For Solar Panel Installation?

There is a limited form of help available with the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and the Smart Export Guarantee.

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is available for homeowners who use solar thermal panels to provide hot water for their property. It is not applicable to homeowners looking to generate electrical from solar panels.

The Smart Export Guarantee

The Smart Export Guarantee is similar to the export element of the old Feed-In Tariff scheme for solar panel owners.

What makes the proposed new system different is that energy suppliers do not have to pay a set price for electricity supplied to them. It must be greater than zero, and some energy suppliers may have multiple tariffs for you to choose from. This means that the payments could be lower than the FIT scheme, but to be competitive, the gap may not be that large.

Of course, the existence of the scheme will encourage more homeowners to consider solar panel installation because they’d be receiving payment for their excess electricity as opposed to getting nothing at all.

Does Solar Panel Installation Still Make Sense For Homeowners?

Even in the absence of the Feed-In Tariff, the Smart Export Guarantee and the lower price to install solar panels makes it an appealing prospect to consider. Between the payments made for the extra electricity generated, you’ll recoup the costs faster than before, and then have some extra money to enjoy in the long term.

With rising energy bills, solar panel installers have seen a boom in demand, so registering your interest quickly is a must to make those savings sooner rather than later.

Typical Size of Solar System

Typical Cost

1kW

£1,600

2kW

£3,100

3kW

£5,100

4kW

£6,100

What Happens If The Solar Panels Do Not Generate Enough Electricity?

If your solar panels don’t generate enough electricity to cover what you use, you won’t be left without power. In these situations, you’ll continue to use electricity from the National Grid just like before, but much less than you used to. This will have a direct impact on your energy bills.

Which Solar Panel Installer Should You Choose?

You should use a solar panel installer which is Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited. This guarantees the quality of work done during your solar panel installation, and may be required for any subsidy or support schemes, as it was for the Feed-In Tariff scheme.

What Size Solar Panel System Will Your Home Need?

The number of solar panels you need ultimately depends on how much electricity you want to generate. Most home solar panel systems have a capacity of 1 kilowatt (kW) to 4 kW. Larger‑capacity systems are more productive – and will save you more money – so you should get the biggest system you can for your home.

Find Your Solar Panel Installers

We have a panel of nationwide, Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited solar panel installers and suppliers. So, why not get in contact with us and we will arrange for you to be contacted by a number of them to discuss your requirements and provide free, no-obligation solar panel quotes. You can also look at some of the prices of solar panels here.

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