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Solar panels: the pros and cons explained

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solar panels

So, you’re thinking about harnessing the power of the sun. Solar panels have become increasingly popular throughout the UK, saving people money on their energy bills while also reducing their carbon footprint.

Want to bag yourself some savings? We’ve got a whole range of solar PV packages that’ll do just that. But before you make a decision, it’s important you know all the pros and cons of solar panels. These are:

The advantages of solar panels

Shrink your carbon footprint

Solar power is a fully renewable energy source, it is available every day, worldwide. By generating clean energy, solar panels contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating climate change, and shrinking your carbon footprint.

Access cheaper energy

One of the best things about solar panels is that they help you access long-term cost savings. Once installed, solar panels generate electricity at a lower cost compared to traditional grid electricity, enabling you to save on your monthly energy bills.

Gain energy independence

By installing solar panels, you can reduce your reliance on the traditional power grid. This newfound energy independence provides security against rising energy prices and power outages, leaving you with some extra peace of mind.

Cash in on energy you don’t use

Solar panels can sometimes produce more energy than you use. If this happens, you can earn money back through SEG (Smart Export Guarantee) payments, by selling your excess energy to the grid.

Multiple applications

Did you know that solar power doesn’t just produce electricity? It can heat water too, so you can bag yourself some double savings. They can even be used in multiple settings, whether you’re looking to kit out your home or your business.

Low maintenance costs

Once installed, solar panels require minimal maintenance. Routine cleaning to remove dust and debris, as well as occasional inspections, are generally enough to keep them operating well. This results in long-term cost savings compared to other energy systems.

No noise pollution

Because solar panels have no motor, they operate silently. This makes them perfect for residential areas, or if you just enjoy some peace and quiet.

Potentially increase your home value

Installing solar panels can potentially boost the value of your property. Many homebuyers are attracted to energy-efficient features and the prospect of reduced utility costs, making your home more appealing on the real estate market.

Improved technology means lower costs

Over the years, advancements in solar panel technology have led to increased efficiency and decreased costs. As the industry continues to evolve, prices are expected to become even more affordable, making solar panels a viable option for a broader range of customers.

Easy to scale up

If your electricity requirements increase in the future, you can easily scale up your solar system by adding more panels to meet your changing needs.

The disadvantages of solar panels

High initial cost

While the long-term savings of solar panels are a big plus, the cost of the initial installation can be significant. This includes the purchase of panels, inverters, batteries (if applicable), and the professional installation.

Long return on investment

While solar panels can save you money in the long run, it may take several years to recoup the initial investment. The payback period can vary depending on factors such as electricity rates, energy consumption, and available incentive, though it usually takes around 10 years.

Weather dependent

Solar panels rely on sunlight to generate electricity, so their energy production is weather-dependent. Cloudy days mean less sun, so less energy. On the flip side of this, if the weather gets too hot it can also affect the solar panels’ efficiency.

Requires the right roof

Not all houses are suitable for solar panels. In an ideal situation, you’d have a south-facing roof that is unshaded from 10am to 4pm.

High cost of solar energy storage

If you wish to keep your excess energy to use at night time, you will need to invest in a solar energy storage system. These can be expensive, with an average cost of £4,500. However, while the initial cost is high, it will allow you to access cheaper energy at all times of the day.

Requires lots of space

Solar panels require adequate space for installation, especially if you aim to generate a significant amount of electricity. If you have limited roof area or limited available land, it may impact the size and capacity of your solar panel system.

Environmental impact of manufacturing

While solar panels themselves generate clean energy, the production process and associated infrastructure can still contribute to pollution. The manufacturing of solar panels involves the use of various chemicals and materials, and improper disposal at the end of their lifespan can have negative environmental impacts.

Difficult to relocate

Solar panel systems are typically designed to be a long-term investment and are not easily relocated. If you plan to move residences in the near future, the cost and logistics of moving the solar panel system should be considered.

We know – there’s a lot to consider, so don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Our friendly experts can talk you through your options and give you reliable advice on the best solar option for you. Get in touch today and we can help get you started.