• Kevin Goede

Energy Prices are due to rise again in October to a staggering £3420 a year

Time to consider Solar power in the South West UK?

Are you aware that the south coast of England has more sunlight hours than any other part of the UK. This means its ideal for solar to power your home and save a fortune by not paying the electricity price increases going forward.

The average Home Solar instelation costs £12500 in the UK based on the proposed new electricity price increase this means you could pay the investment off in 3 years and 6 months.

Natalie Ward, 36, husband David, 40, an operations manager, daughter Harper, four and son Ethan, three, have seen their monthly bill drop from £100 to £20.

The Wards took the plunge with solar energy in March this year, after signing up to Surrey County Council’s scheme to reduce costs for households.

They sold a second car to find the £8,500 for 16 panels, a 6KW battery, an immersion diverter which heats their hot water using leftover electricity, plus bird-proofing for the panels.


They now use so little from the grid that, even though their electricity has risen from 17p to 27p per kilowatt hour, their energy bill has plummeted.

Natalie, who runs her own business, Latched, selling active wear for preg­nant and breast­feeding mums, says: “It took less than a day to install and we’ve saved a fortune.

"Doing it via a council scheme took the fear out of it, and it’s great to think we are doing something positive for the environment.

“It makes the most sense to use as much energy as we can ourselves rather than sell it back to the grid, so we’re strict about using appliances in the middle of the day.”

But Natalie acknowledges they won’t be able to totally escape the rise in energy bills in the colder months.

She optimistically estimates they will recoup the cost of the panels in around five years.

The Eco Experts (TEE) suggest that when energy prices are at the level of the expected October price cap rise the average household could pay off £5,420 worth of panels in seven years, with the panels saving families an average of £738 a year.

The big financial benefit of solar panels comes through using the electricity to power appliances in your home.

The big financial benefit of solar panels comes through using the electricity to power appliances in your home.

Any excess can be stored in a battery — which costs at least £2,000 — or sold to the grid.

But the old feed-in tariff closed for new customers three years ago and the new Smart Export Guarantee, set by energy companies, is far less generous.

Electricity is currently worth 28.3p a kWh, rising to at least 40.3p in October. When energy companies buy electricity from their customers, they pay just 3.9p per kWh, on average, according to TEE.

Even the most generous deal, with Scottish Power, pays just 5.5p per kWh, it says.

TEE's Josh Jackman explains: "So instead of getting the £442 a year their solar power is worth, the average householder is getting £82, losing out on £340 a year."

So while installers may promise big returns, doing your sums is key.

The Energy Saving Trust’s solar panel calculator will give you an idea of how long it will take to break even.

Basicly they pay you 5.5p and sell your Power to your Naibour for the market rate, and for the privelage of getting the export tarriff you will need to fill in triplicate forms and supply a coppie of your MCS certification.

THe Key is to use what Solar Electricity you Generate and store your own power to use during the night when your solar panels are not producing power.

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