Realistically speaking, a solar panel installation has proven to be worthwhile in various ways. Even in places where solar arrays have not been seen as a lucrative investment due to the “lack” of sunlight, systems are now a more popular option for renewable energy. In the UK, solar panels have also become less expensive than in the past years, thanks to more manufacturers and more advanced technologies. But if you are trying to work out how much you can save with your solar panel investment, here are the answers to your top questions.
Your potential savings in two ways
Savings on your electricity bills
If you have a system and are making use of the energy it creates, you can lower your electricity bills. It would depend on the size of your system, however. If you have a larger-sized system, it will produce more power – which means you can save more.
For example, if your system is 3kW, you can have annual energy bill savings of up to £160, as experienced solar panel installers like www.atlanticrenewables.co.uk attest. If you opt for a system that’s 4kW (which is the most common for an average home in the UK), you can potentially save as much as £270 per annum. For a 5kW solar panel array, your savings can extend to up to £320 annually, and with a 6kW solar panel system, you can save as much as £430 per year.
But you also have to remember that the amount of money you can potentially save will be based on how you use your electricity and when you use it. If you use more of the electricity from your system during the daytime, it’s easy to say that you can optimise your investment more. But if are only home during the evening and use your home appliances then, it is more likely that you will need more electricity via the national grid.
Earnings from the SEG
In the past, the government rewarded solar panel system owners with the FIT or feed-in tariff programme. Through this programme, energy companies paid owners both an export tariff and a generation tariff with fixed rates. Most solar panel array owners could earn up to 4 pence for every kWh generated by their system and 5.38 pence for every kWh of extra/additional energy they sold back to the national grid.
But the scheme ended in 2019, and you can now take advantage of a new scheme called the SEG or Smart Export Guarantee. The new scheme gives you more options on how much you can save because unlike the former feed-in tariff scheme, it doesn't come with regulated or fixed rates. Essentially speaking, energy providers can decide how much the rates will be. Along with this, energy providers can only offer a tariff in terms of the energy they import (energy your system exports) rather than the energy your system generates.
All in all, though, your system is guaranteed to pay for itself in the end. The length of time you can recover your investment will vary, but it's important to make sure you can take advantage of SEG earnings. If you don't have SEG earnings, your savings will only come from not getting much energy from the grid. But with SEG earnings, you can recover your investment in 16 to 22 years, with your system lasting for 25 years and more.
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