The popularity of solar panels for the home is increasing year on year and there are many reasons for this. At present, almost one million UK homes benefit from having installed solar panels and in 2018, the UK's renewable energy capacity overtook that of fossil fuels … an eco friendly revolution is underway !

The big advantage of having solar panels installed is that after the initial outlay, money starts to be saved on bills from day one … electricity is always being used, often in the background and slowly adding to the electricity bill …. unfortunately, short of going back to the dark ages and using wood stoves and candles, electricity use can only be minimised but not eliminated so cutting the price of that electricity consumption by using solar panels can only be a good thing !

The more we can be independent from the national grid the better, avoiding most of the impact of price increases and avoiding power cuts when they happen.

An average home owner can save up to a massive 50% on their electricity bill by using solar panels and is dependant upon two things … how much electricity your solar panels produce and how much of this electricity you actually use. High efficiency solar panels and the number of panels you have as well as your location will also determine how much you save by having them at your home. Another very useful thing to have in addition to your solar panels is a solar battery … this will store the energy that your panels have generated during daylight hours and will be ready to use during the evening long after the sun has gone down. There is also a government scheme in the pipeline that will allow you to feed unused electricity back into the national grid and you will be paid by energy suppliers for doing so thus saving even more money in the long run ! At the moment, there are feed in tariff replacement deals being offered by energy suppliers that are worth looking into.

As well as being cost effective, solar power is an incredibly eco friendly way to generate power in your home … it is clean, renewable and produces zero carbon emissions as it is created thus saving a lot of carbon being deposited into the atmosphere … and it is also reported that the global environmental cost of creating solar panels is vastly outweighed by the environmental gains made in using them and is known to be one of the most clean renewable energies.

Another advantage of solar panels is one that isn't shouted about and that is that they have no moving parts which means they quietly go about the business of generating power quietly …. silence really can be golden !

It is also nice to know that if and when your electricity needs increase, solar panels can be added to so there is no need to remove your existing system and replace it with a bigger one … just add panels as needed …. solar batteries can be added to as well up to a point so extra storage is there for when you need it.

Solar panels are also very low maintenance and require nothing more than being kept clean and obstruction free to allow them to work to their full efficiency which is another big plus ! As most solar panels will be mounted on an angled roof, most debris will slide off and rainfall will also help to keep them clean.

As with most things in life, there are some disadvantages to using solar powered panels … the main one being the initial cost of purchasing them and installation, however, the costs involved have dropped dramatically and continue to fall making it a more and more viable proposition … indeed, the price has dropped in the region of 70% in the last decade and will continue to drop as there use becomes ever more widespread. It is also worth bearing in mind that the installation of solar powers will only add value to your home rather than detract from it.

It is also quite obvious that solar panels work better in the summer months due to there being more sunlight and longer daytime hours, however, solar panels work on daylight not just sunlight so they will still generate power during the winter months.

Not all homes have a roof that is suited to solar panels but these are a small minority … ideally, your roof needs to be angled to fit the panels in the first place and for maximum efficiency, should be South facing although this is not an absolute necessity.

Overall, we at PandM Eco Gear believe that the advantages of having solar panels far outweigh the disadvantages …. after all, who doesn't like to save money on their electricity bills !

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