Solar panels, are they worth it?

solar panels

In November 2011 we decided to have Solar panels installed. The ‘other half’ had been researching them for years, way before the Govt decided to encourage people to get them. Trying to be a bit more self sufficient he also wanted a generator and a woodturner, two out of three isn’t bad, but he’s still angling for a generator in the garage.

Although we live in the North West the back of the house is full south facing so we invested a bit of the pension money on having them installed, as it was fairly early days the panels were expensive but the government ‘feed in tariff’ (the subsidy you get for having them installed) was at its initial highest rate so we thought it would offset the cost.

Now it’s five years on what do we think, well, we love them.

Through the summer months when we have longer days our electricity is in credit which helps towards the cost of the dark winter months when bills are higher. We have a reader which shows how much electricity we are producing and how much has been earned that day. This shows we are using our own electricity to charge the kindle.

appliance charging by solar energy

I know not everyone is in a position to invest in solar panels but I know you can have them installed for free by some energy companies, councils and housing associations. My friend did this so I asked what she thought of them.

She doesn’t earn any money as they belong to the energy company but the savings on her bills have been enormous. In fact she does all of the laundry  belonging to her four grand-daughters to help her daughter save on electricity.  She said (and I agree) the people who benefit most are those at home in the daytime. You can do laundry, cooking and use major appliances while the solar panels are producing electricity, they don’t store electricity so when the sun goes down you revert back to the national grid like everyone else.

I think if you can have them installed for free it’s worth it as they do help cut your bills. In our case we have probably recouped half of our initial outlay so far, but while doing this we have benefitted from producing our own electricity and saved on bills.

If you’re thinking of Solar panels do your research. Find a company with good references wether you’re paying or having a free installation. And if you can, visit someone who’s already had them installed by your chosen company.

So in answer to my own question, Are solar panels worth it?  In my opinion, YES they are.

 

A Green and Rosie Life

4 Comments

  1. Susie Kearley
    May 10, 2017 / 08:30

    I wish my husband was more interested. I’d love them, but we’ve had so much trouble with the roof, he’s worried about it caving in I think!

    • May 10, 2017 / 22:20

      They do check your roof strength first, but it does make you anxious in the beginning. We had loads of questions answered first. If you have them put on for free they will to maintain them & make sure your roof is ok as it’s their investment.Maybe one day : )

  2. April 26, 2017 / 12:54

    We were thinking of solar panels, but it didn’t make sense when we looked into it. We had to wait for ~10 years to get our investment back, so it didn’t worth the hassle. I hope the things will get better. If it reaches 5 years, we would install them without a second thought. Reading your post made me want to have a chat with some solar panels providers, to see the new options we might get.

    • April 26, 2017 / 19:21

      Yes Anca check out all the options, It was worth it when we did it although the panels were more expensive than now. My friend owns her home but has free solar panels and she’s very happy.

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