The sun is the most valuable source of renewable energy, which means that a wealth of UK households are opting to transition to solar power. Based on research by the Solar Trade Association, the nation has now reached a milestone of a vast 1 million solar homes.
While the most significant advantage of considering solar panels for your home would be the boosted efficiency, there are a plethora of additional financial and lifestyle-related benefits.
Why Use Solar Panels For Your Home?
Unlike a significant percentage of energy-efficient property upgrades, the concept of solar panels couldn’t be more straightforward. There is no technical jargon or complex component; it is merely the case of sunlight being transformed into electricity. As the sun shines onto panels, all of the solar energy is absorbed and converted into a direct current of electricity.
Nowadays, almost all properties fit the criteria for solar panels. As long as the roof is sturdy and there is enough space nearby for the inverter, solar panels can be installed. Those with an available south-facing roof will reap the highest level of solar energy. Homes with a north-facing roof, on the other hand, can still utilise solar panels but must keep in mind that around 25% less energy will be generated.
As featured in an article by Energy Saving Trust, it is thought that by the year 2050, solar power will, in fact, become the world’s largest source of energy. No longer will residential and commercial property owners rely on fossil fuels. Instead, they will be generating all of the power that they need independently. This could save large businesses alone a huge £30,000 annually on their energy bills – a saving too fantastic to turn down! With this in mind, if you are yet to transition to solar energy, then we have devised a guide to the most sought-after benefits.
Reduces Energy Bills
Opting to install solar panels means that you will be less reliant on your utility supplier. In some cases, you may grow to a point where you no longer need to be tied down with an electricity provider, meaning that even if energy prices rise, you will remain unaffected. As the sun is a free, natural resource, it means that you will be generating power without any associated costs. Even after your first month of utilising solar panels, this will translate into a significant saving on bills. On average, families are more than capable of cutting their bills by as much as 50%.
If you notice that you have been generating a surplus of power, then any leftover energy can either be stored or exported back to the grid in exchange for cash. Excess energy is often produced during the Summer months when the days are longer, and panels are exposed more to the sunshine. In this case, we recommend investing in a solar battery. Solar batteries are used to maximise savings as they allow property owners to store energy for a later date. It means that you will always be guaranteed free, solar energy, even on the darkest of days when the sun is in hibernation. A full guide on the use of a solar battery can be found on Let’s Go Solar.
Once solar panels have been installed, they require little to no maintenance. Almost all companies who specialise in the manufacturing of panels provide customers with a 20-50 year guarantee. Due to this, in the unlikely case that a problem does arise, repairs can be scheduled quickly and free of charge. Moreover, as solar panels involve no moving parts, they will never be susceptible to wear and tear.
The only maintenance task that you will need to complete is panel cleaning around twice a year. In keeping your solar panels clean, you can ensure that they absorb as much sunlight as possible. Panels can either be cleaned using DIY methods or through hiring a professional cleaning company. Those who opt for independent maintenance can find details on how to clean panels on Energy Informative.
The only component of solar panels that you will need to keep an eye out for is the inverter. Inverters are vital in converting solar energy into power, which means that they need to remain fully functioning. Your inverter can last anything from five to ten years before replacement is required.
Cuts Carbon Emissions
Solar panels ability to cut carbon emissions remains one of the most prominent benefits. Every UK resident is actively encouraged to play their role in lowering the nations carbon footprint – utilising solar power is the most effective place to start.
Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and oil, solar panels do not emit any greenhouse gases, nor do they pollute the water. They contribute towards slowing down climate change as they reduce the number of toxic chemicals that reach the atmosphere. Along with eliminating pollution, solar panels also require little water. While panels only need water for cleaning a few times a year, nuclear power plants, for example, demand over 20 times more water just to continue operations. With all of these points in mind, solar panels are now the least harmful energy source on the planet.
Guaranteed 24-Hour Power
Installing a combination of solar panels and a battery storage unit means that you will always be guaranteed 24-hour power, regardless of what is happening on the outside. Even when there are blackouts and power cuts, the likelihood that you will maintain access to power is incredibly high.
Not only do solar panels reassure ongoing energy during short-term power cuts, but also when fossil fuels reach an ultimate low. We are all no stranger to the fact that the world is running out of fossil fuels. As mentioned in an Ecotricity article, research has uncovered that oil could run out in as soon as 2051, along with gas in 2061 and coal in approximately 150 years. With this in mind, opting to install solar panels will work towards preparing you, your family and generations to come for the extinction of fossil fuels.
Solar panels can be used to power almost every electrical and heat-related appliance featured in your property, making the source incredibly diverse. You are not limited to only fitting panels to your roofing system. As mentioned previously, over time, you can stop all reliance on providers and switch to an entirely solar-powered home. Just some of the many residential uses of solar energy include the following:
- Water Heaters – Traditional gas or electricity-powered water heaters can now be replaced with solar systems. Collectors (solar panels) are fitted to your roof and collect energy to heat a hot water cylinder. More information on solar water heaters can be found on Energy Saving Trust.
- Ventilation Fans – As opposed to using ventilation fans wired to the electricity, alternatives are available which feature a small solar panel. They operate using a fan motor equipped with photo-electric cells.
- Battery-Operated Devices – Whether it may be your smartphone, laptop or iPad, any battery-operated device can be charged using solar energy. This is because solar panels generate DC current, which is the same currency used in traditional batteries. Tech Advisor has put together a handy article on the best solar chargers if this strikes your interest.
- Outdoor Lighting – A huge percentage of garden lights are now powered using solar energy. Instead of fitting intricate underground wiring to light your outdoor space, instead, fixtures feature small solar cells with a rechargeable battery. Solar Centre stock a fantastic range of solar garden lights.
Renewable energy, by definition, is energy that has been generated using renewable resources, which natural replenish themselves within an average human lifespan. While the most common renewable energy source is the sun, wind and water also fall under this category.
Whether you are here in the UK or across the globe in Australia, the sun is a resource that you can always rely on. Regardless of location, sunlight will always be available, which makes the energy generated truly renewable. Solar power will remain readily available for billions of years into the future, unlike fossil fuels, which are running low.
Solar Energy Meets Demand
Any property owner responsible for their home electricity will notice a spike in their bills during peak hours. Peak hours relate to the periods of the day where electricity is highest in demand, meaning that rates are slightly higher.
When utilising solar panels as opposed to energy from the grid, you will not be faced with higher tariffs at particular times of the day. The sun is, in fact, at its strongest during morning peak hours, which means that power will meet demand. Peak hours in the evening, on the other hand, can be fulfiled using the excess energy stored in your battery storage unit.
Prevents Noise Pollution
Although in the past, many complained of a slight humming sound from solar panels, modern alternatives are created to be almost silent. While the initial installation, of course, will come alongside construction noise, you will have absolutely no noise pollution going forward. This means that regardless of whether you live in a busy city or tranquil rural area, you will never have to worry about disruptions.
Reap The Benefits Of Solar Panels
While solar panels are not a new invention, they do continue to advance, making them the ideal addition to any home. They can either work alongside your home electricity plan or alone as your primary source of power. When considering the installation of solar panels, we strongly recommend spending time to research industry specialists before going ahead with booking an appointment. In doing this, not only can you reassure the safety of panels, but you will also be able to use them to your full advantage.