Investing in solar panels is truly a long-term investment: you will regain the value of the panels over time, so your initial payment has to be seen as a quasi deposit.
What you pay for the installation will gradually be negated by the electricity you generate over time.
Happily, solar panels no longer cost as much as they used to, which means you won’t have to pay nearly as much as you would have around ten years or so ago.
With this all in mind, how much do solar panels cost, and are they worth it?
The upfront cost
Unlike many other additions to your home, the cost of a solar panel doesn’t really fluctuate depending on where you live.
A conservatory, for example, would vary from price-to-price depending on which part of the country you live in.
A solar panel, however, has a fixed value of around £6,200. The yearly savings you can expect to make from this start at just under £90 a year and go up to anywhere around £240. These yearly savings depend on a few factors:
- How much electricity you use during the day: if you spend your days at home, you will be using the solar panel more during its peak hours. Obviously, your solar panel will not be generating any electricity during the night time, as it will have no exposure to the sun’s rays. Therefore, you will be utilising its perks more on the weekends and in the mornings if you work for most of the week.
- Where your home is situated: a south-facing roof will always perform better.
- What is surrounding your roof: if you have tall trees or buildings surrounding your roof, you may not get as much of a benefit from your solar panel. These could potentially block the light reaching the panels, which will have an influence on the money you reap back from it.
Otherwise, your solar panel will create around 3,500 kWh within a year, with a very small degradation over the years. In just 25 years, you are estimated to have created around 88,000 kWh from your solar panels.
To break even
It is estimated that it will take approximately 30-40 years for you to break even for your solar panel. This may seem like a long time, but consider that this means that over 30 or so years, you will have saved over £6,000 in electricity bills, which is quite a substantial amount.
If you’re worried about maintenance or the cost of replacing your inverter, this will cost an absolute maximum of £2,500 – if you need it.
Over the years, you will gradually make back the cost of your £6,200 solar panel – give or take a few potential maintenance costs. Otherwise, the cost of a solar panel can be made back over time.
In order to make this back, however, you will need to make sure your solar panel is in an optimum place. This means keeping it clear from shadows or blocked light and ideally placing it on a south-facing roof. You will also make the most of your electricity savings by using it during the daylight hours.