How Solar Works
From sunlight to electricity
Solar panels capture the suns energy using photo-voltaic (PV) cells. These cells produce DC electricity whenever there is daylight. The more intense the light, the more electricity is produced.
PV cells don't need direct sunlight to work - you can still generate electricity on a cloudy day or slightly shaded roof.
In order to go solar you need three things:
Unshaded roof space, south facing will generate the most electricity.
An amount of money, typically between £4,000 - £7,000, to invest in solar.
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for your house, with a rating of D or above.
The financial benefits of going solar are three fold.
When combined, result in an estimated year one benefit of £459. Subject to inflation, the overall benefit of savings and payments could excess £15,000 over 20 years.
Save money on your electric bill
The typical saving is around 35% but this can be increased up to about 80% by adding a battery storage system or by using any surplus energy to heat your water via an immersion controller.
If you use half of the electric generated you will save around £245 on your current bill.
Get paid for the electricity generated
You will be paid for all the electricity generated by your panels at a rate of 3.69 p per unit (kilowatt hour).
A 4 kw south facing system will produce approx 3,500 units per annum, giving a payment of £129 in the first year.
Get paid for exporting excess
You will be paid for surplus electricity exported back to the grid.
This is paid at a rate of 4.91 p per unit and could be worth around £85 a year.