Home Energy/Environment Are Solar Panels Still a Good Investment in the UK?

Are Solar Panels Still a Good Investment in the UK?

Solar panels on house roof

This question is tied to the fact that there was a time when the government was overwhelmingly supportive of homeowners who decided to install solar panels in their home.

At the height of the solar panels boom, a host of companies offered to install solar panels in people’s homes for free. It was pretty lucrative at the time due to government programs like the feed-in tariff and the government’s solar grant. So the question is: is it still a profitable venture to install solar panels in your United Kingdom home?

There is bad news and there is good news in this respect. The bad news is that there aren’t many government grants being offered anymore. Unfortunately, There aren’t any free solar panels, either. The good news is that, according to PCS Energy, it can still be profitable to install solar panels in your home.

We’ll look at two ways in which this works.

The Feed-in Tariff

The solar feed-in tariff is a government tariff that rewards you for installing solar panels in your home. You’re paid for the electricity generated by those solar panels during a period of 20 years. The scheme pays you both for the energy you consume and the energy you don’t consume, which you could potentially sell to the local power grid.

It used to be that, with the feed-in tariff alone, homeowners who installed solar panels in their homes could earn up to £8,080 over the course of those 20 years.

Due to a fall in the cost of solar panels, however, the government cut the tariff by 64 per cent in 2016. This isn’t bad news, however, as you can still earn a significant amount in the course of 20 years. You need to hurry, however, as the tariff comes to an end in April 2019.

There’s also a cap on annual new spending for the tariff. That means there’s a limit to the amount of solar that can be registered during each quarter. Any applications after the limits have been reached will simply be put on a waiting list for the next quarter.

General Electricity Bill Savings

Solar panels involve a high upfront cost, which can seem daunting to some. However, the electricity they produce, after that upfront cost, is practically free. That means you’ll be making your initial investment back in the form of savings on your electricity bills.

The payback period for solar panels in the U.K. has a national average of slightly less than 10 years. If you live in the south, which receives more sunlight annually than the north, that period is shorter to the tune of about a year. That means that your solar panels will pay for themselves in less than a decade. From then on, the free electricity will translate to nothing but a profit.

It’s Still Profitable

As you can see, installing solar panels in the U.K. is still a great deal. You get to use green energy, be a first adopter of this remarkable new technology, save on your electricity bills, and enjoy some government incentives for early adopters of solar technologies.


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