Take a fresh look at solar panels this new year
“Year on year people have watched in quiet disbelief as the cost of heating their homes have increased without mercy in such a short period of time.”
Looking back over the last decade since I first begun working on Heat my Home, I often wondered if the people who rejected a solar installation in those early years, now wish that they had installed them sooner.
Once considered a ‘green technology’ some people did install for environmental reasons, but I now suspect that most of those early solar pioneers who bought installations from this era, we’re also aware that change was in the wind and sought ways to reduce the pain through solar technology.
Since 2006 the cost of energy bills has increased every year without fail with the chance of more increases this new year too, so for those who are lucky enough to be able to afford a solar panel installation, should now take a fresh look at what this much underestimated technology can do.
As people in the traditional spirit of the new year, wish each other a better new year than the last, I suspect most are waiting for their energy bills to be reduced. A time which will never come, unless you intend to use technology to counter the effects of higher global demand for dwindling resources.
Self-improvement is big business at the beginning of every new year, and this should also include pre-empting the price rises, which have now become as predictable as Christmas itself.
Until our greatest minds find a way of separating hydrogen from water to make hydrogen fuel cell technology cheaply viable, then the climbing costs of heating our homes and powering our modern lives will continue to rise without mercy.
This is why a new year with a solar installation is going to be a beneficial investment for many years to come.
Choosing a solar panel installation
Using technology to reduce dependence should be everyone’s priority and knowing which type of solar panel installation will be best for your family can be difficult with so much choice.
Affordability is a major factor for people considering such an investment, but the prices of most installation types such as PV solar panels and solar heating panels have tumbled by as much as 50% over the last couple of years, with their popularity being driven by the feed-in tariff schemes.
Photovoltaic installations now offer a respectable 8-12% ROI, a much more lucrative reward than typical High Street banks give their ordinary savers. Many householders are still unaware about the benefits that installing solar technology can bring, even after the recent reductions in the feed-in tariff of last year.
PV solar’s underestimated relative is solar heating panels including evacuated tubes, which can also bring a good return of around 5-8%. Choosing this type of technology can sometimes be difficult because many of the newer solar companies only offer PV systems, so finding a company which can help you compare both systems and their benefits can be difficult.
A large household with a big demand for hot water may benefit more from a solar heating system, where a couple whom may be out for most of the day at work (as an example) may find a photovoltaic system generates an income while they are out of the home.
Another example may be if you are heating your ‘off the grid’ home with oil, then the increasing expense of this type of fuel can make a heating panel system extremely beneficial in reducing your dependence on your oil tank.
Everyone is looking to reduce their dependence on traditional gas/electricity and oil supplies, but the individual needs of each household can be forgotten when people are discussing solar panel systems for their home.
- Get quotes from respectable MCS accredited installers who are REAL members.
- Get quotes and information from Photovoltaic and solar heat installers.
- Compare branded panels with non-branded panels. There can be huge differences in performance and longevity between panel manufacturers, which will ultimately affect your feed-in tariff revenues.
- Never sign up on the same day. Do your homework and find out how long certain companies have been installing before committing. A respectable company will always leave you with quotes and information to help you decide for yourself.
- Avoid companies surveying your home via telephone. A pre on-site inspection of your home will be required to avoid problems during the installation process.
I am happy to say that the solar industry has improved itself with industry regulation and minimum standards over the last couple of years, but you will always get a few bad companies spoiling it for the many.
I hope this website can help you join the thousands of happy pioneer households who said ‘YES’ to solar technology and ‘NO’ to dependence on escalating fuel bills.
Taking a fresh look at your 12 month, 5, 10 or even 30 year plans, should almost certainly include installing solar panels in today’s uncertain world.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt January 1, 2013
Founder of Heat My Home.