Solar panels - are they worth it now?

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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    BikingBud said:
    QrizB said:
    Snowclock said:
    Just wondering how much this equation is changing with the threatened 50% rise in energy bills, next year.
    The threat (although it's almost a promise at this stage) is of a 50% rise in the Ofgem cap. What happens to energy bills remains to be seen.
    I would be reluctant to make an investment with a 5-to-15-year payback period on the basis of the past five months of unusually high gas prices.
    If you can comfortably afford solar panels at a more typical price-per-kWh, go for it; if prices remain high it will be a bonus. Even a 15-year payback period is a better return than you'll get in a savings account.
    (All the usual caveats apply; in particular you're unlikely to realise much benefit if you sell, so you should be planning to stay in your current home for the duration.)
    Is the general consensus that PV are something to be wary of when purchasing a house?
    There will be some due diligence to ensure there are no burdens or financial ties but I would consider that panels could be more attractive than the new kitchen with £10k of marble worktops.
    Wary, no, although some buyers will be put off by them (others may be attracted by them). It's just that you can't necessarily expect to get someone to spend an extra £5k on your house just because it's got £5k of solar PV on the roof.
    To be fair solar panels are now cheap enough, and houses expensive enough, that this is less of a problem but a decade ago when panels were 3x the price and houses 40% cheaper, it was an issue.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • javixeneize
    javixeneize Posts: 157 Forumite
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    Back to this topic, considering the vat scrap and the new price cap in October, would solar panels or heat pumps be a good solution now,?
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    Back to this topic, considering the vat scrap and the new price cap in October, would solar panels or heat pumps be a good solution now,?
    Take a look at the Green & Ethical sub-forum, solar PV and heat pumps both get discussed regularly there.
    VAT on solar PV systems was only 5% for most people anyway, and prices have risen since last year by at least that much. Heat pumps are less appealing than they were with the imminent closure of the RHI scheme.
    @Spies has recently installed a system and if his current rate of return continues (not guaranteed) it will pay for itself in around seven years.
    There's also Ripple which is a lower-cost option with similar benefits to solar PV. Ripple has its own thread over on G&E.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • I'd be interested to know if anyone has a solar system and battery storage system, I am considering installing this year on a home we are currently buying which has south facing roof and not overlooked/shaded. We'd like to use stored power for heaters and electric vehicle possibly. Any advice on fitters welcomed also (Brighton area).
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,237 Forumite
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    We'd like to use stored power for heaters and electric vehicle possibly.
    The cost of battery storage tends to make it less useful for high demands like heating and EV charging, but it can be useful for your normal household loads.
    Better to look for a tariff designed for EV charging like Octopus 'Go' or their newer 'Intelligent' tariff if your car/charger is compatible, then use the cheap periods to top up your battery storage to cover the periods when the sun doesn't shine.
    Similarly if you are using electricity for heating then you can set night storage heaters to run during the cheaper period as well.
    If you have plans for an ASHP then it is a bit harder as there is limited solar at the times of year when you will run the ASHP, and it will tend to need to run constantly to keep the house warm so while you can still time-shift energy from the cheaper period of the day, it is not going to cover all your needs in winter.

  • Dogbyte009
    Dogbyte009 Posts: 84 Forumite
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    I'd be interested to know if anyone has a solar system and battery storage system, I am considering installing this year on a home we are currently buying which has south facing roof and not overlooked/shaded. We'd like to use stored power for heaters and electric vehicle possibly. Any advice on fitters welcomed also (Brighton area).
    I have a solar system with a 2Kwh battery and a south west facing roof. Since installation I've cut my electricity bills by over 50% (3-bed semi). This time of year you can have a full charge on the battery by lunchtime so anything you generate and don't use for the rest of the day goes back to the grid. A full battery will get you through an evening of watching TV, having a few lights on and boiling the kettle a couple of times taking nothing from the grid.

    You do have to learn to build your life around the system a bit - put the washing machine on during daylight, etc. Obviously it's less effective in the winter as some days you can't generate enough to charge the battery.

    Check if your local council is signed up for Solar Together, it can significantly cut the installation cost.
  • Benny2020
    Benny2020 Posts: 525 Forumite
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    I too have a solar system and live on the third planet out from the local star, it is a rocky planet but is quite nice.
  • Chrysalis
    Chrysalis Posts: 4,144 Forumite
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    If you a home owner I would imagine it increases value of property so should also be taken into account, so I would say yes.

    Obviously for rentals different story, not that a tenant could do it anyway, I feel for rentals the government needs to be forcing it as I will speculate in a few decades time we will have nearly all homeowners with solar panels, double glazing etc. and nearly all tenants with drafty windows and no solar power.  With energy costing 50x plus what it costs now.
  • Ultrasonic
    Ultrasonic Posts: 4,235 Forumite
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    Chrysalis said:
    If you a home owner I would imagine it increases value of property so should also be taken into account, so I would say yes.
    This info. is from 2017 but it may be less clear cut than you'd think:

    https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/07/do-solar-panels-affect-the-value-of-your-home/
  • Yvo
    Yvo Posts: 13 Forumite
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    edited 24 March 2022 at 10:20PM
    I've had a system recently installed through the Solar Together scheme, which I highly recommend if it's available in your local council. It saved about 10-20 % of the price then going solo with a provider. 

    I had mine installed in October of last year with 4.8 KWH of batteries, just before the energy prices started to go bonkers. It has cut my energy use by about 50% but I expect it to be more as summer is approaching. I signed up with Octopus for export who have good rates for exporting your energy. I'm on their agile export and at times (not often) I am selling my energy for more then I am buying in as I'm on a fixed rate contract taken out before the energy crisis. However this will ofcourse end when I have to get a new contract.

    At first I thought it would take around 13 years before I have my investment back and after that I would start making profit. These systems can last around 30 years so there is plenty of time to make a profit. However with these prices I estimate I will have my investment back in 9-10 years and that is a conservative estimate. I imagined it would increase the value of my house as well but the judge is still out on that, but I don't see how it could make my house worth less.

    I do actually regret buying the batteries as they at the moment give me a marginal benefit and they were quite expensive, but perhaps they will be more beneficial in the future.

    Long story short, I do think it's worth it especially if you go through a Solar Together type scheme!
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