Known Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy does not emit toxic substances or contaminants into the air, which can be very damaging to the environment and to human beings. … Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind energy has one of the lowest water-consumption footprints, which makes it a key for conserving hydrological resources.
Cost Effective for Real Estate
If you are looking for a way to reduce your utility bills and help the environment then solar energy could be the ideal solution.
With more and more people looking for eco-friendly homes, installing solar panels on your property is a viable solution that will save you money in the long term, as well as cutting your carbon footprint.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, installing a solar energy system in your home could help cut your annual CO2 output by an average of one tonne per year, while you could also generate up to 40 percent of your electricity using a 2.2 kWp system, saving you money on energy bills.
If you need any more incentives to consider using solar power, then the versatility of solar panels is another plus point for the technology.
Not only can they be used to generate electricity, but solar thermal panels can also be utilised to heat water.
But before you get too carried away, there are a few small things that you need to consider before taking the plunge and installing a solar energy system in your home.
One of the most important considerations is the amount of sunlight that your panels will get.
While this may seem obvious, you need to check more than just the direction in which the panels will be facing – which should be within 90 degrees of the south.
Trees or tall buildings which overshadow your property at certain times of the day could reduce the efficiency of your solar panels, so be sure to check this carefully before you proceed.
Once you have decided where to place your solar panels, you need to make sure that the roof or wall you have selected is strong enough to support them.
These energy generating devices can be surprisingly heavy so it is worth getting a professional to assess your property to be sure that it is up to the task.
One final potential stumbling block that you need to be aware of is planning permission.
Although most counties in the UK do not require you to seek planning permission for an installation of this sort – provided it is below a certain size – it is always worth making a phone call to check.
Listed buildings and properties in conservation areas could be exceptions to this rule so make sure you carry out the necessary paperwork before getting started.
But if your home is suitable to have solar panels mounted on it then you will find there are numerous benefits – both in environmental and monetary terms.
When it comes to solar energy, you have two main choices – solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for generating electricity and solar heating systems for warming up your water.
Solar PV panels work by capturing the sun’s energy and converting it to electricity that can then be used in your home, stored in batteries to be used at a later date or fed back into the national grid.
If you choose to sell-back your surplus electricity to the national grid, then you will receive payments under the government’s Feed in Tariff scheme, which could earn you up to £900 per year, according to Energy Saving Trust estimates.
Meanwhile, solar thermal panels – which are used to heat water – work slightly differently.
Some of the water supply to your home will be passed through pipes in the panels, which use the sun’s energy to heat the water that passes through them. This is then fed into a hot water tank and you can use a boiler to further heat the water if you need to.
The set-up costs of solar energy systems can appear to be high, but you should not let this put you off.
Under a government scheme, you could receive a grant to help you with the installation costs of your solar panels and if you sell some of your electricity back to the national grid, you could cover the initial outlay in a matter of years.
Another thing to consider when opting for solar energy to improve the environmental credentials of your home is who will install the system.
You should always hire a trained professional to carry out this kind of work due to the complexity of the system and the location of your solar panels, which are likely to be on your roof.
You will find both local construction experts and specialist solar panel installers in most areas of the country who can help you find the most suitable solar energy system for your home and assist you with its installation.