Background to Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels
Installing PV solar panels is one of the best investments for increasing the value of a property and reducing energy bills. The solar heating system can provide up to 70% of a homes annual hot water or electricity. Basically PV solar panels convert sunlight into electricity even on a cloudy day and energy that is not used during the day can be sold to the national grid for resale to other homes and businesses. These PV solar panels have improved significantly over the last few years making them even more efficient and an attractive green investment for the conscientious family.
PV Solar Panels
PV solar heating panels provide hot water and it is the most common use of solar technology in the UK. PV solar panels take over the heating of the hot water during the day time, so no gas or electricity is used to heat the water. At night however, the conventional boiler system takes over. The solar panels gather heat during the day which is used to heat a fluid within the panels. This fluid then moves through the pipes to the heat exchanger, which in turn is transferred to the water in the hot water cylinder. There are also special flat plate PV solar panels that can be installed in the roof. These panels use a special low iron glass formula which increases absorption due to its reduced reflective property. This is achieved because the coated surface is not flat and is made up of thousands of tiny pyramids.
The Cost of Installing PV Solar Panels
The cost of installation very much depends on the size of the property and the number and type of PV solar panels installed. The cost of a 1-2 person system would average between £3,600 - £6,000. For a 4 person system the cost would be between £6,000 - £9,000. For a larger property with a larger hot water system the price would cost between £10,000 - £12,000. The largest properties would cost between £17,000 - £20,000. Although this is a substantial up front outlay, a PV solar panel heating system is not a short term investment. British Gas is now offering to enter into a contract to rent their customers roof. British Gas then pays to install the PV solar panels. The benefits for the customer include no installation costs and ongoing savings on the annual energy bill. These savings vary of course depending on the size of the property. For example, a roof with 20m2 area would equate to an annual saving of around £122; whereas a roof with 23m2 area would save around £152 on the annual energy bill.
Make Money from Installing PV Solar Panels
To reduce household CO2 emissions the UK government is committed to improve energy efficiency throughout the UK. The government aims to make renewable energy an attractive option by giving a generous incentive to increase take up. The old grant system has recently been replaced by a government backed solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme. This scheme provides the facility to earn back money by selling unused electricity through the national grid. Dependant on the amount of electricity generated it could be possible to earn a tax free income of £700. Not only can income be generated by exporting electricity, but FITs are tax free for 25 years and earn an average 8% return on the initial investment. FITs are available to anyone who generates their own electricity. This scheme is not just for home owners but charities and businesses are also eligible. All you need to do is generate up to 5 megawatts of electricity.