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1 Jul 2024

3 ways solar panels can save homeowners money

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist

With solar panels becoming increasingly accessible and popular in the UK, you may be wondering if they’re a viable investment for you. If you’ve been looking into the subject, you’ll know how solar panel installation can be a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and make your property more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

But did you know that solar panels can also save you money? Let’s explore the main ways that photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can bring you a valuable return on your investment

1. Savings on your energy bills

The most direct way that solar panels can save homeowners money is on your energy bills. By using renewable energy generated by your panels, you can lower your reliance on the national grid. This means you don’t need to buy electricity — you can generate it for free from the sun’s rays.

How much money do solar panels save you per month? Well, the answer to that depends on several factors, including:

The number of solar panels you have

The size and energy needs of your home determine the number of panels you’ll require. For example:

  • The average one-bedroom house will need around six solar panels.

  • A three-bedroom property can benefit from around 10 solar panels. 

The number you have on your roof will affect how much solar energy you can harness. Ultimately, the more panels you have, the greater your potential savings.

Your household energy usage

As well as helping you determine how many PV panels you need, your household’s energy usage will affect how much money you can save. 

If your household uses a lot of energy, solar panels can offset a substantial portion of your electricity costs. For instance, if you consume 900 kWh per month and your solar panels generate 600 kWh, you’ll only need to purchase 300 kWh from the grid.

On the other hand, if your property is very efficient, the solar power you generate may be able to cover nearly all of your energy costs. Some households can even achieve a net-zero energy consumption, where their solar production meets their energy use or exceeds it. If your panels generate more solar energy than you use, you can make money by selling it back to the National Grid — more on that later!

The type of solar panels you have

Whether you have monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film PV panels also has an impact. In general, monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient, which means they can lead to greater savings over time. However, it’s worth noting that they also tend to come with a higher initial cost.

Average monthly savings

The above factors make it tricky to give an exact figure on how much solar panels can save on your monthly bills. However, the Energy Savings Trust estimates that an average UK household with a 3.5 kilowatt-peak can save between £110 and £410 per year — working out at a monthly saving of £9 to £34. 

With these numbers, UK homeowners can expect to break even on their solar panel investment in around 14 years. As you’ll see, this could be sooner with incentives like the Smart Export Guarantee.

For a more accurate idea of how much solar panels could save you on your energy bills and when you’re likely to break even, we recommend using the Energy Savings Trust’s solar panel calculator

2. Government incentives

Did you know that there are government incentives to encourage both homeowners and businesses to install solar panels? In the UK, these include grants, such as the Green Deal and ECO4 to help lower the cost of solar panel installation. Financial support from the government and other organisations can help homeowners save money on the initial investment costs associated with solar panels.

If you’re interested in learning more about the financial support available, take a look at our guide to solar panel grants. For homeowners in Ireland, we also have details on Irish solar panel grants

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is another programme from which homeowners can benefit. Through this scheme, you can sell any excess electricity your solar powers generate back to the grid. This can significantly reduce your monthly energy bills, saving you huge amounts of money in the long run.

3. Increased property value

Another benefit of solar panels is the value they can add to your property. While this isn’t a direct saving, as such, it can certainly help you with future property purchases. 

Installing solar panels is a great way to future-proof your home. And as well as lowering your current energy bills (and your carbon footprint), research suggests that solar panels can add anywhere from 2% to 14% to your property’s value. That equates to thousands of pounds! 

Why do solar panels increase property value? Prospective buyers recognise the long-term savings and environmental benefits that solar power can bring. With climate change, the cost of living, and energy efficiency at the forefront of many people’s minds, it’s no wonder that solar-equipped homes are an attractive choice.

While it’s vital to take your initial expenditure into account, the boost in property value can, in many cases, result in a healthy return on investment.

Can installing a solar panel battery save you more money?

Installing solar panels is a great way to save money on your energy bills and add value to your property. However, adding a solar panel battery to the mix can increase your savings further. 

Solar batteries do, of course, require extra investment initially but, over time, they can maximise your solar panel performance and lead to bigger savings.

A solar battery stores any excess energy that your PV panels generate and allows you to use it at a later date — whether that’s at night or in the winter when less direct sunlight is available. 

So, how much can a solar battery save you? Well, as with solar panels themselves, this again depends on several factors such as your household energy usage, the type of battery, and the number of solar panels you install. 

As a general guide, however, you can expect to save around 20% more on your annual bill when compared with solar panels only. 

Compare and save on solar panels with SpotDif

Solar panels are a smart investment for UK homeowners. As well as helping you reduce your carbon footprint, PV panels can slash your monthly energy bills and give your property value a boost. 

When you shop around to find the best deal on solar panel installation, you can benefit even further — and at SpotDif, we can help you do just that. Our handy comparison tool makes finding top-rated solar panel providers and comparing their offers a breeze. 

Start your search for affordable, high-quality solar panels today and see how much money you could save. 

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
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