With the ever rising cost of energy, increasing numbers of home- and business owners are considering making the switch to solar power. Their reasoning is that once the original cost and installation is paid for, they get free energy from the sun–and maybe even enough to sell back to the grid for a residual income. That’s a nice thought, isn’t it? But how much do solar panels really cost in the UK? Can you afford to make the switch?
Cost of Panels and Hardware
The first thing you need to do is calculate how much electricity you need to generate each day. That would give you a fair idea as to exactly how many panels you need to install. Because every home is different based on size, location, availability of space for southwest facing panels and a few other factors, there is no way to say exactly how much they cost until you get an estimate by a professional installer. However, it is estimated that the cost of solar panels for homes in the UK averages between £6,000 and £9,000.
Typically, the cost above includes the cost of installation. But if you have someone in the family or a friend that is a licensed installer with a roofing company, you may be able to cut the cost a bit. Unfortunately, if you need to take a loan out to cover the cost of a solar panel installation, you may need to have them installed by a licensed contractor who is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, RECC, to do the work. Because a building permit is probably going to be required, you will almost always need a licensed installer to meet with ordinances and the regulations the inspector will make you adhere to.
Permits and Inspection Fees
Speaking of inspectors and building permits, this is an additional cost that must be added to the final calculations if you are looking to find how much solar panels cost. Most often you will not need to worry about these costs separately from the installation because the installer will apply for them on your behalf and that cost will be calculated in the total price you are quoted. Even so, this is a figure that you need to account for when tallying the total cost to you. Is this something you can afford when all these fees and costs are added up?
Sometimes homeowners have gotten into debt over their heads and as a result have bad credit ratings. Does this mean you won’t be able to get your solar panel installation financed? Actually, it doesn’t. You can get loans for people who have bad credit and loans against the equity on your home to cover the costs. So then, in the end you can count on the base cost as probably being no more than about £9,000 but then there will be interest and loan fees tacked onto that amount. With the savings you realise in using solar power over the life of the loan you will probably see that the installation ends up costing little to nothing. It’s just a matter of putting the money up front. Is this something you feel comfortable doing? With the high cost of electricity, it is at least something you should seriously consider.