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  • Writer's pictureRyan Williams

Are solar panels worth it?

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

As concerns about climate change and the rising cost of electricity continue to mount, many homeowners in the UK are considering installing solar panels on their roofs to generate clean, renewable energy and potentially save on their energy bills. However, with the multitude of factors that come into play, including the size of the solar system, battery storage, and the current electrical unit rate, it's important to carefully assess whether solar panels are truly worth it for your specific circumstances. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at a 4kW solar system with batteries and the average electrical unit rate in April 2023 for a family home in the UK to help you make an informed decision.


First, let's understand the basics. A 4kW solar system typically consists of around 10 to 14 solar panels, depending on the type and efficiency of the panels. These panels, when exposed to sunlight, generate electricity that can be used to power your home's appliances and lighting. Additionally, a 4kW solar system may also include batteries for energy storage, allowing you to store excess energy generated during the day and use it during the evenings or when the sun isn't shining.


One of the key factors in determining whether solar panels are worth it in the UK is the average electrical unit rate, which is the price you pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity consumed from the grid. As of April 2023, the average electrical unit rate in the UK is around 34p per kWh, depending on the region and energy supplier. However, it's important to note that electrical unit rates can vary over time and can be subject to changes in government policies, market conditions, and other factors.


Now let's consider a family home scenario where the residents are away during the day for work and are at home during early mornings and evenings after work. In this case, the solar panels would be generating electricity during the day when the residents are not at home, and any excess energy generated would be stored in the batteries for later use. The stored energy can then be used in the evenings when the residents are at home and the solar panels are not generating electricity.


The use of batteries for energy storage can significantly impact the financial viability of a solar panel system. Batteries allow you to store excess energy and use it during peak demand times, such as evenings or when the sun isn't shining, reducing your reliance on the grid and potentially saving on your energy bills. However, batteries also add to the upfront cost of a solar system, and their efficiency and lifespan can vary depending on the type and quality of the batteries.


To determine whether solar panels with batteries are worth it in the UK, you would need to consider several factors, including:

1. The cost of installation,

2. The expected energy generation from the solar panels,

3. The efficiency and lifespan of the batteries,

4. The potential savings on your energy bills.

In general, solar panels with batteries tend to be more financially viable for homes with higher electricity usage, as they allow for greater energy storage and offset higher grid electricity costs.


Another important consideration is the availability of government incentives and subsidies for solar panels in the UK. As of April 2023, the UK government offers the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which allows you to earn money by exporting excess energy back to the grid. Additionally, there may be other regional or local incentives, such as reduced council tax or feed-in tariffs, that can further offset the cost of installing solar panels with batteries.


Person considering the value of solar panels

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