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evergreen solar power

Is it cost affective to have solar power

As the cost of energy has increased, using evergreen solar power to fit solar panels to your home in the UK now results in a far greater savings than it did previously.

Under the smart export guarantee (SEG) program, which began in January 2020, homeowners are compensated for solar energy they ‘export.’ This is electricity you create but don’t consume yourself that is then fed back into the national grid. The previous feed-in tariff scheme was considerably more generous, with higher rates and payment for generating energy even if it was consumed by oneself.

However, if you’ve got savings that you can use to pay for the panels with interest rates still at such a low level, it’s worth doing the math for yourself since the SEG plan might work out well for some.

What is the biggest gain

The first step is to use the electricity your solar panels generate, lowering your power bills. Savings are dependent on system size, energy usage, if you’re home during the day to utilize the energy you produce, and other factors. However, based on Energy Saving Trust projections, a typical household with a 4.2 kilowatt-peak system can save between £165 and £405 per year at current energy prices by using solar power.

Furthermore, the smart export guarantee (SEG) program requires energy suppliers with 150,000+ consumers to provide ‘tariffs’ to English households that pay a particular rate for each kWh of solar power they generate but don’t use themselves.

Finally, you’ll get back a percentage of what you paid in savings depending on the firm and ranges from 1.5p per kWh to 12p per kWh – so make sure you go with the highest-paying tariff possible (it doesn’t have to be from the same company that provides your energy). And keep an eye on the rate you’re receiving; many are variable.

The Energy Saving Trust has calculated that a typical household in the midlands might earn between £80 and £110 per year (based on a rate of 3.99p per kWh).

Using your energy as you produce it maximises return

On a price-capped standard rate, you’ll pay around 28p per kilowatt hour for electricity now, but you’ll receive a lot less for the power you don’t consume and export back to the grid. So, as much as feasible, divert as much of your energy usage to times when you are generating it (otherwise known as daytime hours), because unless you have a solar battery, you won’t be able to store it for later.

While this implies you’ll be exporting less, and thus earning less, on average you’ll be much better off since you won’t have to spend as much for expensive power.

Is my home suitable for solar panels

It’s vital to optimize the most of what your solar panels can produce by ensuring that your home is appropriate for them:

South-facing roof

If your roof is facing south-west or west, you’ll still profit from it, but the benefit may be lower and you may not receive the maximum savings.

Unshaded roof between 10am and 4pm 

While some shade from other structures or trees is acceptable, you want the panels to be free of any shade during the peak hours of daylight.


Solar panels take up roughly two square meters each, so the size of your roof is important.

Roof condition

Make absolutely sure that your roof hasn’t been harmed and that an inspection has been done to verify this. If you have old tiles, it’s probably worth getting them replaced before your panels are put up.

A diagonal roof

It may be more expensive to install panels on a flat roof if you need fixings to keep them in place.

Planning permission

The Government’s Planning Portal in England and Wales states that panels are more likely to be considered “permitted development,” which implies you don’t usually need to apply for planning permission. The main exceptions are if your home has a flat roof or is listed, or if it is located in a conservation area. In these situations, you may need to obtain building control team approval, so contact your local authority immediately.

Interested in solar power?

If you are interested in solar panels for your home in the UK then drop us a line to discuss further how we can help you or call us on 0800 0096625.

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