Solar PV

Why solar panels?

Solar panels have become increasingly popular among people looking to save money whilst also reducing their ‘carbon footprint’ by using a renewable source of electricity. The electricity produced by home-installed solar panels can be used to power any of the day-to-day appliances that you currently in use within your home. How do solar pv panels work? Solar panel technology relies on photovoltaic (PV) cells to turn daylight into direct current (DC) electricity. The panels can be placed on the roof of your home or on the ground (or both!) and they capture the sunlight. The best conditions for Solar: A South-facing roof gets the most sunlight, but East and West are still very efficient. A non-flat, angled roof that faces the sun (or an unshaded spot on the ground) means that your solar panels get all the daylight on offer and will generate the most electricity.

If you have any enquires or require any additional information please do not hesitate to call our Energy Team on 01782 550371.


Unsurprisingly, the more light the panels receive, the more electricity they can generate. Perhaps surprisingly, they do still work on cloudy days – just as a solar-powered watch or calculator does. It may not feel like it sometimes, but the UK actually gets 60% of the sunlight (or solar radiation) found at the Equator, so don’t think that solar panels are not much use outside the hotter countries. That said, it’s important you consult the experts before taking the solar panel plunge. While solar energy is the perfect solution for a huge number of properties in the UK, there are still particular roof types and certain areas where solar panels are not suitable. At Broad Oak we know the right questions to ask when considering solar energy for your home, so if in any doubt, get in touch today for a chat. SOLAR PANEL FACT: their full name is ‘solar photovoltaic panels’. “Photo” means ‘light’ and “voltaic” means ‘electricity’. At Broad Oak, we usually just say “solar” as it’s less of a mouthful.

  2. Financial Incentives

100% Free – forever!

Electricity and gas suppliers can hike up their prices, but the solar energy’s price is fixed at £0 per unit. As previously mentioned, solar panels produce their energy from daylight, so they still work on cloudy days. Generate your own power for free and stop worrying about the ever-increasing electric bills.

Reliable and Unlimited Supply

In the UK we currently rely on unsustainable fossil fuels, much of which is imported, often from politically unstable regions. The one thing you can always count on is the sun It’s energy is unlimited (for the next 4.5 billion years, at least!) and it can never be used as a political football.

Save money, EARN money

With government tariffs devised to incentivise renewables and payback schemes, you can earn money from producing solar power, whether you use it all yourself or pass on your surplus electricity to the grid. It’s a low-risk investment with which actually gives you a better rate of return than an ISA with predictable yields, year in, year-out.

Clean Energy

Solar panels don’t give off any of the harmful air pollution that comes with burning fossil fuels and they don’t contribute to global warming. The average home with a ‘traditional’ (old fashioned) electricity source might create a tonne of harmful carbon dioxide each year.


Low-maintenance, easy to install and just a few ‘working parts’. All you need is a roof or some suitable land to install your panels. The power from your home solar panels is protected by warranty for 25 years and unlike many things in life, you can bet on the supply continuing long after that term.

Say it loud! “I’m Solar and proud!”

The UK government committed to generating 15% of its energy from sustainable sources by 2020. In 2010, renewable made up only 3.2%. So with only 6 years to go, we’re a long way off that 15% target. By investing in solar panels, you’re showing your own personal commitment to clean, renewable, sustainable energy. You’ll also be supporting a commendable tireless, ethical British industry!

There is inevitably every chance that government incentives for renewables will change over the following decades, but when it is also highly likely that solar panels will drop in price as they’re more widely produced and also likely that traditional energy sources from 3rd parties will continue to rise, solar energy is still a very sound investment:

Solar power generation from panels can save and make you money 3 key ways:

  1. Income from the Feed in Tariff (see below)
  2. Income from selling any surplus electricity to the grid (via your energy provider)
  3. Money saved on your electricity bills from your new FREE, unlimited source

Remember: in addition, you won’t be hit as hard as most people when electricity costs rise. The more solar energy you generate, the less you’ll be affected!

You can calculate your possible savings by following the following link:

Solar PV Calculator

The Feed in Tariff (FIT)

The FIT is a government incentive introduced back in 2010 to encourage domestic renewable energy production energy in the UK. It rewards you generating solar energy, irrespective of how much of the electricity you actually use (even if you use none at all!).

These payments are tax-free for home owners and are guaranteed for 20 years and are index-linked, meaning it will go up with inflation annually. Furthermore, if electricity prices increase more than inflation – as they have done over the last decade – your financial yield will grow even more.

Solar vs ISA.

Compare the FIT figures with a UK ISA:

              Solar PV       Cash ISA
Initial investment               £5,475       £5,475
Income + savings year 1               £660       £180
20 year profit               £12,775       £5000
Return on investment               13%       3.3%
Payback               7 years       n/a

The above estimates are based on the following assumptions and were true at the time of writing:

  1. A south facing roof at 35° angle with 850kWh/kWp irradiance, typical for the UK (source: SAP)
  2. Typical electricity consumption of 4000kWh annually, (average for a 3 bedroom home in the UK) with energy performance rating A-D
  3. 50% of the solar energy produced used by subject, typical for a 3 bedroom home in the UK (source: Energy Saving Trust)
  4. Investment based on a 3kWp solar installation, typical for a 3 bedroom home in the UK (source: Ofgem)
  5. Income of 14.5p per unit of electricity generated, from the government Feed-in Tariff, index linked for 20 years, for a retrofit installation (source: DECC / Ofgem)
  6. Income of 4.5p per unit if electricity exported back to the grid (source: DECC / Ofgem)
  7. Savings of 13p per unit of electricity, at 6% annual inflation (source: DECC Quarterly Energy Prices, 10 year average)
  8. Profit after cost of installation, not including average costs of maintenance
  9. Return being tax-free as it is currently, with the average annual return over 20 yrs
  10. Payback being the time taken to recover the initial outlay.
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