Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity through the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells. It’s a renewable, sustainable form of energy that harnesses the free energy emitted by the sun to generate electricity for various applications.

Solar panel PV cells are made of semiconductor materials, such as silicon. When sunlight hits the solar panel, the photons in the silicon heat up and start moving, creating a flow of electricity. This flow of electricity, known as direct current (DC), is then converted into alternating current (AC) by an inverter, making it suitable for use in domestic properties. Below are some of the most convincing reasons to install solar panels in a home so you can get on board and benefit, too.

white house with solar panels on roof

(Image credit: Adobe)

1. Energy independence

Generating your own solar power contributes to energy independence, reducing reliance on foreign energy sources and the National Grid. This increases energy security for individuals, communities, and entire nations, reducing vulnerability to price fluctuations, supply disruptions, or geopolitical conflicts, as we have witnessed in 2022 and 2023. By embracing solar energy, you also support a more decentralised and democratic energy system, allowing communities and households to take greater control over their energy production and consumption. This sense of energy autonomy can foster resilience and self-sufficiency in the face of potential grid failures or natural disasters.

2. Reduced electricity bills

One of the most significant financial benefits of solar power is lower electricity bills. Installing solar panels on your property allows you to generate your own electricity, reducing your reliance on the grid and lowering your monthly utility bills. Over time, these savings can add up, helping to offset the initial investment in solar panels and making them a cost-effective solution for long-term energy needs.

3. Environmentally friendly

Solar energy is a clean, green, and sustainable source of power that produces no greenhouse gas emissions, air or water pollution. The sun is an abundant and inexhaustible resource that, unlike finite resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, ensures a continuous supply of power that can meet the world’s growing energy demands without depleting the Earth’s natural resources. By using solar power, you actively contribute to reducing your carbon footprint and fostering a healthier environment. Moreover, solar energy is silent, making it an ideal choice for residential areas where noise pollution can be a concern. As the world grapples with the adverse effects of climate change, adopting solar power is a crucial step towards mitigating these impacts and preserving the planet for future generations.

4. Earn money selling back to the grid

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) allows homeowners to sell any surplus energy you generate using solar panels back to the National Grid.  

Once your solar system is installed, you’ll need to register it with an approved SEG provider, usually an energy supplier. To sell your solar energy, you’ll need an export meter that accurately measures the amount of electricity you export to the grid. This can be a separate export meter or a smart meter that measures both import and export. 

Your SEG provider will pay you for the electricity you export based on a predetermined rate per kilowatt hour (kWh). The rates and payment terms may vary between different providers, so it’s essential to compare their offers before registering.

Energy supplierName of tariffPrice per kWh
Octopus (own customers)Octopus Flux24p
Octopus (own customers)Outgoing Flux15p
Scottish PowerSmartGen+15p
Scottish PowerSmartGen12p
British GasExport and Earn Flex6.4p
EDF (own customers)Export Variable Value5.6p
E.On (new solar accounts)Next Export Exclusive5.5p
Octopus (non-customers)Outgoing Go4.1p

Prices correct as of 26/04/2023

5. Job creation

The solar power industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors globally, providing numerous employment opportunities in research, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. By choosing solar power, you are investing in a clean, sustainable energy source and supporting an industry that contributes to job creation and economic growth. This, in turn, can lead to more innovation and development within the renewable energy sector, further solidifying solar power’s position as a viable and competitive energy source.

6. Low maintenance and reliability

Solar power systems have relatively low maintenance requirements, especially when compared to other forms of energy generation. As they typically come with long-term warranties and no moving parts, the panels are less susceptible to wear and tear. Periodic cleaning and inspection are usually all that’s required to keep your solar power system operating at peak efficiency; it’s recommended that you hire a professional to carry out this task.

Additionally, solar power systems are reliable, as the technology has matured over the years, and the risk of downtime is minimal. By choosing solar power, you are investing in a low-maintenance and dependable energy solution that can provide consistent energy generation for decades.

7. Increased property value

A lesser-known benefit of solar power is the potential for increased property value. Installing solar panels on your property can make it more attractive to potential buyers who value energy efficiency and sustainability. Research has shown that homes with solar power systems often sell faster and at a higher price than comparable properties without solar installations. 

By investing in solar power, you not only enjoy the benefits of reduced bills and less reliance on money-hungry energy suppliers, but you will be doing your bit for the environment and your local community.