How much can you make from solar panels?
While some people make money on their PV panels, it's not guaranteed, and it will take a few years to recoup the purchase and installation costs. But as well as saving on your bills you are reducing your carbon footprint by using solar power instead of fossil fuels.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, a typical home solar power system can generate around 4,200 kilowatt hours of electricity a year in the south of England – roughly how much a typical household needs.
In Scotland the same system can generate about 80% as much. But no matter where you live you will probably have to rely on the grid at times in winter or at night, so saving your entire energy bill is unlikely.
Solar panels can generate an income too, in two different ways.
- You can sell your excess electricity from solar power back to the grid.
- You also get paid some money from the Government for the electricity you generate even if you use it yourself – this is called a Feed-In Tariff.
For 2018 you could expect to earn £200-250 over the year, though this will change over time. The direction your panels are facing can make a difference to what you can earn too. In the UK, north-facing panels will produce the least and may present challenges to homeowners trying to go solar.
Make sure you research current Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) when you’re looking into getting a system. To get Feed-in Tariffs at the standard rate for solar PV, your property needs to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of band D or better – A being highly efficient. If your property is in band E or lower when you apply, you will get the FIT at the lower rate, even if you improve your rating subsequently. So, if you are planning to take this route, check your EPC and make any improvements necessary and get a new certificate before you apply.