Generally speaking most houses in the UK will have suitable roof space to accommodate solar panels in some form or other. The question really is how far do you want to go in reaping the rewards on offer from harnessing the power of the sun to provide cheaper electricity for your home or business?
At the end of the day (…or maybe that should be at the beginning of the day?)…much depends on how much you are willing to invest in your drive for a greener lifestyle? For the more you are prepared to spend, the more panels you can install and the more of the sun’s power you can tap into – and the more you can save on your electricity bills.
As a rule
It is safe to say that to generate approximately 1 kW of solar power you will need 100 square feet of space. With the average house using around 40-50 kilowatts of electricity per day it follows that you may need up to 500 square feet of roof space to get anywhere near supplying all or most of your electricity needs, though some homeowners do go the whole hog and use up to 700 square feet (or virtually all of their roof space) in a bid to power their whole house completely and some.
Research has indicated that on average most people are installing 20 kW systems and therefore enjoying meeting around half their energy needs per day.
The thing to consider though is solar panels come in a wide range of sizes and efficiency ratings (the percentage of the sun’s power each panel can convert into electricity) therefore the better the panel, the fewer panels you may need to service your property.
Again the better the efficiency of the panel you choose (they generally range from 12% to 18%) the more expensive that panel is going to be.
At the end of the day…and on this occasion the end of the day is right…it all comes down to how much money you are looking to save and potentially make. The more panels you have and better panels you have the more money you will save each year on your electricity bills.
And you can even earn money from the free electricity you are generating if you sell it back to the National Grid via the government’s Feed in Tariff scheme.
Profiting From The Sun
The money incentives are there for all to see, even if you install the smallest system going. For instance a 1 kW system (using only a small amount of roof space) costing around £4,500 could make you around £13,000 profit over the lifetime of the system (25 years or so), and a top of the range 9 kW rig could net you an overall profit of up to £100,000 over a similar period, although you will have to shell out around £50,000 for the initial installation.
But when it comes down to it, rood space isn’t that much of an issue because whatever space you have you will be able to fit a decent amount of panels. Arguably the more important considerations are:
- Is your property facing the right way to make it worthwhile installing solar panels?
- How much can you invest?
We Brits may not be having great summers lately with many of us suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, but going solar in a different way is fast-catching on and gives a whole new meaning to “catching some rays” and therefore bringing a sunny smile to our faces.