Making the most of solar electricity
To make electricity you produce go further:
Invest in energy efficient appliances.
Find energy saving products
Use energy when the sun is out
do your laundry during the day to take advantage of the free electricity
Costs, savings and maintenance
Costs for installing a solar electricity system vary a lot
an average system (2.2kW) costs around £12,000 (including VAT at 5%). Per kW, solar electricity systems can cost in the region of £4,500 to £8,000 per kW, but costs per kW should reduce as system size increases.
Savings can be considerable
around 1 tonne of CO2 a year. A 2.2 kWp system can generate around 40% of a household’s yearly electricity needs. If the system is eligible to receive the Feed In Tariff it could generate savings and income of around £900 per year.
Maintenance is generally small
you’ll need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don’t begin to overshadow them.
How do photovoltaic (PV) cells work?
PV cells are panels you can attach to your roof or walls. Each cell is made from one or two layers of semiconducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced.
PV cells come in a variety of shapes and colours, from grey “solar tiles” that look like roof tiles to panels and transparent cells that you can use on conservatories and glass.
The strength of a PV cell is measured in kilowatt peak (kWp). That’s the amount of energy the cell generates in full sunlight.