Photovoltaic solar panel costs

With the average combined savings and incomes from householders who have installed PV (electric) solar panels, the financial rewards have increased from £540 to £635 per year.

The PV solar panel apocalypse in the UK between 2012 and 2018.Alternative energy, also known as micro-generation and green power has up until recent years have been considered a technology for the environmental conscious household.

This viewpoint may have been valid in the golden age when gas and electricity and even food were cheap, plentiful, those times are now nothing more, but a flickering memory for most people.

The real benefits of putting solar panels, heat pumps or even biomass heaters as part of household ‘energy mix’ are now becoming apparent.

These technologies now provide a cushion from the early signs of peak oil and the consequences we see as the energy price rise year on year, so the financial and psychological benefits of generating your power or heat for a time span of 30 plus years cannot be quantified.

Knowing you are helping yourself to release your family from spiralling costs of running a home, can be as satisfying as the feeling I got from purchasing my gas bottled fuel heater this week.

Saying “no more” of this madness and taking affirmative action to release yourself from the high inward flow of gas and electricity from the pipes and wires running into the home, put a lasting smile where once there was a frown.

The question of self-generation is one that every household needs to take seriously nowadays. For those that are lucky enough to be able to afford these energy-saving systems, then your long-term future will be solar-powered eventually.

For those unfortunate to be at the mercy of the international and national policies on energy, I stand with you.

Looking forward

There was fear this year in the solar installation industries that the cut in the feed-in-tariff would see a significant slowdown effect on the domestic take-up, but recent industry figures show the average size of systems installed increased from 3 kW to 3.5 kW size systems. Newer internal customers are generating more power through solar than the previous years.

Unaffordable household energy pricing, with the recent decision of some energy suppliers, to raise combined gas and electricity prices by a whopping ten per cent on top of the previous smaller percentage rises of 2012, 2011 and 2010, etc. The beginnings of an obvious descent down the darker side of the peak oil graph.

Those big six energy suppliers claim their profit margins are only one and a half per cent of your substantial £1,250 average household costs. Blaming these suppliers for such the rising costs of heating homes is futile when looking at the bigger picture.

The writing is on the wall, the expense that is putting millions of people into ‘transport and fuel poverty’, just like the costs of food is rising because of global influences like higher demand and lower outputs from our international markets.

Although it may be easy to use the energy companies as figures of hatred, the real truth is that we must all find alternatives or risk becoming victims of an international, not national problem.

I switched from using conventional gas from the mains to purchasing and buying a heater with bottled gas supply to heat my home this winter. In general, chit-chat with the salesperson, I found out that even the price of this cheap bottled gas has risen by twenty per cent over the last couple of years.

Finding alternative ways to reduce our dependence on fluctuating, insecure and forever rising energy prices must be considered a priority for us now.

A 10% hike in energy bills makes for a good newspaper headline, the implications of such massive percentage rise in energy costs will begin to affect not only the working class but also middle-class families over the coming years.

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2012-11-16