‘Never been brighter!’ Shock as solar panels save households £600m on energy bills

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Builders have installed the highest number of small-scale panel installations in seven years as homeowners look to insulate themselves from the rocketing price of gas and electricity. With household energy bills set to reach £3,000 this winter, experts believe the demand for solar is being driven by families trying to save money.

The number of panels on residential roofs more than doubled in the first five months of 2022 compared to 2021.

Installing panels on a typical three-bedroom home costs about £5,000 up front.

However, the owner will save an estimated £534 per year by reducing reliance on the grid, according to advice website The Eco Experts.

It is believed that 1.1million British homeowners have installed solar panels, according to standards organisation MCS.

They are on course to save £590million in 2022 alone.

Solar has become popular after the Russian invasion of Ukraine strained energy supplies across the world sending gas and electricity bills soaring.

Josh Jackman, of The Eco Experts said that the energy crisis was the main motivation.

He said: “A key factor driving people towards solar panels is the spiralling energy crisis.

“Energy bills have already gone up by almost £700 this year and they could go up by another £1,200 on top of that this winter.

“There is also generally a more positive attitude towards renewable energy among consumers, who are more and more encouraged by green technology and more confident about using it.”

The number of small-scale solar installations which have a capacity of 10 kilowatts an hour or less has jumped sharply this year according to figures.

According to MCS 43,400 were installed from January to May, much higher than the 21,400 over the same period in 2021.

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MCS which is an accredited body backed by the Government is able to track the majority of installations.

In May the number reached 10,869 – which is the highest since 2015.

Around 4 percent of British households around 1.2 million have installed panels since 2008.

According to The Eco Experts, solar panels can cut the electricity bill of most homes by 50 percent. 

For a typical three bed home this means £422 per year is saved while £122 is made by selling excess power to the national grid.

Therefore solar panels tend to pay for themselves after 10 years and over their 25 year lifetime can produce a profit of £8,000.

Ian Rippin, chief executive of MCS, said demand for solar panels was being caused by rising electricity prices.

He added: “Solar powered energy has never been brighter.”

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