Building a bright future

The trend for eco-friendly energy is soaring, but that doesn’t have to mean the cost does too

The UK has witnessed an explosion in the installation of solar PV systems over the past two years. A switch in emphasis to greener living and government-backed initiatives such as the Feed in Tariff (FiT) have made the sight of solar panels common place on roofs up and down the country.

Beat energy inflation

The demand for cleaner electricity is set to grow as energy costs in the home continue to escalate, the costs of installation come down and people make a conscious decision to live a greener lifestyle.

“Rising energy costs are an issue for every household and controlling those costs over the next 10 to 15 years will be essential,” says Jeremy Malindine, head of renewable experts Puragen.

“Installing renewable technologies gives people the opportunity to take some control of their energy consumption and offset the costs at the same time.”

Tax-free return

The returns afforded to customers via government initiatives such as FiT have made investment in renewable technologies a sound choice – particularly at a time when interest rates at the bank are low.

FiT is the amount of money paid back to customers for every kilowatt of electricity produced. Since the launch of the FiT scheme in April 2010 there have been more than 350,000 solar PV installations in the UK – almost three times the figure initially projected.

With installation costs now falling, investing in renewable technologies continues to make sound economic sense.

“The cost of installing solar panels has fallen dramatically and people can still generate returns of up to eight or nine per cent on their money over a 20 year period,” adds Malindine.

“That is better than any bank rate.”

A standard 3kW system can generate over 2,400 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. This is more than half of a typical household’s annual electricity needs and can mean a saving of more than £300 on fuel bills alone – with further money generated via the FiT.

Increase home value

Research also shows that renewable technologies can add value to the property with half of UK homeowners believing homes with greener features are easier to sell.

“Solar PV is now becoming an attractive option for homeowners looking to invest in technology that is both green and profitable,” claims Malindine.

“It is easy to install, requires little maintenance and through a combination of government incentives and savings in energy bills, renewable energy is one home improvement that is likely to grow in value year on year.” 

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