England and Renewable Energy
With more than 53 million inhabitants, England is the most populated country in the UK (more than Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined). London, its capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and one of the largest urban zones of the European Union. England is divided into nine regions: South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, East and Greater London.
Due to its magnitude, England plays a key role in the UK’s challenge to meet its renewable energy targets in 2020. Efforts are being made to multiply and spread the use of renewable sources of energy both for domestic and commercial purposes. Wind, geothermal and solar energy are becoming increasingly popular due to the combination of government incentives and the rise in the price of fossil fuels. As a result, greenhouse emissions in England are expected to decrease considerably in the years to come. Moreover, thousands of jobs are being created in the industry of renewable energies. More and more solar panels, solar thermal equipment, heat pumps, etc. are being installed in England.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change, most commonly known as DECC, is a British government department led by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which was created in 2008 and works to make sure the UK has secure, clean, affordable energy supplies and to promote international action to mitigate climate change.
Solar Energy in England
Since England is associated with grey weather, many might think that installing solar panels in this country is not a wise investment. However, solar power is becoming increasingly popular in England. This is because solar panels and solar water heating systems are prepared to function even when the days are cloudy. However, it is true that the efficiency of solar technologies is positively correlated to the amount of sunlight they receive. Therefore, the English regions where solar power is most popular are: South West, South East, Yorkshire and Humberside, and East, where solar radiation is more intense.
Moreover, if you are thinking of solar panels, you should read about the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). This is a government incentive that pays you for the electricity you generate using low-carbon energy sources, and so it also applies for solar PV (either roof mounted or stand alone systems).
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in England? Can I Get Free Solar Panels?
The price of a solar system depends on many factors such as: type, quality and efficiency of the system chosen, the state of your roof or the place where the system will be installed, and the size of the property (which will determine the magnitude and strength of the system).
However, just to have an idea, you can expect to pay around £4,000 and £6,000 for a solar panel system and between £3,000 to £5,000 for a solar thermal collector. You should add to this number extra costs for installation and insurance. Also remember that solar panels are used to generate electricity and solar water heaters are used for heating water, so you should choose one or the other depending on the desired output.
Whether you can get free solar panels is a frequently asked question. The fast (but not best) answer is yes. Some solar installers in England may “rent your roof” to install a solar panel. This will mean that you don’t have to pay for them but also that you won’t benefit from the FiT. Therefore, considering the long term, it is better if you have the money to make the investment yourself. This will mean that after the payback period you will actually make money out of your solar panels since you will benefit from the FiT. On average, a solar panel will pay back after 6 to 10 years, and the Feed-in Tariff will pay you during twenty years, so you have quite a long period to make some money.
Are There Grants For Solar Energy in England?
In its attempt to reduce carbon emissions, the UK is working on several schemes and projects in the field of green energy. One that you might have heard of is The Green Deal. This is a government policy that aims at helping you make energy saving improvements to your home and find the best way to pay for them. A green deal assessor will visit your house and make a report suggesting energy improvements such as insulation, changing your heating system, fitting double glazed doors and windows, or applying some low-carbon energy generating systems like solar panels or heat pumps. You will then get in touch with a green deal installer and be granted a loan which should be paid back through your energy bills afterwards.
If you are considering to install solar panels or a solar thermal system in your house, then it is a good idea to make some research about this scheme and see how you can benefit from it.
How Can I Find a Solar Supplier in England?
Finding the right solar supplier can consume a lot of time. Moreover, since the required investment is quite significant, you want to make a good purchase which will make you happy during the entire lifespan of the solar system. Therefore, you should compare different suppliers and their respective options and make sure that you pick a reliable and certified supplier. GreenMatch.co.uk is here to help. You can fill the contact form at the top of this page and you will be contacted by up to four professional solar installers with their best offers to suit your particular needs. Our no-obligation service is 100% free of charge!