The benefits of solar energy have long been established and in a world where we are constantly looking to reduce our carbon footprint, the government’s scheme to offer free solar panels could be a worthwhile investment for homeowners in Northern Ireland.
What are the benefits?
A report from Go Green highlights some of the main benefits of installing solar panels, which include their low maintenance nature, the fact that they are a renewable energy source and therefore environmentally friendly, and the reduction in your electricity costs. What the report does not mention is that some schemes offering solar panels can end up making money for the homeowners, making it a financially beneficial decision in addition to an ethical one.
The Feed-In Tariff
Under the Feed-In Tariff, homeowners have to pay for their solar panels; in return, the government gives them reward payments on each kWh of energy they generate. Over 20 years this is estimated to give returns of over £8000, which includes the savings made on their energy bills. The scheme attracted controversy when the government announced that it would be slashing the rate of its Feed-In Tariff due to the drop in the cost of solar panels; however, the suggested cut of 87% has been retracted and it seems that households can still earn a healthy return from investing in the scheme, particularly if they do so soon and lock into the current tariff.
What if you want to make savings and reduce your carbon footprint but can’t afford to install the panels yourself? Schemes still exist that will fit solar panels to your property free of charge, but you won’t be eligible for any reward payments. You will still reap the benefits of cheaper energy costs; however, with the drop in the cost of solar panel, these schemes are decreasing and if your house is not south facing and in good contact with the sun, you are even less likely to qualify. If you are interested, you can still find a supplier of solar panels in Northern Ireland and see whether it is able to help.
Although the Feed-In Tariff is the best way to generate income, free panels will save you money and improve the environment.