Save Money this Winter

The nights are drawing in and the weather’s getting cold: there’s no denying autumn’s here and we could be set for a pricey winter. Energy companies are planning another rise in prices, and the government seem confused as to what to do to help.

Luckily, you can save money by reducing the amount of electricity and gas you use.

Draw the curtains (or leave them open)

Solar panels aren’t the only way to make use of the natural energy of the sun. If it’s a sunny day, draw back the curtains on the southern side of the house so the sunlight can heat up the room. If you close them again as soon as it gets dark, you’ll make the most of that residual heat.

A lot of heat is lost through windows and doors anyway, so drawing curtains and installing draught excluders is a good plan.

Gas boiler

Look into insulation grants

There are grants and schemes from the government and energy companies that can help you insulate your house without having to pay out. The government’s Warm Front scheme means you could get up to £3500 for insulation, improvements and bills, and British Gas are currently running a scheme to install free cavity wall and loft insulation – even if you aren’t their customer. If you don’t have loft insulation already, installing it can save up to £175 a year, although adding more on top of what you’ve already got makes a difference too.

Turn down the thermostat and wear more clothes

It’s easy to forget, but turning your thermostat down saves you around 10% in energy costs for every degree you lower the temperature. If you start feeling cold, you can always throw on some more clothes before resorting to turning it back up again.

Turn down your central heating

It’s also important not to heat rooms you aren’t using. If you have a guest room, turn down the radiator and close the door.

Generate your own electricity

Even if you don’t use electricity for heating, costs can rise in the winter as lights, tumble dryers and washing machines see more use. You might even find yourself watching TV or using a computer more as you’re less inclined to go outside.

Generating your own electricity with photovoltaic solar panels can be a great move as you reduce your bills and get money from your energy supplier thanks to the feed in tariff (FIT). This means you get paid a set amount for every unit of energy you produce. If you end up with more energy than you need, you can sell it back to the grid to make even more money.

Repairs, repairs, repairs

Many of us these days put off odd jobs around the house, but simple maintenance can save you money on your bills. Fixing dripping taps, repairing and blocking holes around the house and getting your boiler serviced all make a difference, and needn’t take much time or money.

For advice on photovoltaic solar panels in Shropshire and the surrounding area, give us a call on 01743 366555. Our solar power experts can tell you about government tariffs and handle everything from design to installation.

Solar panels: new funding to explore improvements

Recent advances in solar technology

In the last week or so a move has begun to explore ways to improve solar panels. Oxford University has been awarded the funding to engineer a new film that would be applied to solar panels in the manufacturing process that would make solar panels cheaper and therefore also make solar panels more readily available!

The objective is to move away from using indinium tin oxide as a coating for the solar panels and towards a solar panel film made from cheaper alternatives such as zinc. This would mean the cost of solar panels, which is the main reason for the relatively high price of the technology, would be driven down.

Although this is welcome news for suppliers and consumers alike, the research has only just begun and it will be a long time before any developments get rolled out across the solar panel industry. Nevertheless it is encouraging to see that interest has not waned in the use of solar panels!

To find out more about solar panels or the possibility of getting yourself a solar panel installation, call Solar Days now!!

Alert: Energy costs to soar to subsidise nuclear power expansion

Alert: Energy costs to soar to subsidise nuclear power expansion

In recent weeks the government has announced its proposed Electricity Market Reform regime. Part of this scheme is aimed at boosting interest and investment in the nuclear energy industry. This post takes a brief look at what the proposal is and how solar panels may lessen the blow!

The government is looking to incentivise energy companies into investing in building new nuclear power infrastructure. To do this it is suggesting that energy companies increase the bills they send out to consumers, so that in effect, the ordinary household or business will be subsidising the expansion into nuclear power. Estimates suggest that households should expect to pay around £200 extra a year on top of their existing energy bills!

The best way of course to insulate oneself from the proposed price rises is to get yourself a solar panel installation. Solar panels convert light into electricity which will cost you nothing to use. Not only will you be saving money of course, you with the feed in tariff you can make money too.

Call Solar Days today to find out more about the proposed changes to your energy bills and how solar panels and a solar panel installation can help!

Nano crystal technology: a threat to solar panels and the solar panel installation industry?

Nano crystal technology: a threat to solar panels and the solar panel installation industry?

Over recent weeks a new scientific breakthrough has been announced in America. This announcement has led some to suggest that the days of the solar panel and indeed the solar panel installation company are limited. This blog post takes a brief look to see if these fears are warranted.

The new technology people are getting excited about relates to a recent breakthrough in which scientists have developed a solar nano crystal that can be produced in ink form and which theoretically could be applied to surfaces such as the walls of a house. This would negate the need for solar panels, and the traditional solar panel installation we see on roofs would be a thing of the past. This would indeed solve the main problem of the solar panel installation i.e. it takes up an enormous amount of space, but is it really a viable alternative?

On looking into the technology further it seems that this technology has only been produced in the lab. It requires a lot more testing before it can be produced on a large scale and it will take longer still to be approved and certified by any recognisable energy standards body. Furthermore, it is very likely that it will be a very long time before it becomes cheap enough to be a commercially viable option for homes and businesses. As a result it seems solar panels are here to stay and that fortunately for us here at Solar Days, the solar panel installation industry will be here to stay too!

The increase of agricultural solar panel installations

Over the past few months and indeed weeks we at Solar Days have seen a sharp increase in agricultural solar panel installations. This blog post takes as brief look at why so many farmers are looking to solar panels as their next investment in their business.

There is probably one overarching reason why we can see many solar panel installations in farms across the UK: it makes good economic sense. In recent years farms have been increasingly looking to new technologies to improve efficiency and drive up profit. It makes perfect sense therefore that their next investment would be a solar panel installation.

What then are the great benefits many are tapping into? Firstly, with the advantage of an abundance of space in either fields or farm buildings, the ability to host massive solar panel installations means huge amounts of electricity can be generated and a high amount of profit gained through the feed in tariff. Secondly with farm machinery and processes becoming increasingly mechanised all the time, the electricity solar panels generate mean huge savings can be made on electricity bills too!

The financial draws of having solar panel installations on farms are therefore clear: a great return on investment through the feed in tariff and huge savings on electricity bills. As farmers become more aware of the advantages of solar panels you will see ever increasing amounts of solar panel installations on farms, although now you will perhaps understand a little more why they are there!

Government proposals on Solar Feed in Tariff: what happens now?

Over the past week or so it has been announced by the Government that the Feed in Tariff rates will not only be reduced, but that the new rates will apply from as early as December. This has caused confusion, anger and shock amongst consumers and solar panel installers alike. In this post the proposed changes and the legal challenges mounted by organisations are discussed…

So, the biggest problem for consumers and solar panel companies is that the amount of time available for installations before the Feed in Tariff rates are to be reduced has dramatically shortened. Many customers of national firms have been essentially left in the lurch in as much as they don’t know if they will get their panels installed in time for the cut of date.

In response to this problem Friends of the Earth amongst others have launched a legal challenge against these governmental proposals. At this stage it is unclear whether they will succeed in stalling the proposed start date for the reduced tariffs, but the situation should they fail must be considered.

Solar panels still represent a good investment

Although many people are panicking that solar panels will no longer represent a good investment, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is undoubtedly the case that if you can get your solar panel installation up and running before December you will soon be cashing in, but if you don’t meet this deadline it is not the end of the world. Investing in a solar panel installation will still see you receive a far higher return than many of the investment products on the market today. Furthermore, the price of solar panels is decreasing as demand rockets; meaning solar panel installations are becoming increasingly affordable!

In sum therefore, if you are able, get your solar panel installation sorted before December. If not, don’t be put off, you will still an excellent return on your investment!!

Solar Days are still able to complete solar panel installations before the new rates are set to come in, so call now!!

New Feed in Tariff Proposals: what will they mean for you?

So, shock news has been announced over the last few days that the Feed in Tariff rates are expected to be reduced by the Energy Secretary on Monday. What will this mean for you the consumer?

The first thing to say is that there is still time left to take full advantage of the current incredible rates available under the clean energy cash back scheme. The rate of 43.3p and a 3p export tariff which could see you gain a round £1700 a year of financial benefits is still currently available, and is a definite reason to commit to investing in a solar panel installation now!

With the new rates which are going to be less, although it is as yet unclear exactly what these new rates will be, it is obvious that the attraction somewhat diminishes. However, this is not to say that it will still not be profitable, it will simply mean that a solar panel installation becomes a longer term investment than before. You will still receive free electricity with which to power your home, and will still be helping the environment by making use of a green technology: the only difference will be that the profit you will be making will be less. Yes, it may be true that the solar panels take a few more years to pay for themselves, but in the grand scheme of things that still leaves you with a number of years left with which to take advantage of the Feed in Tariff and make some extra cash!
Overall then, don’t be too disheartened by the proposed reduction in the Feed in Tariff rate. Take two things away with you from this article: if you are considering solar panels, invest now! Secondly, if you are wondering whether they will be a good investment in 3 months’ time, the answer is yes; the investment will just not be quite as good as it is presently.

To find out more about the proposed changes or solar panels or solar panel installations, contact Solar Days, who provide expert and professional solar panel installations throughout Shropshire and the surrounding areas!

Solar electricty at home…

A lot of the hype surrounding solar panel installations centres around the money they can generate for you. However, there is far more to it than that, both in terms of the science behind the panels and how it actually works in your home.

Solar panels in essence are made up of lots of photovoltaic cells which are able to convert light energy into electricity. These cells can use any kind of light energy, whether it is artificial or natural, and most importantly do not stop working if the sun is blocked by clouds, as is so often the case in Britain! The reality is that the solar panels don’t actually require the sun in order to perform and create solar electricity; they just need it to be light. This means that the only time the panels don’t work is at night.

So, where does this newly created solar electricity go?  Once generated the solar panel installation is designed to feed the solar electricity into your normal household circuits. This means that when you use your TV, your lights or your electrical appliances for making lunch you won’t be paying a penny for your electricity, instead you will be using your own solar electricity! With this in mind many people have been inclined to make the most of the free solar electricity. They have for example made sure they use the washing machine, dishwasher, tumble drier and any other energy thirsty appliance during the day.  By doing this you will not believe how much your energy bills will reduce!

Remember, all this is on top of the financial benefits you get from the feed in tariff! If you are interested in learning more about generating and taking advantage of your own solar electricity and getting yourself a solar panel installation, contact Solar Days now, we are always more than happy to help!

How solar panels can generate profit

Despite the fact we are continuously advised by the government, by well-wishers and by a whole host of organisations to save, save, save, the reality is that with current account rates at 0% and ISA rates at no more than 2-3%, there is no incentive to save!

However, investing in a solar panel installation to generate your own solar electricity does make financial sense and returns a far greater return than many investment products on the market today!

How does it do this? The key here is the government clean energy cash back mechanism, or Feed-in-Tariff as it is more commonly referred to. This is designed specifically for renewable technologies, the fastest growing of which, at least at a domestic level, are solar panels. Solar panels make up part of a solar installation which generates solar electricity which bring you tangible financial benefit.

The essence of the Feed-in-Tariff is that the government will guarantee for the next 25 years that the energy company you use will pay you a certain amount for every unit of solar electricity you produce from your solar panel installation. This currently stands at a fantastic 43.3p for the average sized domestic solar panel installation! The great news is that this amount paid is also index linked and tax free!

On top of the amount paid for every unit you generate, the government also guarantees that for the next 25 years your energy company will pay you for every unit of solar electric you generate and do not use which you automatically export back to the grid! This is another 3p per unit. When you think about how many units of electricity can be generated in a day from a solar panel installation it soon becomes clear just how much money we are talking about.

The Energy Saving Trust for example suggest, rather conservatively that an average solar panel installation for a three bed house could generate an income of over seven hundred pounds per year, whilst some others claim it could be well over one thousand. When one considers that the cost of a solar panel installation would likely be around £10,000 it is clear that the solar panel system could pay for itself within ten years, yet that leaves fifteen years left of your government guarantee left, whilst your panels will keep generating free solar electricity for decades!

Overall then whilst getting solar panels and investing in a solar panel installation may be a long term investment, it is most certainly a profitable one!

To find out more and get the most out of your cash, contact Solar Days now!

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