With the cost-of-living crisis seeing households paying an average of 54% more for energy this year compared to 2020; it leaves us asking if it is time to consider solar power and do solar panels save money?
Rystad Energy recently reported that it will be 10 times cheaper to build new solar capacity in Europe than it would be to operate gas-fired power plants. Due to the reduction of gas exports from Russia, the price of natural gas has risen dramatically. So, investing in solar energy could be the next step for homeowners.
With energy costs increasing, generating and utilising solar power can result in bigger savings. The European Commission reported that the ‘EU solar energy market grew by18 GW and 5.2% of the EU’s total electricity production came from solar energy.’
In 2022, the European Union saved around $29 billion in fossil gas imports. Ten EU countries including The Netherlands, Spain and Germany are in the EU’s highest solar power users, generating at least 10% of their electricity from the sun.
Over the last decade, the cost of solar power has decreased by 82% making it the most competitive source of electricity in most parts of the EU. As the price of other energy forms has rocketed, generating your own solar power is a great idea.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
Before we get into the costs, consider this; are solar panels going to save your money? The answer depends on if you stay in your home for long enough and if you generate enough electricity to reduce your bills.
In order to have any significant impact on your energy bill, you need to consider the amount of energy your home uses, the size of your solar PV system and any financial incentive schemes that may be on offer.
Since 2010, prices of solar panels have reduced by 88%. The reductions in the upfront costs of a solar panel system means that more homeowners than ever are using solar panels.
To install a 4kw solar panel system for an average sized home will cost anywhere between €7,000 - €9,000. You could save around €300 on electricity bills every year.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels are long lasting, with an estimated lifespan of around 25-30 years. This makes them a much more sustainable source of energy than your average boiler, which has an average life expectancy of 10-15 years.
On average it takes around 11 years to recoup the upfront costs of installation. Solar panels may reduce your bills in the short term, however it is important to remember that they will have less of an impact if you move home within this time frame.
Will Solar Panels Reduce my Carbon Footprint?
The average home with a solar PV system could reduce carbon emissions up to 1.6 tonnes per year. You could reduce your footprint even further by storing up solar energy.
Energy storage is no longer a novelty or just for people living off-grid. With potential blackouts looming in the future, what will you do when the lights go out? Having your own backup energy source provides you with peace of mind and essential power when the main grid is off.
Pairing solar panels with a storage system will help increase your energy independence by up to 90%. Storing excess energy using a generator or backup battery will allow you to turn off the main supply and power your appliances at night.
The BLUETTI AC300 is perfect for the average home. It is 100% modular and can accept up to 3,072Wh. If you combine multiple batteries, you can even add 12,288Wh to your reserves. That is more than enough to power your family’s basic needs for multiple days during emergency power outages.
An individual household using solar panels has the potential to save around one tonne of CO2 every year. In 2019, every person in the EU was responsible for producing 6.7 tonnes of CO2. This means that by installing solar panels you could reduce your footprint by 15%. With panels now lasting up to 25 years and being produced with recyclable materials; they can help you reduce your overall carbon footprint even more.
How Much Money Can You Save with Solar Panels?
In the EU, remote working increased by 48% during the pandemic and many employees still work from home. This has led to an increase in household bills. Having solar energy can help offset the price increase.
To help combat rising living costs, the European Union has approved funds called ‘Next Generation’. Around €660 million will be shared out with the aim of boosting renewable energy and reducing CO2 emissions.
Do solar panels save money? How much money can you save with solar panels? The programme offers subsidies on a first-come-first-served basis for the installation of solar panels to any homeowner who wants to produce their own energy.
The following costs are eligible:
- Work and installation materials and equipment
- Control, monitoring and auxiliary equipment
- Other work such as ditches, roof reinforcement etc.
- Removal of asbestos on the occupied area
- Canopies for photovoltaic installation
- Up to a 4% management fees (maximum €3.000)
The size of your property and how much energy you consume will affect how much money you can save. However, if you are using solar panels to produce your own electricity, then the average household could save around €1000 a year on their energy bills.
Hopefully, this blog has answered your question do solar panels save money. Harnessing the sun’s energy to reduce your household bills is a no brainer.