Why solar panels are a bright idea

Solar panels are put on the roof to generate electricity from the sun.

You can benefit in two ways. First there’re the electricity bill savings. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that typical solar panels can produce c.40% of a home's leccy.

This means a typical family could slash a dazzling £120-ish off their bills, depending on how much sun you get and your roof size. Of course, if electricity costs go up, you’ll save even more.

The other bonus is that a new government scheme pays c. £800/year for all the solar energy you produce, even if you use it yourself. Bizarrely, the cash from this scheme massively eclipses the electricity bill savings.

One of the key things to understand is that solar power can't be stored, so any energy you don't use is pumped back to the grid.

When it comes to installing, you have two options:

* Get free solar panels.

If you’re in England or Wales, solar panel firm Isis is offering to kit you out with solar panels for nowt.

You save £120-ish a year on your electricity, but it keeps the £800 a year payments for generating the solar power. Jump to Free solar power for more.

* Profit from solar panels.

The other option’s to pay for your own solar power system. This way, you grab all the payments for solar energy produced, estimated by the Energy Saving Trust at a brilliant £800 year. This is on top of the bill savings.

The Government’s promised the scheme will last for 25 years, so that’s a decent £23,000 return. This works out cheaper if you want the solar panels for more than ten years, though, of course, you need to stump up a typical cost of £12,500. Jump to Get paid to generate solar power for more, including an offer for Moneysavers of 10% off one scheme from the Green Project.

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