Solar Panels – Are They a Worthy Investment?

This is a guest post, written by Stephanie Staszko.

Many people believe solar panels are only for those who are committed to eco-friendliness. Well if you’re committed to saving money then solar panels could be just the investment you’ve been looking for. Whether you own a commercial or residential property, solar PV systems could save and earn money for you.

Solar photovoltaic systems can double the money you invest into installing them in 25 years. So if installation costs an average of £12,500 ($20,500) to install you can expect to have got a return of £25,000 ($51,000) in just over 2 decades. Returns on the investment of solar panels are tax-free, making them a great choice for Brits paying the higher tax rate.

With constantly rising utility bills, solar photovoltaic panels are becoming a valuable option for homeowners. They can produce free electricity daily between sunrise and sunset, regardless of the weather. It is said that homeowners can save at least £140 ($230) annually on just electricity bills. This is extremely appealing to bill payers due to the recent rise in fuel prices, which are expected to continue to rise. In 2010 Offgem, who regulate the electricity and gas markets in the UK, warned electricity bills are expected to increase by 20% over the next 10 years. Combine the rising electricity bills with the feed-in tariff benefits and solar panels seem too good to be true.

The feed-in tariff offers homeowners 41.3p (67.7c) per kilowatt hour of electricity they produce and do not use. This is a very attractive alternative to paying excessively for electricity through the national grid; alternatively homeowners are making money out of producing electricity.

Studies show that installing solar panel systems on your roof can increase the value of your home. Potential buyers would be attracted by the low energy bills, if not the eco-friendly side. A survey on property buyers in Oxford showed that 53% of them said the low energy bills were the most persuasive factor in buying a house with a solar photovoltaic system installed. 33% also said they were more likely to buy a home that had solar powered electricity due to the environmental benefits. Energy Saving Trust also estimated that homes with solar panels installed on the roof would sell 30% faster than homes that aren’t self-sufficient.

According to Morgan Lovell, self-sufficient commercial buildings are sought after by potential tenants due to them having low bills. Offices that are self-sufficient could be increasingly popular due to the amount of electrical equipment that is run within offices.

People who intend to sell their house may experience negative effects for opting for free solar panels. This is because the current homeowner would have a binding contract with the installer of the solar panels, who claim the feed-in tariff in return for the free installation. This may not be attractive to a potential buyer who would have the contract passed on to them. However, free solar panels are also very beneficial if the homeowner isn’t intending to sell their house and doesn’t have sufficient cash to invest in them.

Overall, solar panels can be a worthy investment. On average, a homeowner can save around £1000 a year including the feed-in tariff and savings on electricity bills. It has better returns that storing money in an ISA. For those who are looking for an investment, solar panels are certainly worth considering.

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Originally posted 2011-06-14 15:50:17.

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