There are lots of ways you can make the most of the sunshine – building a patio or conservatory and getting together for a barbecue, for example – but to literally make something from the sun, consider solar panels.
Solar panels are one of the most cost-effective ways to generate your own energy, and thanks to various schemes, you can even earn money with them, too. The main benefits are:
Find out about the science behind solar panels (and loads of other renewable technologies) in our handy guide.
The average solar panel system costs between £6,000 and £9,000 according to the Energy Saving Trust, which recommends that you get quotes from at least three different installers. But take into account the following:
It is also possible to get solar panels for free through ‘rent-a-roof’ schemes. Here, solar companies install the panels free of charge and collect any revenue generated from tariffs, while you benefit from the free energy.
The exact amount you stand to save depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the installation and your energy usage. However, a standard 4kWp system can generate around 3,700 kilowatt hours of electricity every year – around the same amount as the typical household uses, which essentially means no more energy bills!
On top of that, you may be eligible for the Feed-In Tariff scheme. The amount of could earn again depends on a variety of factors, but the Energy Saving Trust estimates an average installation could yield nearly £800 a year in savings and income.
One of the biggest misconceptions about solar panels is that they need constant and direct sunlight to work well, and therefore they’re not well suited to the UK. Of course, it’s true they work better in sunnier conditions, but solar panels still generate significant levels of energy during cloudy weather. Bear in mind that the world’s leading solar power producer and adopter is Germany, which has a very similar climate to the UK.
Not at all! This is another common myth about solar power, but the fact is that most solar systems are installed to supplement your existing on-grid power supply. So come rain, clouds or darkness, you’ll still be connected.
There are countless companies out there that tout renewable energy technologies among their specialties, but if you want to take advantage of payment plans and Feed-in Tariffs, make sure you choose an installer with accreditation from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). The Energy Saving Trust has lots more of information on choosing the best company here.
OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.