I won’t bore you with the details of how solar panels work but basically you set them up and the cut generates energy that you can instantly use or store with batteries for use later.
Here are your options:
1) Solar PV for your house (‘Free’ > £7000+)
Buying panels yourself (£5000-£8000+)
With a large upfront cost of £5000-£8000 for a 4KW unit but an income (£150/yr roughly with FIT [Feed In Tariff] + £85/yr roughly with export tariff) is guaranteed for 20 years (& it’s transferable to future house owners + raises with the price of inflation). You also get the added benefit of reduced electricity costs and can buy additional units to heat your hot water etc with unused electricity. Often you can pay off the price you paid for your panels within 7-22 years (depending on when you buy, what panels etc), making them an obvious choice for many home owners.
You also get the added benefit of reduced electricity costs and can buy additional units to heat your hot water etc with unused electricity. Often you can pay off the price you paid for your panels within 5-15 years, making them an obvious choice for many home owners.
We’re currently writing a full guide for solar panels and will link here soon, for now ensure you get 3 quotes from 3 legit companies ensuring all of them are part of Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
The ‘Free’ version (£0-£500)
A legit way of getting solar panels for free, however, you don’t own them, but you get part of the benefits (roughly £65ish better off each year) basically pay you it but basically long term you’re worse off. Going by reviews this company seems the best.
The problem with these is your mortgage company may not be happy about it & if you rent then of course you would have to speak with your landlord as you can’t just install these on their roof.
2) Portable Solar Panels for small electronics (£20-£100)
These are ideal as part of an emergency grab bag or just for festivals, camping trips, bikers etc.
The 14W Anker (in photo, the one we use and have)
- Foldable & Portable (ideal for a backpack, laptop bag etc)
- Ready to go, plug and charge.
- 2 x 5V USB slots for multiple device charging (around 1.2amps)
- Less than £35 + free delivery
- Combine with an Anker Portable Battery (like in our photo) and you’re good to go.
Portable Battery with built in solar
- Less effective than a full solar unit as above but nice and cheap so you could leave around
- From under £15 with a built-in 10000mAh battery it’s a good deal
- Useful for emergency situations but it will take several days to fully charge
3) Fixed solar panels for rooms/small garages etc (£50-£500)
The 20W 12V
- Ideal for camper vans, garages, boats etc.
- Add your own battery pack to this and you’ve got a great unit for a more permanent structure
- Around £60 delivered
- You may need some skills / be good at reading the manual to setup
The 200W 12V system
- Basically the more you pay the more power you get / the larger the panels you get
- Ideal for higher powered devices but again you will need some batteries to charge up with
- From around £200 all in + battery + an inverter to turn into 240V