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Do Solar Panels “Pay for Themselves”?
Posted in
14/11/2019

Do Solar Panels “Pay for Themselves”?

Whether it’s a new roof or a more efficient car, there are plenty of investments that supposedly ‘pay for themselves’. Renewable technology is no different. However, are these claims really true, or just something that’s thrown around to make them sound more appealing?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the claims, assessing how long it would take for solar panels to pay for themselves.

How do solar panels pay for themselves?

First of all, what does it actually mean for something to pay for itself? In short, it refers to a product or service that saves you money over time. Eventually, those savings stack up and cover the cost of the initial investment, albeit much further down the line.

However, to fully pay for itself, that product or service needs to last long enough for those weekly, monthly or annual savings to reimburse your initial investment.

Let’s say your car is costing you around £500 each year in repairs just to pass its MOT. You might consider replacing it with a newer one that costs £3,000. If you do, you won’t have to fork out for repairs each year, touch wood. After six years of smooth running, your car will have effectively ‘paid for itself’.

Solar panels do the same by generating cost-free electricity to save you money on your energy bills each month.

How long for solar panels to pay for themselves?

The next question is calculating when exactly solar panels will pay for themselves. Unfortunately, this depends on multiple variables including:

  • Your property’s location – Areas with more sunlight, typically in the south of England, will benefit slightly more from their solar installation.
  • The roof’s slope – The optimum angle is around 35 degrees, while most UK roofs have a slope of around 40 degrees.
  • The direction your roof faces – South facing roofs are the best for solar panels, but they can be positioned to make the most of the sunlight on any roof.
  • Any shading on your roof – Naturally, any shading will reduce the amount of sunlight getting to your panels.
  • The size of your installation – The bigger your system, the more energy you can generate and the more you can save.

Crunching the numbers

Fortunately, there are some ballpark figures available. According to a study in The Guardian, the average annual benefit of a domestic solar panel installation in Sheffield, for example, was £633.15. Based on the average cost of a solar panel installation, this meant the installation would take just less than a decade (9.7 years) to fully ‘pay for itself’.

That figure was the same for several locations across the north, such as Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Bradford. However, it rose slightly for places like Hull, Chester and Liverpool and was the highest for Plymouth, Exeter and Truro in the south. These sunnier locations saw the average time for payback reduce slightly to 8.4 years, while the national average stands at 9.5 years.

To effectively pay for themselves, solar panels simply need to last longer than ten years. At NBEC, our solar panel products come with insurance-backed warranties and a 20-year guarantee. So, you can rest assured your solar panels will continue to save you money even after they have paid for themselves.

Solar panels that pay for themselves

With such impressive annual savings, it’s almost inevitable that your solar panel installation will pay for itself over time. At NBEC, we’re here to make that process easier. If you have any more questions about solar panels and whether your property is suitable, our team is just a phone call away.

Get your free quote today to take the first steps towards clean energy that pays for itself.

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