Martin Lewis’s Top Tips On Solar Panels  

With a slew of expert advice and a rapid rise in popularity due to his prestigious financial knowledge, you might be curious about what financial expert Martin Lewis has to say about solar panels. This article will discuss Martin Lewis’s thoughts on solar panels, particularly how they can help you save money on energy bills and make your home more energy-efficient. 

Martin Lewis and Solar Panels 

Martin Lewis is famous for the expert money advice he shares with the UK public. He advises on money matters via his website and company moneysavingexpert.com. As a reliable source of information on saving money, many UK residents value and trust his opinion on the subject and seek his expertise when they need it the most. 

His website explores Solar Panels in depth:  

1. Saving on Energy Bills: 

The important thing Martin Lewis discusses is how solar panels can lower your energy bills. Solar panels use the sun’s energy to generate electricity for your home. When you use this solar power, you don’t need as much electricity from the grid, meaning you pay less on your energy bills. However, this does depend on the size of the system in place, how much electricity is used, and if are at home in the day using the power. 

2. Making Your Home More Efficient: 

Martin Lewis also points out that solar panels help make your home energy-efficient. Using clean energy from the sun makes you more energy efficient and improves on saving energy. This not only helps the environment but can also raise the value of your home. 

3. A Good Investment

He says solar panels can be a smart way to spend your money. Although the initial cost might seem high, over time, you can save money on energy bills and even earn some money from government programs. These benefits can make solar panels a good financial choice. However, it could typically take someone 16 to 21 years to recoup the cost of installing the solar panels. 

4. Be Well Informed 

As with most decisions that will affect you financially, Lewis advises that the most important thing is to be well informed about the cost of solar panels. Calculate your breakeven point and see if you can switch to a better energy tariff to see if they will benefit you. Not all homes are suitable for solar, things like your roof quality, size, getting sun between 10am and 4am, and your home being south-facing all play a part in suitability. Always do your research before making a decision.  

What Government Help is Available?  

Martin Lewis also mentions that the government offers programs to make solar panels more affordable. In the UK, you can get help through schemes such as ECO4, which can make solar panels a practical option for homeowners. Under the ECO4 grant, homeowners and private tenants can apply to have solar panels installed, as well as other renewable energy options such as heat pumps and insulation.  

If you or someone in your household receives a means-tested benefit, you will be eligible for the ECO4 scheme. If you do not receive any of the benefits, you could still be eligible if your household earns under a total of £31,000.  

In Conclusion 

Martin Lewis’s opinion on solar panels is generally a positive one. He believes they can help you spend less on energy, make your home more eco-friendly, and provide a good financial return depending a certain factors relevant to your circumstances. With this, the government-backed programs make solar panels even more attractive and accessible. So, with solar panels, you can not only save money but also contribute to a cleaner and more cost-effective future with clean energy. Still, as with all financial decisions, a lot of thought and research should be dedicated to it, ensuring you are not left regretting any decisions you make. 

Want to Know More about Solar?

Click the image below to discover our simple solar panel infographic. You can also check your eligibility via the green button below.  
 

Comments
Michael Page April 1, 2024

Who is entitled to the income from solar panels if you rent a house with solar panels already installed?

Toni April 2, 2024

Hi Michael. Thank you for your question. Whoever has set the agreement up with the energy supplier is entitled to the income.

Carol begley April 29, 2024

I am in process of buying my council house it has solar panels installed 12 years ago do you know the value of them now as I have to buy them separately

Billy Strickland April 29, 2024

Hi there Carol!

Congratulations on the purchase of your home! We are looking into this query for you and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks.
Billy

Billy Strickland April 29, 2024

Valuing used solar panels, especially those that have been operational for a significant period such as 12 years, involves considering several factors, including the degradation rate, remaining useful life, brand, and efficiency of the panels. Here’s how you can approach estimating the value of the existing solar panel system:

1. Degradation Rate
Solar panels typically degrade in efficiency by about 0.5% to 1% per year. After 12 years, you can expect the panels to have degraded by approximately 6% to 12%. This means they will produce less electricity than when they were new, affecting their value.

2. Remaining Useful Life
Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty that guarantees they will still produce at least 80% of their rated output by the end of that period. With 12 years of use, these panels might have around 13 more years of productive life under warranty conditions.

3. Current Efficiency and Output
A 3 kW to 4 kW system initially would now potentially produce less due to degradation. This needs to be factored into the valuation as the output directly affects savings on electricity bills.

4. Market Value of Used Panels
The market value of used solar panels can vary greatly. However, they are significantly less than new panels due to the decreased efficiency and shorter remaining warranty period. As a rough estimate, used panels can be valued at around 20% to 50% of their original price depending on their condition and brand.

Estimation Method

1.Original Cost: If the original installation cost of a new 3 kW to 4 kW system was around £5,000 to £8,000, estimate the value by considering the reduced efficiency and shorter remaining lifespan.

2.Depreciation: Assuming a linear depreciation over a 25-year lifespan, the panels would retain about 52% of their value after 12 years under ideal conditions (ignoring degradation effects).

3.Adjust for Degradation: Reduce the value further based on estimated degradation (let’s say 10% for simplicity).

Sample Calculation

– Original Cost: Let’s assume £6,000 for a 3.5 kW system.
– Value after 12 Years (Ignoring Degradation): £6,000 × 52% = £3,120
– Adjust for Degradation: £3,120 – 10% = £2,808

This estimated value is very rough. You might consider pricing them lower to account for the reduced efficiency, perhaps in the range of £1,500 to £2,500 for the entire system, based on its condition and market demand for used systems. Additionally, consider consulting a local solar panel expert or appraiser for a more precise valuation, as they can inspect the system and provide a more accurate estimate.

There is a lot that we don’t know when it comes to approaching this calculation:

– The initial cost of the system
– The size and output of the system
– The quality of the system

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the cost and quality of solar panels has changed wildly since 2012, so making comparisons to today’s technology is not a fair one to make.

The information here is just a guide and should not be taken as a guarantee or quotation. For a definitive answer, I’d recommend speaking to the manufacturer of the panels, or a specialist installer.

lucy cracknell May 23, 2024

HI, I have been turned down for solar panels on 5 occasions. I am on PIP, my partner earns more than £31,000 (only just). We own our property and its EPC was G. We have paid for an ASHP in the last year and received the BUS grant to assist with payment. At the time health conditions were not a part of the criteria to get free ASHP etc. Every company I have contacted has said that I am not eligible as I already have an ASHP. This I understand is only due to the fact that these companies can earn more more if they fit both at the same time. When I challenge them they say I am simply not eligible. Why not? This doersn’t seem to be fair or honest.

Billy Strickland May 23, 2024

Hi there, thank you for your comment. Here at Energy Advice Helpline, we can only assume that your successful installation of an ASHP through BUS has made you ineligible for ECO4 and its benefits under the current criteria. Under the ECO4 scheme, it is required to have all methods of home energy upgrades installed when you qualify and prior installation with a different scheme nullifies your eligibility. Have you considered contacting your local authority to see if they can provide any help? Have you also contacted your energy supplier for their advice? For more information on the ECO4 scheme, please visit the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/design-of-the-energy-company-obligation-eco4-2022-2026 OR call us on 0330 822 4168

Alan Flockton May 27, 2024

Ignoring the cost of the panels themselves, how much does it cost to instal 6kw worth of panels in the course of building a new home, as opposed to retro-fitting them afterwards?

Billy Strickland May 28, 2024

Hi there Alan, thank you so much for your comment. The cost of installing solar panels can depend on multiple factors such as house size and the size of the solar system. A 6kW installation would normally cost around £8,000. For your particular circumstances, referring to this online solar panel calculator may be beneficial:
https://www.fmb.org.uk/homepicks/solar-panels/cost-of-solar-panels/#:~:text=Solar%20panels%20calculator
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Ian savage June 18, 2024

Very informative information I am thinking of placing 6 kW panels on the roof of 3 garages so no scaffold needed and my garage has a power supply socket allocated already installed I will keep you updated kr isisian Isisian1959

Ian savage June 18, 2024

Cost of the installation for 8kw solar panels inc vat what’s best new or 2nd hand yours sincerely Ian isis savage

Billy Strickland June 18, 2024

This is exciting news Ian, thank you for your comment! We would recommend new solar panels as they can degrade over time (like any technology) which then impacts their performance. Don’t worry though, solar panels can last from 25 right up to 30 years! We will contact you via email so you can keep us up-to-date with your progress.

Billy

Jamie streets June 18, 2024

We are in the middle of signing the contract for our first home together. We seller owns the panels, so in short this means that they will be ours once sale has gone through. My question is it worth going on the feed in tariff and how does this work ? Do i physically get the money in might bank as well as free electricity?
Apologies if you have answered this already

Billy June 24, 2024

Congratulations on your first home Jamie! It’s exciting to have solar panels as part of your new property.

The feed-in tariff is a scheme that pays you for the electricity you generate with your solar panels and feeds back into the grid.

Here is how it typically works:

Generation Tariff: You get paid for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity your solar panels generate, regardless of whether you use it yourself or export it to the grid.

Export Tariff: You get an additional payment for the excess electricity you export to the grid. This is usually a lower rate than the generation tariff.

Meter Installation: You’ll need a meter that tracks the amount of electricity generated by your solar panels and the amount exported to the grid.

Registration: You need to register with an energy supplier that offers the feed-in tariff scheme. They will monitor your generation and export amounts.

Payments: You will receive regular payments (usually quarterly) from your energy supplier for the electricity generated and exported.

You will get the money from the feed-in tariff payments deposited into your bank account. These payments are in addition to the savings you make from using the electricity generated by your solar panels, which reduces your electricity bill.

David Smith June 24, 2024

Having just had Solar panels fitted why does it take so long to get a DNO approval/accepting letter to be sent? The sales reps are quick to follow up with demands for payments plus the promise of a follow up system to ensure things are ok yet fail to say how long the approval can take. I’m being told how much I will save on my electricity bill ,plus by exporting back to the Grid I can save even more, looks like I might receive my letter in time for the Winter.

Billy June 25, 2024

Hi there David,

All DNO applications are different and it’s not easy to comment on your specific case, as we don’t have access to all the information. There are a few thing which can slow down the DNO approval process though. At this time of year, it’s likely that application volumes will be higher, so your DNO may have an application backlog. This will also impact any Technical Assessments they need to undertake.

Your installer should be in regular contact with your DNO, so if you haven’t already done so, make sure they’re chasing the application up on your behalf.

If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Chris Best July 1, 2024

Hello Im in the process of buying a house with homesun solar system on it this is about half way through its lease of 25 years if I buy the system of homesun to end the lease will i get the feed in tariff that homesun currently get ?

Billy July 2, 2024

Hi there Chris, thanks for your question.

When buying a house with an existing solar system under a lease agreement, it’s important to understand how ownership transfer will impact the benefits associated with the system, including the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). Here are key considerations and steps to take:

1. Check the Original FiT Agreement:

– The Feed-in Tariff scheme in the UK closed to new applicants in 2019, but those with existing agreement will still get payments for the duration of their contract (usually a period of 20-25 years.) The FiT payments are usually tied to the owner of the solar system who originally registered it.

2. Transfer of FiT Payments

– When solar systems are sold, the FiT payments are usually transferred to the new owner. This means that if you buy your system from HomeSun , you should recieve the FiT payments that they were receiving.
– Ensure that the transfer of FiT payments is explicitly covered in the sale agreement with HomeSun . You may need to complete certain paperwork and let the energy supplier that adminsiters the FiT to update the ownership details.

3. Contact the Energy Supplier:

– Contact your energy supplier of FiT licensee currently making the payments to HomeSun. Confirm the process and requirments for transferring the FiT contract to your name. You may be required to provide proof of purchase and complete a transfer form.

4. Legal and Financial Advice:

– Consult with a solicitor to ensure that the purchase agreement includes all of the vital clauses to transfer the ownership of the solar system and the FiT payments. This will ensure any legal complications are avoided.
– Verify any potential costs involved in buying out the lease and ensure that the financial benefits of receiving FiT payments outweigh the costs.

5. Due Diligence:

– Monitor the condition and performance of the solar system. Ensure it is still functioning properly and that you will continue to benefit from it.

6. Notify Relevant Parties:

– Ensure the relevant parties are made aware of the change in ownership, including the Distribution Network Operator (DNO).

In summary, if you purchase the solar system from HomeSun and follow the correct procedures, you should be able to receive the FiT payments that they currently receive. However, it’s crucial to verify this process with HomeSun and the energy supplier, and to get the appropriate legal and financial advice to ensure a smooth transition.

We hope this answer has been helpful to you Chris. If you have any further questions, please reach out to us!

Chris Best July 2, 2024

thank you very much that has been very helpful

Billy July 2, 2024

You’re welcome Chris! We wish you good luck in your solar endeavours and as ever, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Wendy thomas July 4, 2024

I have had my solar panels for13years no problem I had a phone call form a company because the company who installed my solar panels went broke straight away and I had no servicing on them. That I could get money back on my solar panels from the government

Billy July 11, 2024

Hello there, thank you for your enquiry. It is fantastic that your solar panels have been functioning well for 13 years.

Regarding the phone call you received about getting money back from the government, it is vital to approach these kinds of claims with caution due to the sheer number of scams and misleading offers that are out there.

Below we have outlined some steps you could take to determine the legitimacy of the claim and what options may be available to you:

Verify the Company
Researching the company that contacted you would be a first good step. Check for reviews, their official website, and any mentions in reputable sources. Be wary of companies with limited information or negative reviews.

Verify if the company is accredited by recognised industry bodies, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) in the UK.

Check for Scams
There can be common red flags to look out for. Be cautious if the company asks for upfront payments or personal information, or pressures you to make a quick decision.

Genuine government programs will typically be announced through official channels and will not require you to engage with third-party companies.

Explore Legitimate Government Programs

Feed-in Tariff (FiT): If you were eligible for the FiT scheme and registered your system when it was open, you should continue to receive payments. If you missed out on FiT, there are no retroactive payments available.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG): Since January 1, 2020, the SEG has replaced the FiT scheme. This allows small-scale generators to receive payments for electricity exported to the grid. Check if you can benefit from SEG by contacting energy suppliers directly.

Local Authority and Government Websites: Check official resources like GOV.UK or your local council’s website for any current incentives or programs that you might be eligible for.

Servicing and Maintenance
If your original installer is no longer in business, you can hire another MCS-accredited installer to perform maintenance on your solar panels. Regular maintenance can help ensure optimal performance and longevity of your system.

Seek Professional Advice
Contact agencies like Citizens Advice or Trading Standards if you suspect a scam or need assistance verifying a company’s claims.
If you feel you were misled or have concerns about the company that installed your panels, a solicitor specialising in consumer rights or energy law can provide guidance.

June July 5, 2024

I signed a contract of a leasehold solar panel 9 years ago for a 20 year contract with the advice that it would put the value on my house and I can sell my house faster. Now I learned that the buyer found it hard to get mortgage and took over 4 months and still on going to get papers together legally. Can I sue the company for mis sold and end the contract as all these issues they have never told me when I signed it . I need to sell my house but I am stuck for so long now and I do not have money to buy it outright. Thank you

Billy July 10, 2024

Hi there, we appreciate your question.
Here are some possible steps you could take to explore the options you have:
• Review Your Contract
Take a look at the original contract you signed with the solar company. Pay attention to any clauses related to termination, selling the property, and transferability of the lease.
It would help if you also kept an eye out for any statements or promises made by the solar company that could be misleading or false.
• Consult with a Solicitor
Seek legal advice from a solicitor who is specialised in property law and consumer rights. They can help determine if you have a case for mis-selling based on the contract terms and the information given to you at the time of signing.
They will also be able to advise you on relevant consumer protection laws that may apply in your situation. This could be the Consumer Protection from Unfair Regulations 2008, which protects consumers from misleading and aggressive sale practices.
• Gather Evidence
Gather all documents related to your solar panel lease, including the contract, and correspondence with the solar company. You can also collect any marketing materials or advice provided at the time of signing.
Keep records of all communications with the solar company and potential buyers regarding the issues you have faced during the sale of your home.
• Contact the Solar Company
You can submit a formal complaint to the solar company explaining the issues you are dealing with, and your concerns about mis-selling. Request a resolution, such as termination of the contract or financial compensation.
Some companies are happy to negotiate a settlement as an attempt to avoid any legal action or bad publicity.
• Seek Help from Relevant Authorities
Trading Standards – Reporting the issue to Trading Standards, which can investigate cases of mis-selling and unfair trading practices.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – If the solar panel lease was financed through a loan or other financial product, you can contact the FOS to investigate whether the finance provider adhered to fair lending practices.
• Explore Financial Options
Investigate if there are third-party companies that specialise in buying out solar panel leases. This can be a way of resolving the issues without having to come up with the full buyout amount yourself.
Work with the buyer’s mortgage lender to provide any necessary documentation or assurances about the solar lease. Some lenders are more experienced with these situations and can facilitate the process.

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