SOLAR energy is becoming a more attractive solution for consumers trying to save money on energy bills – and Scotland is already ahead of the game, according to energy experts.
New research from uSwitch.com shows the average consumer can save more than £1,000 a year on household bills by having solar panels installed.
And soaring energy bills make solar a more attractive proposition than ever – even north of the Border. People who have already fitted solar panels are saving an average of £82.50 a month or £1,000 a year on their household energy bills.
The research from uSwitch shows nine out of ten people who have had solar panels fitted on their property would recommend them to a friend, eight out of ten say they have switched to solar in order to save money while four out of ten say they represent a good return on investment. Six out of ten say they had solar panels fitted on their property in order to become more green.
Simon Nicholas White, a photographer from central Edinburgh, said the difference in his household bills had been “massive” since solar panels were fitted to the roof of his old town tenement: “Ours were fitted two years ago and we have really noticed the difference. This year we turned the hot water off in March and it won’t go back on until October November.
“Even with the weather we have been having the solar panels are still generating enough to fill the hot water tank for baths, showers and washing up.”
Kevin Sears, energy efficiency expert at uSwitch.com, says: “With soaring energy prices and the rising cost of living, households are looking for new ways to cut costs. Solar energy provides a real opportunity to save around £80 a month on energy – something that consumers can’t afford to ignore. With over half of households under the impression that solar power is too expensive, consumers should be aware of all the options available, including Engensa’s new SolarLoan.”
Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Our figures show that between 2009 and April 2012 more than £206 million has been invested in the Scottish solar panel industry, creating new jobs and opportunities across the country.
“Solar has become increasingly popular way for householders and businesses to power their properties, keeping their energy bills down and for some, even making a profit by selling excess electricity to the grid.
“Renewable energy is quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives and currently meets around 35 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs.”
Jerry Hamilton, renewable energy director at Rexel, a company which fits energy-saving technology, said: “It’s very exciting to see how ahead of the game Scotland has been in terms of the energy crisis. The country realised very early on that there is an impending energy resource problem that will soon hit the UK and has invested heavily in a renewable alternative.
“Through our business we have seen huge growth in solar installations in Scotland. Despite the lower light conditions experienced in the country, if high- quality products are fitted, solar panels can still provide a good return on investment, as well as protect from the expected energy increases. As the UK becomes more reliant on energy resources from other countries, Scotland will be reaping the cost benefits of investment in solar and other renewable energies.”