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Scramble to put in green energy savers in UK, experts claim | Science | News


A minimum of 9,764 solar panels were installed last month, in comparison with 5,003 in April last yr (Image: Getty)

The price-of-living crisis has prompted Britons across the country to contemplate solar panels, insulation and warmth pumps in recent weeks in a bid to maintain costs down in the long term. The 33,417 solar installations in the primary 4 months of 2022 are already greater than half of last yr’s 61,000 total, figures from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) showed.

March 2022 “exceeded expectations” with 10,054 solar installations within the face of rising energy prices, in comparison with just 4,987 installations in 2021, the scheme that covers installation of renewable or green technologies said.

A minimum of 9,764 solar panels were installed last month, in comparison with 5,003 in April last yr.

Richard Graham, a Tory MP with the Conservative Environment Network, said: “With energy prices rising, the return for investing in green solutions is quicker and might show you how to cut your bills.

“We have had solar panels since 2007, providing free hot water for at the very least half of the yr. Home insulation also can cut your bills by keeping your home warm and allowing you to show down your thermostat.

“Scrapping VAT on insulation, solar panels and warmth pumps means more people can afford the upfront cost of green technologies.

“Local councils and energy corporations have funds to assist vulnerable households with their energy bills.

“But I also hope the federal government brings forward further support to administer energy bills before the October price rises.”

Ian Rippin, chief executive at MCS, said the demand for solar energy is being driven by rising electricity prices and a national ambition to adopt green technology.

In 2021, 62 percent of MCS certified installations were solar PV, a rise of 16 percent on 2019’s figures.

Mr Rippin said “We’ve seen solar energy rolling out at pace in every region across the UK. Scotland is leading the way in which with over 25 percent of the 61,000 solar installations in 2021, closely followed by South-East England.

“The renewable electricity produced by solar panels is a big foundation within the green energy revolution.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in March that homeowners having materials akin to solar panels, electric heat pumps and insulation installed in the subsequent five years would pay no VAT.

Mr Rishi said: “A family having a solar panel installed will see tax savings price over £1,000, and savings on their energy bill of over £300 per yr.

“Homeowners who’ve solar panels, heat pumps and insulation installed will now not pay five percent VAT – they may pay zero.”

The Each day Express has been calling for motion to assist households reduce the quantity of energy they use, as bills have soared because of rising global gas prices, worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Clear Climate, an installation firm based in Durham, said a rising number of individuals have contacted them as their bills surge.

The corporate’s managing director Lee Peachey, added: “You’ve gotten to keep in mind it’s a fact of life that when energy bills go up they have an inclination to not sleep. How often do you hear of electricity bills happening, or gas bills happening?

“I’d advise anyone who can finance a solar system should at the very least look into it to see if it really works for them “

Save Heat Energy, one other firm in County Durham, told how they’ve seen a spike in enquiries as Britons strive for energy independence.

Director Danny Edward said: “We’ve seen a spike in enquiries and installs because the turn of the yr – each with people seeing early the energy crisis that was coming and people who are seeing it’s now upon us.

“We began off describing it as a surge for solar earlier this yr, now it’s more like a stampede.

“The penny really seems to have dropped with the general public and all of the solar corporations will let you know that the massive challenge on the horizon this summer is ensuring we will get parts like batteries etc to service the demand.

“The good thing is that not only have we seen the worth of solar arrays decrease over time but we’ve also seen the technology improve and folks love having an app nowadays in order that they’ll see their panels working and the returns in real time.

Solar panels

In 2021, 62 percent of MCS certified installations were solar PV (Image: Getty)

Solar panels are ‘no-brainer’

A pair have installed solar panels following a warning from their energy supplier that their bills would rocket by greater than £1,000 a yr.

Diane Jackson and her husband Peter, from Seaton Village, County Durham, told how their bills were set to rise from £167 to £257 a month, with the prospect of more on the way in which.

Peter, 53, said: “That’s plenty of money per thirty days and plenty of money per yr, so I got a quote for solar as a way of cutting down my energy bills. I checked out the quote, the numbers, stacked up and I ordered an install.

“That was six months ago and I couldn’t be happier with the outcomes, the app shows you the way much energy you’re generating during daylight and the battery means you possibly can store the excess energy and use it at other times.”

The couple modified their energy provider to Octopus, which supplies them the very best return on energy that they then feed back to the grid.

Peter, who works as a project manager, added: “There’s an outlay on solar panels on the outset but they pay for themselves after a couple of years and I just have to consider the dimensions of the bills I’d have been paying every month if I hadn’t got them.

“The app shows I used just 12 units of electricity since getting the panels, which shows how little electricity I’ve needed to pay since the system is so efficient.”

Solar panels are ‘no-brainer’

John Gracie said he and wife Anne had an impulse to do “our bit” for the environment” however the clincher for his or her solar install was the rising price of energy.

The plasterer, from Prudhoe in Northumberland, said: “It was about 50:50 – on the one hand we desired to help the environment so the concept of an electrical automotive and solar panels appealed but on the opposite, there’s little question it’s going to save us an awful lot of cash in the long term.”

Mr Gracie, 49, said they installed their solar panels in February and now monitor the energy generated to “see the way it is bringing our bills down”.

He said: “We all know we won’t get our a refund immediately but we are going to over five years after which whenever you take a look at the savings over 10, 15, 20 years, it’s a no brainer.

“I’ve never been an ecowarrior but I’m really pleased we’ve done it because we wouldn’t be surprised to see fossil fuel energy bills getting even higher.

“With inflation on the rise it’s going to be even dearer to purchase energy from abroad in years to come back whereas at the very least the worth of sunlight never changes!”

Comment Jess Ralston – Senior analyst on the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit

Gas bills are higher than they’ve been for years and so they’re set to rise again in October. The worth we pay for gas may be very much linked to the worldwide market and while the federal government has committed to going harder and faster on homegrown net zero power – like British offshore wind turbines – to make use more energy secure, it’s no wonder that Brits are in search of energy independence at home too.

Electricity bills are rising more slowly than gas because renewables are helping to cushion the very high running costs of gas power stations.

So why not go renewable at home? Searches for solar panels on eBay are up five-fold and industry anecdotes reveal insulation installers’ phones are ringing off the hook from people keen to bring down their energy usage in the primary place.

Some savvy individuals wish to mix solar PV panels with heat pumps, meaning that the electricity out of your roof can run your heating system through the day, cutting out the necessity for gas entirely.

For night-time, adding in an electrical vehicle (second hand EV sales are going through the roof) or indeed a battery without wheels could get a house off gas for good.

The Government’s £5,000 boiler upgrade grant makes heat pumps comparable in upfront cost to a gas boiler while they at the moment are £260 cheaper to run and don’t produce air pollution.

While a few of the technologies can cost more upfront, prices are falling and set to drop further as more people make the investment.

The most cost effective gas is that which we don’t use in any respect, and each kilowatt of gas saved by putting up solar panels and fixing up our leaky partitions and roofs reduces the necessity to import from places like Russia.

Experts have said that making homes net zero ready means cheaper bills and taking back control of our energy system for years. It’s just taken a war, fuelled by Putin’s oil and gas profits, and a value of living crisis to make the concept mainstream.

Insulate homes and isolate Putin. Get off gas to lower bills. It really isn’t rocket science – as the general public are clearly now realising.

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