Domestic Solar Power – Is the cost worth it?

Filed under: Self Reliance |

solar power home
Image by World Bank Photo Collection
Solar power allows child to study at home. Sri Lanka. Photo: © Dominic Sansoni / World Bank

Photo ID: DSA0040SLA World Bank

Question by Ziggy: Domestic Solar Power – Is the cost worth it?
I’ve been considering installing solar power to my home for a while now … and particularly with the gas and electricity price hikes we’ve hand and are going to have, in mind…..
I’ve decided to change my boiler system to a combi because for me it’s not really cost effective to heat a tank of water that I’m not going to use every day … and I’ve been asking for quotes for photovoltaic electricity ….
In principle it would seem to be a good idea to part-support my energy use by supplying my own…. but the costs are so expensive…. particularly for Photovoltaic (best quote I’ve had is £13,500 inc VAT, ex the Government grant of £2,500) – I’m wondering if an investment now is really worth it – or would I be better off leaving it for another couple of years in case installation prices come down?….

Feel free to answer in the comment section below

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6 Responses to Domestic Solar Power – Is the cost worth it?

  1. Not worth it. Solar will only give you hot water, it won’t power a heating system

    May 5, 2014 at 2:43 am

  2. An architect friend of mine said that you are better off insulating your house to a high standard as it is cheaper and more effective than solar panels. If you have an open fire or stove think about a back-boiler because that could heat the radiators and hot water in your home.

    Sean B
    May 5, 2014 at 3:41 am

  3. Check out Alpha boilers website,they have a combi system that works with a solar system.Hot water only though.PV will take years to pay back.

    May 5, 2014 at 4:17 am

  4. I can’t speak to your situation, because you live in the UK. I can however tell you here in the US it’s not worth it yet. I build custom homes and have installed solar a number of times. This is what I know for sure…The cost here is around $ 30,000 and it will take 15 yrs to crecoup the investment. By then the system will be out of date and in need of replacment (because technology will have advanced by then). Right now it’s more of a feel good, then a practical solution.

    Look into a tankless water heater to save on your gas bill. Insulate, insulate, insulate. Make sure your winodws are as efficiant as possible, and your appliances are energy star.

    Laurie c
    May 5, 2014 at 5:11 am

  5. At the moment NO WAY perhaps in the future. Get the highest value of insulation you can afford instead. don’t forget the floor !

    May 5, 2014 at 5:28 am

  6. PV cells are definitely not worth it at the moment as they’re ridiculously expensive, apart from the control gear and batteries. However, in 5-10 years time, there should be PV cells printed on plastic which could be a tenth of the price of the silicon ones now.

    Hot water solar systems are good now, though.

    John W
    May 5, 2014 at 5:37 am

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