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Solar panels could be a good way for households to hedge against rising energy bills

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Written by:
13/08/2012
As Brits face increasing energy bills, independent new findings show that 70% of households believe that solar panels are a good way of lowering energy bills.

According to uSwitch, two-thirds of those with solar panels have cut their energy bills by an average of £82.20 a month.

With each of the big six energy providers raising prices twice in the last year, energy bills expected to continue to rise in the long term. uSwitch says it is not surprised to find that four-in-five of those with solar panels installed them to protect themselves against future price hikes.

But while cutting costs is the main reason to get solar, it is not the only reason. Of those with panels, more than 70% wanted to make money from the feed-in tariff (FIT), while 62% wanted to do their bit for the environment.

With savings rates so low, four-in-ten people think that solar offers a good return as an investment.

However, amongst those with solar, this increases to more than seven-in-ten, while more than 40% of solar customers wanted to add value to their property.

Kevin Sears, energy efficiency expert at uSwitch.com, said: “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.”

However, although nine-in-ten who installed solar panels would recommend them to their friends and family, not everyone is singing their praises.

Around 10% think fitting the panels are more effort than they’re worth, and over half of households without solar power believe that it is just too expensive.

“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.

“With the SolarLoan, consumers can receive all the benefits of investing in solar, including making money from FIT, without any of the upfront cost.

“I would also urge the Government to better promote the benefits of solar. By doing all they can to ensure UK homeowners are well informed, consumers may become more plugged in to solar and reap the financial rewards.”

But those worried about the cost of solar can still enjoy the benefits of solar by taking out a solar loan – a new alternative to free solar.

These loans, such as Engensa’s recently launched SolarLoan, enable customers to get free electricity as well as making money from the feed-in tariff, with no initial outlay.

They are paid back over 10 years, but enable consumers to earn money from FIT and benefit from reduced electricity bills for 20 years. With a solar loan households could earn up to £18,000 over 20 years with no upfront cost.

Consumers could also look at getting free panels, which could cut your annual electricity bill by up to 50%.

Read more about investing in Solar Panels >>

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