Ten years ago, solar panels were tipped to be the next big thing. They’d already been available for decades, but the cost had been prohibitive for most home owners.
Government initiatives have been and gone, trying to incentivise green energy and reduce the UK’s dependence upon imported gas and electricity. Most of these have now fallen by the wayside, but there are a few tricks that remain in order to keep the cost of installation as low as possible.
The Rise And Fall Deal
You might have heard of the Green Deal, an elaborate attempt to get the green energy market moving, even involving the setting up of a Green Deal Bank to manage the funding allocation across the country.
Although the politicians were reluctant to admit it, the scheme ultimately failed because it was simply too complicated for home-owners to jump through all the hurdles required to find out what funds they qualified for through to actually accessing the money to get the work done.
The idea was the savings on your energy bills gradually paid off the loan from the Green Deal Bank, rather than the money being doled out in the form of grants. In some ways, the end result is exactly the same, but in times of austerity it was much easier politically to call it a loan that would be repaid to the public coffers.
So, why is it that successive governments have been trying to get us all to be a little greener?
What Is Needed
The most obvious requirement for greener living is the fact that we’re doing a lot of damage to the planet. Whether you think in terms of global warming, depleting natural resources or sustainability for your children and future generations, it’s almost beyond the most uneducated argument now to claim that it’s not down to humans that damage is being done.
If we’re being very generous, we can say that the reason each government incentive arrives is for ecological reasons, but there’s also a very big financial target involved too. It is hardly cynical to suggest that it’s more likely to be creating the political urgency given the scale of the penalties for missing the European carbon emissions targets, which are designed to penalise nations that fail to reduce significantly the pollution being pumped out into the atmosphere.
Part Of The Solution
It’s long been accepted that solar panels will provide a big part of the emissions reductions required to meet targets. As we said earlier, there are far fewer incentives available to home-owners to reduce the cost, but on the upside, technology has moved on and costs have fallen dramatically too. Some experts are suggesting that 2018 is the turning point where solar installations become more affordable than ever before, meaning that prices have fallen sufficiently to make them cheaper to pay for outright than when funding was available in the past. Of course, paying for them yourself means that savings on your bills are yours from day one too – so the initial financial outlay leads to a near immediate reduction in outgoings for a household.
Companies like Solar Panels UK are leading the charge with their websites and Facebook pages pointing people towards the latest solar developments as they appear.
Lets face it – if solar panels were free we’d all have them as they generate a saving on electricity bills and can even provide a modest income for providing electricity. The closer we get to solar energy being able to pay for itself in the short term, the more uptake we’ll see on the nation’s rooftops. It seems that day has now arrived.