Solar Power: Still an Attractive Alternative?

Solar panels on roof

When solar power was first introduced to the wider market, it seemed like a futuristic concept that would offer little benefit to those who adopted it on their homes or businesses. The government then offered incentives to home and business owners to try and encourage a stronger uptake of the environmentally friendly energy solution. These incentives were a success, however many of the benefits that solar power users were entitled to have been removed, which means people are questioning whether solar power really is a financially viable alternative.

Upfront Investment

Solar panels require a significant upfront payment for their installation, with the premise being that the savings made on monthly energy bills will cancel out the initial expense. The government initiated a scheme that offered households free solar panels in return for savings on their electricity bills, but the 25 year contract that was included in this scheme dissuaded a lot of households from taking part.

Solar panels are also known as solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) panels. They generate immediate power for the building, providing a source of energy that is renewable and that benefits from zero emissions – this not only reduces the monthly expenditure of the building owner but also provides an environmentally-friendly source of energy.

Over Half A Million Installed

Solar panel installation

In 2014, solar panels adorned the roofs of over 500,000 homes and businesses in the UK, showing that despite the caution shown by some home and building owners, solar energy proved an incredibly popular choice, thanks to the government’s feed-in tariff scheme. The UK boasts more solar panel installations than any other country in Europe, and the considerable reduction in costs over recent years has enticed more people to give solar power a chance, and the industry is booming as a result.

Setting Expectations

Solar power from the sun

However, surveys have shown that some owners of solar panels overestimated how much energy the installations would generate. One huge variable in the success of solar power is the location of buildings that have panels installed. Some properties, obscured by trees, or with unusual roofing profile simply do not collect as much sunlight as others, and this can hamper the efficiency of the solar panels themselves.

Solar panels are an attractive alternative to those who have the financial capability to afford the initial expense, and those who do will see reductions in their annual energy bills. However, it is not an ideal option for everyone, as the location of your building plays a huge part in the success of the panels.


As specialists in the installation, maintenance and repair of central heating systems, VHL’s electrical engineers are always happy to provide you with more information about the energy efficient & economical products we offer as well, so please get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

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