Solar panels have 'big advantages' for homeowners

2nd Feb 2012

Homeowners who choose to install solar panels will find there are various benefits to doing so.

One thing to remember is that although the initial outlay may seem large at the time, the advantages can be reaped over the long term.

Andrew Leech, director at the UK's National Home Improvement Council (NHIC), pointed out that solar electricity can lead to considerable savings on energy bills.

However, in light of global financial problems, the expert suggested that some people might be put off installing solar technologies in their homes. Instead, he suggested, the benefits solar panels can offer over the long term should be highlighted.

"I really think that there has got to be a new marketing approach to installing renewable panels on the roof because I think the saving of money is no longer a selling point," Mr Leech emphasised.

"They have to promote it from the point of view of it being a long-term investment."

Homeowners must ensure, however, that they choose solar panels that will stand the test of time, otherwise they could find themselves paying out again at a later stage.

The general rule is good workmanship will come at a price, but the better the job, the longer your system will last and the more beneficial it will be to the property as a whole.

A particularly good project could even last for the lifetime of a property, the NHIC director stressed.

One way of helping to pay for the cost of solar panels is through a feed-in tariff scheme, which have proved popular in a number of countries all over the world.

Germany is largely considered to have one of the most successful schemes, as a seven-fold increase solar photovoltaic capacity was recorded between 2000 and 2005.

Meanwhile, homeowners in Victoria are currently waiting for the results of a review into feed-in tariff schemes, which are expected to be released at some point this year.

At present, there are three programs operating in the state: a Premium Feed-in-Tariff, a Transitional Feed-in-Tariff, and a Standard Feed-in-Tariff.

Queensland residents, on the other hand, could first benefit from the Solar Bonus Scheme on July 1 2008 and it is expected to be extended until 2028.

A review is scheduled to take place after ten years, or after eight megawatts of solar power systems have been installed.

Anyone who consumes no more than 100 megawatt hours of electricity with a solar panel system up to ten kilowatts for single power or 30 kilowatts for three-phase power is paid a subsidy.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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