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Is it Worth Investing in Solar Panels?

Solar panels will help to generate electricity for your home and keep down your electricity costs. However, since UK government guidelines changes and there are no longer payments for those with solar panels, the uptake has been much smaller. You might still be considering whether they might be a worthwhile investment for you though. You will need to check whether you have a roof facing the right direction or another place that you can put them and whether you are allowed to put them there before you start. Assuming this is okay then you can decide on different factors.

Look at the cost

It is wise to start by thinking about how much it will cost. You will have to consider the cost of the panels, the cost of the fitting and the cost of scaffolding if you need it. It is also worth thinking about the possible cost of any repairs or replacements that might be needed such as replacing a broken inverter or a broken panel. These are not necessarily going to happen but it can be good to think about the chances or whether you might want to get insurance to cover those costs if it is available.

You should be able to compare costs. Some fitters may provide panels of their choice and others may fit what you choose. Panels will differ in cost as well. You might want to buy second hand panels or you may decide you want new. You will find that the prices vary depending on the brand, the size, the amount of electricity they generate and things like this. It will be wise to think about the value for money form the different panels and therefore which you feel would be the best to get. Then you will be in a position to decide whether they are something that you will be able to afford.

You may be in the position where you will have the cash available to pay for the panels. However, you may also find that the panels will be too expensive for that and you will have to borrow the money. If you are planning a loan then it is important to look at your borrowing options and compare them. Or considering brokerage services like Boutell UK. You should calculate the cost of the loan that you feel is the most affordable for you with regards to the repayments.

Calculate the return

Once you have some figures with regards to the costs of the panels it is time to calculate the return. This can be a bit trickier but you should be able to get some idea from the manufacturer or fitter. What they should be able to do is to work out how much electricity you are likely to generate from the panels that you are planning on buying. This will be a very personal thing. This is because as well as the amount of panels and their efficiency over time that needs to be taken account for, it will also depend on the direction of your roof and how much shade it gets at different times of the day. If you have a fitter who is sourcing the panels for you they should be able to give you all of the information that you need about this sort of thing.

Once you have an estimate as to how much electricity will be made you will be able to look at your electricity bills and calculate how much money you could save. It is worth remembering that you cannot just take one figure form the other. This is because you will not use all of the electricity you make unless you have a means of storing it and you will need electricity at times when you cannot make it so you will have to buy some. For example, the time when you generate the most electricity is when it is the lightest so usually around midday. If the house is empty in the day then very little, if any of that electricity will be being used and if you have no storage then you will not save electricity at that point. If you use electricity when it is dark, such as for lights and electronics then you will need to buy it unless you have stored some. Even if you do store electricity it is possible that you will not be able to store as much as you need. It can be possible to use time switches to put devices on in the middle of the day such as dishwashers and washing machines, but if you put too many devices on at once you may need more electricity than you can generate.

Consider other factors

It is also worth considering other factors as well as the cost of the panels. There will be many people that will want to get them because they will mean that you will not be getting so much electricity form fossil fuels. However, it might be cheaper to swap to a green energy supplier to do this, rather than investing in panels.

Some people may feel that they will increase the value of their home. As solar panels are still fairly rare it is hard to know whether this will be the case. If electricity prices do continue to rise then they could be attractive as they will save people money. Environmental concerns are also rising which could also make them a selling point.

How to Save up for new Car

Many people end up getting a loan to buy a new car. This is because, whether you are buying new or second hand, cars are expensive. You will find that you could pay out more for a car than you do for anything else apart from a home. Borrowing money to buy one can be convenient but it is not an option for everyone if they have a poor credit record or if they do not feel confident that they will be able to repay the loan. This means that for some people saving up can be the only option, for others saving up could be a much cheaper option and so is worth considering.

When to start

It can be hard to know when you might start saving for a new car. This is because you probably will not know when you will need one. Many people will keep a car until it is either unrepairable or the repair will cost more than buying a new car. It could also be the case that repairs are being needed more frequently and this is a problem as well. Some people will replace their car at regular intervals though or perhaps get a new one when they see a model for sale that they really want.

As it can be pretty unpredictable then it can be worth starting to save right away. Even if you have just bought a new car, it could be a good idea to start saving immediately for the next one. The reason for this is that cars are not cheap. The longer that you take to save up, the less you will have to save each month and that will mean that it will be easier for you to afford.

How to start

The first thing that you will need to do is to work out how much you are going to save. This can be tricky but you should be able to make some estimates. Consider how much you normally pay for a car and how long you normally keep a car for. Then you will be able to work out when you will need the money and how much you will need. Then divide that by the number of months that you have until you next buy one. This is how much you ideally should be saving.

You should then work out whether you can afford to save this much money each month. Look at your financial situation especially how much you usually get in income each month and how much you pay out. You will then be able to work out how much you will be able to afford to save. This might not toe up with the amount that you need, but that is something that may be able to be fixed later. At this stage set up a direct debit to go out the day that you are paid for money to leave your current account and go into a savings account so that it can accumulate ready to buy a car when you need it.

How to help

It is wise to try to do other things as well. This is especially important if you are not easily able to save as much as you need, but even if you can it can be good to add in extras to those savings. This means that if you need to dip into them for other things such as replacing white goods, car repairs etc then there will be a bit extra available for you.

Firstly, if you have money left in your account at the end of any month then pop this into the savings account. This could help to boost it up a bit. If you make any extra money, perhaps bonuses, premium bond wins, interest pay outs then put this in with them as well. You could also try doing some extra work to earn a bit extra or seeing if you can get a promotion or a better paid job. It is also worth seeing if you have anything you could sell to raise some money or even consider renting out your guest room, garage or attic to make more money. These things will allow you put in some lump sums of money from time to time. You might also want to think about what you are spending and whether you can cut back. Some of us will buy a lot of things and we might buy more than we need and have things that we have not worn, used or eaten and we may give away or throw away things which have cost us money. So, make sure that you are not doing this as it will waste money that you could otherwise have been saving towards the car.