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.