Energy Saving

I saw a headline today on ‘Saving hundreds of pounds on your energy bill’.
Naturally, I wanted to find out how.
It’s solar panels.

Now, I remember us looking into this several years ago, and after taking into account the cost of installation (some £10K at the time), it was a lot of money to fork out in order to save some.
I’m not knocking it!
We already know of savings in the boating community by having solar panels on the roof and were thinking of fitting them too when TSHTF and we had to sell.
Still, I read on………….. well, you would, because we all want to save a few quid.
I did so love the website concerned where, having confirmed you were a homeowner,  you had to say which age bracket you were in, whether you were male or female (it makes a difference?) and then as you progress through the questionnaire, your address, email address and current energy costs per month.
In the summary, they say ‘up front costs’ have reduced considerably (by as much as 30%), and that as sunlight is free, once you’ve paid for the panels, you can start reaping in the savings (Note: ONCE YOU’VE PAID FOR THE PANELS.…………) and that you can reduce your carbon footprint as solar energy is one of the most environmentally friendly.

I found a website in the US which suggested the average home installed a 6,200 watt solar panel system at a cost of $18,600 which equates to £14, 230.  That’s more than a year’s income for us.
Hubby is the energy calculating genius and we would probably need a little less than that in our current property, a two bedroom well insulated bungalow with double glazing, energy saving lights and appliances, plus no TV, dishwasher or tumble dryer.
Also taking into account our daily usage of electricity is 3Kwh, that’s around 1100 kwh per year, and our bills about £276 pa. So in order to save ‘hundreds of pounds’………….. well, you do the math.

Here in the UK, many people have opted for solar panels, thinking they would not have to pay any electricity costs at all. Hm. Some small print says the energy you ‘produce’ is sent to the National Grid and you get your usge at a reduced price. Others say that you don’t actually own the solar panels and they are on lease, so that should you decide to move, you cannot take them with you and the new owners would have to take over any contract.
I did read about a government incentive all those years ago but again reading the small print, their contribution towards costs was paid to you in £500 increments over a twenty year period. I don’t know if this is still in force though.

Another little snippet on the US website stated that of the total installation cost, only about 15% actually related to the panels themselves. The rest was made up of labour, wiring,  hardware (fair enough) plus design, fees, sales taxes, marketing and sales processing.
Bet you don’t get refunds for advertising their product for free on your roof though.

However, whilst this is not practical for us, it was an interesting exercise.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have an elderly dog called Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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21 Responses to Energy Saving

  1. We check into solar years ago. After installing solar panels we could not afford to live in the ☕🍵👵house.

  2. fransiweinstein says:

    I think all new homes should be built with solar panels and I believe there are some “test” communities where it’s being done. It is very costly, as you point out, and I think one could justify it if you’re young — in your 30s or 40s, because you will be around to reap the long term benefits. But for those of us in our dotage it’s not the same kind of no-brainer. I think there should be government subsidies to help home owners with the cost because that will have huge benefits for all down the road. One thing is for sure — we cannot, as a society, continue as we are.

  3. colinandray says:

    We have the same thing going on here. Get solar panels and sell your surplus electricity back to “the grid”. All sounds very good but the payback period to cover the initial outlay is many, many years. The general thinking would seem to be that if you have that kind of money to spend, then look into insulating (or upgrading the insulation), a new high efficiency furnace, or perhaps switch from electric heating to gas etc. etc. etc. There are many things to contemplate when trying to save energy…. and money!

    • Hi Colin. We had to have a new boiler (gas combi) when we moved here which is extremely economical and are amazed at how well the house is insulated. We’ve had all the window panels replaced now as they seemed to be blowing one at a time, so got a bargain at having them all done when the last one went as the frames are still good. Our heating cost is around the same as our electricity for the year, though obviously more in the winter months but practically nothing in the summer as we only have hot water via the boiler then. Everything is well within the budget I set anyway, so we are doing very well.

  4. I’ve found the exact same thing, no real saving at all for nearly 20 yrs! However, our neighbors at our old farm had a small outbuilding that sat near our barn just on the other side of the fence and a sort of windmill next to it.
    The windmill generated electricity and stored additional energy into power cells in the building. They not only had no electricity Bill’s but sold the additional power to the grid for which they were paid! That sounded much more the way to go, however, I have no idea what the initial costs were but, like sunshine….wind is free! 😊

    • We also thought about a small turbine similar to a house down the road from the cottage then discovered we needed planning permission. It also turned out they couldn’t have it running 24/7 and had to turn it off between 11pm and 7am which kind of defeated the object!
      I guess it’s all a matter of timing and readily available funds. Solar on the boat would have worked very well for us as we had no major energy guzzlers.

      • The one near our home ran at all hours, we grew accustomed to the whispering whirl of it’s blades and found it quite comforting after all.

      • We almost bought a house that had a large commercial turbine about 500 yards away from the back fence. She said she didn’t notice it after a while, but when we went back for a second look, it was working and we would have found it intrusive. A question of what you get used to, like the wind and the sea here………… we hear it, but it’s part of our life.

      • So true! Like living near a train track.

      • My brother’s house was a few mils from the railway track, but when the wind was in the wrong direction, it was quite ‘close’!

      • Hahaha. That sure brings back memories of childhood or at least one. I have to have been 5 or maybe 6 yrs old. We moved into some shanty clapboard house in God only know what state or town as we moved so often and far. But, I remember hardwood floors, my birthday there and even as small as I was, how small the backyard was. The people next door had 13 children that I’d talk to through the chain link fence, the back of which butted against railroad tracks. The first week or so, I could not sleep as the train blew through in the middle of the night, blowing its horn and shaking the whole house and everything in it. But soon, I slept right through and the clacking of the wheels upon the track was as comforting as a lullaby.

      • I can imagine, and I bet when you moved away you missed it for a while!

      • I couldn’t sleep!!!! Hahaha

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