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Generate your own electricity with solar energy panels to save energy and earn money back

Solar panel electricity systems -- also known as solar pv panels or photovoltaic panels -- capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells and convert it into electricity for you home. Photovoltaic panels have been in use for decades and represent an environmentally-friendly means of converting solar energy into electricty. These cells don’t always need direct sunlight to work, and can still generate electricity on cloudy days.

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You can buy your own solar panels

Invest in savings with solar power

If you can afford the up-front costs of solar panels for your home, it’s better to buy them yourself. That way, you’ll get 100% of the income generated from creating your own green electricity via a Feed-In Tariff scheme (FITs).

TOP TIP When it comes to putting up your solar panels, in the vast majority of cases you will need to get in touch with solar panel installers. It’s important to note that in order to be eligible for either Feed-In Tariff or Renewable Heat Incentive payments, both your solar panels and solar panel installers have to be accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) You can find a list of qualified solar panel installers on the MCS website.

Free solar panels for your home

Nothing comes for free, right? Well that's only partially true when it comes to free solar panels.

If your home qualifies, you could get free solar panels through schemes referred to as "rent-a-roof." Solar companies install the solar energy panels free of charge, and pay for any maintenance and connection charges. Then they collect any profit from the green electricity that is generated. You benefit from the free electricity generated from the solar energy panels, without any of the cost.

TOP TIP There are two types of commonly available solar panels for home: photovoltaic (PV) panels and thermal panels. The latter are used only to heat water and are not as popular. Solar PV panels convert energy from the sun into electricity.

How can I earn money from PV solar panels?

When you purchase your own PV solar panels and use the government-backed Feed-In Tariff scheme, you can earn money for every unit contributed back to the National Grid. If you opt for free solar panels, then the company that provided the panels receives this income. So think carefully before opting for free solar panels for your home!

Will the quality of my electricity suffer?

No. You won't notice any difference. If the PV panels aren't producing enough electricity, you'll just use electricity from the Grid instead. Solar energy is unlikely to fulfill all of your energy needs, but it can make a significant contribution.

Where can I find reputable solar panel companies?

There are now many companies which install PV solar panels in different areas of the UK. In addition to the MCS website (above), we recommend choosing a company that is registered with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).

Solar panel guides

We know it's a big decision, so we've tried to cover any remaining questions you might have in our solar energy guides below.