Imogen works for Good Energy. She is a supply customer, and she had solar panels installed at her family home by Good Energy in July 2023. In this article, she shares her insight into how much money her solar panels have saved, and whether she believes solar panels are worth it.

About Imogen’s solar array

We have 12 solar panels installed on our rooftop with a total installed capacity of 4.4kW. They are split across two solar arrays – one pointing South East and one pointing South West.

We have a 5.2kW battery to store our excess solar energy, and a 3.6kW inverter. This means that our home can only draw 3.6kW of energy at any one time from our solar panels and battery before it will need to use energy from the grid.

 

How much have solar panels saved us on our energy bill?

I’ve used 9 months of data from 1 August 2023 to 30 April 2024 to calculate our solar panel savings so far.

In this period, my family of four used 498.51kWh of solar electricity directly from our solar panels as it was being generated.

We used a further 599.27kWh of solar electricity from our battery. In total this is 1097.78kWh of power that we haven’t needed to draw from the grid.

During this period, our price of electricity was 30p per kWh, changing to 24.5p on 1 April. This has saved us an impressive £321.95 on our electricity bill so far.

Are solar panels worth it?
Energy sourcekWh used Savings
Solar panels498.51 kWh£127.48
Battery599.27 kWh£161.58
Total1097.78 kWh£321.95

How much have we earned through an export tariff?

We are on Good Energy’s Solar Savings Exclusive export tariff which pays 20p per kWh of electricity we export to the grid. This tariff is exclusively available to customers that chose Good Energy Solar to install their solar panels and battery.

Between 1 August and 30 April, we exported 1172.62 kWh of renewable electricity to the grid. This has earned us £234.52 so far, with the earnings added monthly as a credit to our energy account.

May, June and July are on average the sunniest months in the UK – so the earnings from these months will be even greater.

kWh generated by solar panelsPrice per kWhTotal
Savings from using our own solar power1097.78 kWh30p / 24.5p £321.95
Earnings from export tariff1172.62 kWh20p£234.52
Total savings in 9 months£556.47

68% of our power has come from solar

Our solar panels and battery have provided 68% of the power used by our home between 1 August 2024 and 30 April 2024. This includes the winter months which are darker and typically more overcast.

I expect this percentage to become higher when data from the summer months is available.

You’ll see that only during the darkest month of the year, December, did we draw more electricity from the grid than we generated.

Are solar panels worth it? We look at the data.

So are solar panels worth it?

In nine months, our solar panels and battery have saved us £556.47 – more than the upfront expenditure would have earned in a savings account. I expect our annual savings to become substantially higher when data from the summer months is included.

I am pleased we decided to include a battery as this has enabled us to use 120% more solar electricity compared with just getting solar panels on their own.

I feel a huge sense of relief that the electricity we are using is low carbon and that our home is part of the solution to a greener electricity grid.

What’s more, solar panels have made our home ready for other low-carbon electrified upgrades in the future, like an electric car or a heat pump.

So in my opinion, if you can afford the initial cost and you’re confident you’re getting a good price and service from your chosen installer, solar panels are absolutely worth it.

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