Monday, 6 December 2010


Most of us have some sort of roof over our heads, but did you know that you can actually make money from it? With the new Government Feed In Tariff (FIT) the previously ‘pie in the sky’ concept of solar panels has become a realistic way of generating income with the added benefit of doing your bit for the environment.

The basic concept is that you install solar panels on your roof which generate electricity. Your electricity supplier then pays you for each unit of electricity, whether you use it or not. You use as much of the electricity you need from your solar panels and the rest is then sold back to the grid. You also receive a reduction in your electricity bill from using electricity generated by yourself.

So what does this equate to in terms of cash for the average household? Typically your solar electricity system could be earning you around £900 per year. With the initial outlay for the solar panels being approximately £10,000 this would give a payback period of approximately 11 years. The FITs payments are guaranteed by the Government for 25 years so the average household could see a profit of £20,000 over this period. There are various cashback calculators online which will give you a clearer indication of how much you could earn. 

Advances in technology have meant that solar panels can be successfully installed on roofs in the UK, despite our changeable weather! They are most effective on south facing roofs but can be installed on roofs from east to west, through south. You can even ‘rent your roof’ to companies (including British Gas) who install the solar panels for free in return for the FITs cash whilst you benefit from the electricity you generate during the day.