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Solar panels could they be the long term solution to a decade of high energy bills?

IT can be a big and costly project, but with energy bills set to remain high for the next decade, experts at Geo Green Power say the long term savings and potential property value increase make now the best time to install solar.

From July, the new energy price cap will lower domestic gas and electricity bills. But with annual costs remaining around £400 higher than three years ago, homeowners are looking for greener solutions in an effort to save money; by installing solar panels.

The new energy price cap means the typical annual bill paid by direct debit will fall to £1,568 per year.

However, while bills are expected to reach their lowest point in two years, they still stand significantly higher (37.8%) than they did 3 years ago, when a typical household on a standard variable tariff paid around £1,138 per year.

Moreover, prices are projected to remain high and unstable for the foreseeable future, affecting approximately 28 million households within:- England, Wales, and Scotland.

In fact, Ofgem recently warned UK households are likely to see a rise in their energy bills over the next 10 years. The electrification of heat and transport as we decarbonise our economy will increase demand for energy, and will keep prices high.

So how can homeowners keep their electricity bills down this summer, and beyond?

Although there isn't a single solution to reduce your electricity costs all at once, Geo Green Power says:- many are looking at installing solar panels to cut costs, and even earn from the energy they generate.

Demand for rooftop solar power installations in the UK grew significantly in 2023, with domestic installations reaching record levels, with a nearly 30% increase compared to the previous year..

James Cunningham, chief executive of Nottingham based renewable energy company Geo Green Power, anticipates it's a trend that will only keep growing. He said:- "It's a number that we only expect to grow in 2024 and beyond, particularly with the pressure to bolster the UK's green credentials, and calls for all new homes to be fitted with solar panels to boost energy security."

If you're considering joining this growing number of solar adopters, here's what you need to know before installing solar panels on your home.

Domestic systems are generally made up of between:- 10 and 15 panels, each of which generate between:- 200W and 350W of energy, bringing the average cost for a three-bedroom semi-detached house with four occupants to around £6,500.

Cunningham explains:- "Naturally the initial outlay for solar panels can be seen as a barrier for many UK homeowners. But as many households face the prospect of consistently high energy bills, it's time to shift our mindset from the short-term costs of these systems to the long-term gains they provide; whether that's saving money on bills, reducing carbon emissions, or increasing property value. The good news is that households can now access grants for some eco-friendly home improvements thanks to a number of Local Authority and National Government grants. Domestic solar PV investments also deliver a full payback within 5-7 years."

So how much could you save on electricity bills? The potential savings from investing in solar panels, and payback period, can vary based on factors such as the initial cost for the system, available sunlight, your home's location, energy usage, and any applicable Government incentives or feed-in tariffs.

Opting for solar panels can yield substantial benefits, with households potentially saving up to £1,000 per year on electric bills, particularly when installed on a south-facing roof with ample sunlight.

Cunningham added:- "Typically, in the UK, the payback period ranges from 5 to 7 years. However, with the decreasing costs of solar technology and the rising cost of traditional energy sources, payback periods are often becoming shorter, making solar a more attractive investment for homeowners in the long run."

A typical solar panel will save over 900kg of CO2 per year that results in a carbon payback period of ~ 1.6 years, according to The Renewable Energy Hub. Cunningham commented:- "Solar energy systems do not produce air pollution or emit CO2, unlike traditional electric power generation, which was the second-largest source of CO2 emissions in 2022 according to the EPA, Although there is an environmental impact from manufacturing and installing solar panels, this impact is usually balanced out within one to four years, depending on the system. Solar panels are not emissions free and will not solve all our environmental challenges on their own. They will, however, have a positive impact on your carbon footprint."  .

The increase in a home's value due to solar panels can vary widely depending on several factors such as the size and efficiency of the solar installation, the local real estate market conditions, and the preferences of potential buyers. In 2022, around 80% of first-time buyers were considering a green home with their main motivation being that green homes are better for the environment.

A report from Solar Energy UK found homes with solar panels can increase in value by £1,800, while some studies suggest that solar panels can add anywhere from 1% to 10% to a home's value. However, it's essential to recognise that these figures are averages and that the actual value increase can differ significantly based on individual circumstances.

Even with the UK's variable weather, solar panels can contribute substantially to energy savings and reduce carbon footprints.

Solar panels can generate electricity from both direct sunlight and diffuse light, which is light scattered by clouds. The UK's frequent cloudy weather still provides sufficient diffuse light for solar panels to operate. Modern solar panels are designed to be efficient even in lower light conditions. Cunningham added:- "Despite the common perception that they require constant, strong sunlight to be viable, solar panels can perform effectively in the UK's weather conditions. There is naturally an element of seasonal variation, with the longer days of sunlight in the summer months allowing for the generation of a significant amount of electricity. In winter production does decrease, but panels still generate some power."

Let us know your thoughts on this topic by emailing our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:-  Mastodon, Facebook, or Twitter.

Shakespeare North welcomes Swiss dancer mentored by acclaimed anarchic British artist

A Swiss artist whose career in dance has brought her to Liverpool will bring a powerful one woman show to Prescot this summer, following a mentorship from an award-winning British performer.

In Bloom by Aline Costa, which runs from:- 18 July to 20 July 2024, at Shakespeare North, promises to be a:- "mesmerising dance performance with powerful imagery and unexpected twists taking you on an unforgettable journey into the unknown."

Costa, a performer and choreographer born in Switzerland, trained in Mexico, at Univerdanza Dance Company, and has been based in Huyton and Liverpool since 2016. Her latest show brings a unique vision to the stage, captivating audiences with her artistry, skill and elegant eccentricity.

Whilst putting together this new show, Aline has been mentored by the acclaimed Artist, Dance Performer, Choreographer and Dance Film Maker, Liz Aggiss.


For the past 40 years Aggiss has been re(de)fining her signature style and brand of British contemporary dance; from her early days in the 80's supporting punk legends The Stranglers to winning a Total Theatre Award in 2017 for her show Slap and Tickle. She was given a Bonnie Bird Choreography Award in 1994, an Arts Council Dance Fellowship in 2003, and has been commissioned by the likes of The Zap, Gardner Arts Brighton, University of Surrey and South Bank.

Speaking during rehearsals for the show, Aline Costa  said:- "Liz Aggiss has been instrumental in the development of:- 'In Bloom.' She has been present during my studio time, guiding, mentoring, advising, and suggesting new elements for the piece. Liz never imposes her view but always kindly offers her vast experience and background, not only in dance, but also regarding the philosophy of being an artist in this world. For me, it was an enormous opportunity to work with someone like Liz Aggiss. I knew she would challenge me, question my decisions for the piece, and push me to explore new ways to communicate on stage. She took me out of my comfort zone, which is so important as an artist. We learn so much in those moments. I believe the piece is now much stronger and has a clearer meaning."


Aline herself holds a Bachelor's Degree in Stage Dance from the Institute of Fine Arts at Colima University, Mexico, where she worked as a dancer and creator for Univerdanza Dance Company.

Since moving to Liverpool, her career has seen her produce, choreograph and perform across the North West, as well as working on a variety of short films.

Most recently, she was offered a Physical Fest Female Bursary to create a new solo piece and presented it at the festival last summer at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool to great acclaim.

Drawing inspiration from a variety of dance and physical theatre techniques and styles:- "In Bloom" features evocative imagery, compelling narratives and dark humour, guiding the audience through a world of unreality, filled with thought-provoking moments and unpredictable twists and turns, ultimately delivering an experience that is actively engaging and imaginatively bizarre.

In Bloom also features original music by celebrated Liverpool avant garde quartet, Ex-Easter Island Head.

In Bloom will be performed at Shakespeare North in Prescot from:- 18 July to 20 July 2024. Tickets start at just £5 and are available from the venue's website.

More information about Aline's Facilitator Mentor and Performance Adviser for the show is Liz Aggiss can be found on:- LizAggiss.Com.

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