Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting KS NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Going through the roof - electricity generated by solar panels
10:08am Monday 8th October 2012 in Lifestyle
Householders installing solar panels on their homes are already having a dramatic effect on the UK’s production of green energy.
Solar-generated electricity has increased by an incredible 840 per cent in just one year, official figures released this week revealed.
Statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that the UK’s 1.38 gigowatt of installed solar capacity produced 0.5 terawatt of electricity in the second quarter of this year compared to just 0.05 terawatt in the same period last year.
“These incredible figures reflect the dramatic impact the feed-in tariff has had on the country,” said Stourbridge energy expert Colin Priest, who lives in Quarry Bank and works for Noreus Ltd.
In the same period offshore wind turbines produced an increase in electricity of 47.7 per cent while onshore wind generation fell by 11.4 as the renewable share of the market grew from 9 per cent to 9.6 per cent. Interestingly, production of fossil fuels in the UK fell by 10.1 per cent over the same three months with both oil and natural gas production plummeting by 12.2 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.
But energy consumption across the country increased by 5.1 per cent while the DECC also revealed that electricity prices have risen by 5.5 per cent in real terms and domestic gas prices by 13 per cent over the same period.
Residents were also warned by the Daily Telegraph this week that bills could soar this winter as companies prepare to boost profits from households by almost 50 per cent – from £45 to £65 per home.
Already Britain’s second largest energy company, SSE, has confirmed that the price of a typical dual fuel bill will rise by nine per cent from the middle of this month from £1,172 to £1,274 a year, which will affect five million households.
British Gas has told 10 million households that their bills could go up by as much as £100 next year while last month Scottish Power and First Utility pulled their cheapest fixed rate deals. Experts have warned the average annual energy bill could increase by £118 to a record £1,428 next year. But Colin said there were three ways householders could reduce their energy bills if they acted now.
Firstly, they could spray foam their loft with the Icynene Insulation System which forms a non-toxic, environmentally friendly seal in the attic and reduces heating bills by up to 50 per cent as it literally stops heat going up through the roof, saving up to £600 a year every year. Secondly, he suggests putting a four-metre square solar thermal system on the roof which gives people cheaper hot water as it is powered and paid for by sunlight and cuts energy costs by up to 33 per cent.
Finally, householders could install solar panels on their home and cut their energy bills as well as receiving a subsidy through the Feed-in Tariff – the money the Government pays residents for generating electricity.
For more details about energy-saving call Colin on 0845 474 6641.
Picture by Westmill Solar Farm