It’s no secret that the cost of living is rising, just as our energy bills are. But how much could you save if you increased your energy efficiency? Much more, as it turns out. That’s why we’re so excited about today’s subject, which is going to help you figure out how much your home is costing you in terms of energy. We’re talking about solar energy, of course.
How Much Does It Cost To Run Your Home Or Businesses?
When we talk about energy, how much does it cost us per unit? The answer to that question is simple, it varies by location and time of day, but let’s try for an average. For the sake of this article, we’ll use the UK as an example. If you live in London, let’s say, your energy costs will probably be higher than those in a small town in Scotland. That’s because the former is a more populated area and thus more energy is needed to supply all the homes, businesses, and other electrical devices in London. So, how much does it cost us to run a home or business in the UK? It varies, but if we want to be generous, let’s say it’s around £80 per month for a basic home or £120 per month for a larger one.
If you’re looking to reduce your energy bills, there are several options available to you. The first thing you should do is investigate all the possibilities. If you live in an area where solar power is available, why not give it a try? There are pros and cons to using solar energy, but if you think about it for the right reasons, it could be the perfect solution for your needs. We’d suggest you do some research before committing, though, to make sure that it’s the best option for you.
Why Go Solar?
Let’s use the example of a small home in Scotland as our case study. As we said, Scotland is very well-known for its beautiful landscapes and cozy winters. All the houses there have a lot of sunshine, so why not try and generate your own electricity using solar energy? You’ll save a lot of money, and it’s good for the environment too. Not only that, but you’ll also be helping reduce your own energy consumption. That’s the theory, anyway! Before you start generating your own electricity, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Solar Power Vs. Grid Connected
- Financial Status
If you go solar, you’ll have to purchase a panel or a system and commit to paying for it. That’s the simple part. Nowadays, you can find some pretty decent deals if you look, so you don’t necessarily have to sink a large amount of money into buying one. The other part is much more complicated. That’s because the grid is not something that you can buy and use easily like you would with a bottle of wine or a tube of toothpaste. The grid is a series of wires that crisscross the country, connecting different areas so that the energy can be distributed and transferred smoothly. That’s where things get a little complicated. To avoid any misunderstandings, let’s examine each part separately.
Solar Power Vs. Grid Connected
If you live in a country where solar energy is available, but the electricity grid isn’t, you have two choices: either buy a standalone system which produces and stores electricity, or connect to the grid for free, using a system called microgeneration. Standalone systems are perfect if you’re looking to generate your own electricity for personal use or for a small business, while microgeneration is best for larger operations. Let’s discuss each one separately.
- Standalone System
- Grid Connected System
A standalone system is owned by you and you alone. As the name suggests, it’s not connected to the grid, so if there’s no power station nearby, the electricity will only be available for you to use. This is usually the case in rural areas where there’s no grid connection and the only nearby electrical source is a generator, which provides only intermittent power and is expensive to run. If you live in a standalone system, you get to enjoy all the benefits of solar energy without any of the hassles that come with connecting to the grid. In the long term, this could be a very cost-effective solution for you.
- Low Cost
- Easy To Manage
- No Concerns About Intermittent Power
- Doesn’t Need Regular Maintenance
The flip side of the coin is that standalone systems require a lot of work to set up. You’ll need to make sure that the wiring is done correctly, that there are no short circuits, and that the equipment is protected from the weather. If you live in an area where it gets quite cold and wet, it might be a good idea to invest in a standalone system that is sealed off from the elements. Even then, regular maintenance will be necessary to keep it operating at its optimum capacity. For the sake of your wallet and the environment, choose this option carefully.
Let’s look at the benefits of going solar. There are many, but we’ll mention just a few. First, you will reduce your energy consumption and be able to monitor your daily energy usage. Second, you will generate your own electricity which you can store in a battery or a gas-filled tank. Third, you will reduce your dependence on coal, oil, and gas which are known for polluting the environment. Finally, you will reduce the amount of cash you spend on expensive electricity bills each month.
- A Back Up Source Of Power
- A Sustainable Energy Option
- Good For The Environment
- Reduces Your Dependence On Foreign Fuel
On the flip side, there are some cons to going solar. First, if you live in a country where it gets really cold and wet, you might not be able to utilize the power of the sun, especially if you live in an area where a lot of wind and rain are prevalent. Second, if you live in an area where solar energy is abundant, but the power grid isn’t available, you’ll have to purchase a standalone system to generate electricity. Third, the equipment used in solar generation is expensive, and thus, quite costly to purchase and maintain. Finally, as we discussed above, it’s not always the easiest option to set up. If you’re looking for a green, sustainable option which can be cost-effective, you might want to consider microgeneration. It isn’t always the most convenient option, but it could be worth it if you live in an area where solar energy is abundant but the power grid isn’t available.
Now let’s examine the drawbacks of going solar. Aside from the fact that it’s quite expensive to purchase and install a standalone system, there are a few more items which you need to consider.
- Expensive To Maintain
- Not Always Easy To Use
- Not In All Areas
- Interference From Other Sources
First, let’s discuss the expense of maintaining a standalone system. Just like with any other mechanical device, things break down over time and need to be fixed or replaced. You’ll need to purchase parts and pay for labor on a regular basis. All that adds up, so if you’re looking for a cheaper option, you might want to consider microgeneration. Second, not all areas of the country are suitable for solar energy. Most homes are built on concrete and steel, so if you live in an area where it gets fairly windy and wet, you might not be able to use the power of the sun. Third, if you live in an area where there’s already a lot of solar power generated, it can be difficult to find a place for yours. You’ll either have to build an additional structure to store it in, or you’ll need to find a place for it to overflow. This last point is actually a pro, though. If you live in a rural area where there are no tall buildings or houses nearby to prevent excess electricity from being generated during sunny days, your solar power will be great.
- More Expensive To Transport
- Longer To Install
- More Expensive To Transport