Whether it’s a first step on the property ladder, alternative care option for retirees or simply a spare guest room in the garden, we’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our provision of custom-built annexes . That’s why, we’re thrilled to announce, we’ve launched our new solar panel service. From reducing energy bills to turning your property into a small-scale energy supplier, here’s everything you need to know about granny annexe solar panels…
What are Solar Panels?
Solar panels are formed of photovoltaic (PV) cells that work together to convert sunlight into electricity. As such, they are often used to run appliances, charge batteries, or power homes and businesses in general. While solar panels are an investment, they benefit owners with cheaper energy bills, reductions to carbon emissions, and a 4.1% increase in property value.
Installing Solar Panels… Why Now?
Amid soaring energy prices, higher demands and a rising cost of living – are granny annexe solar panels the perfect solution? Historically, we have always taken care to build our annexes in a cleaner, greener way through our sustainable building and eco friendly scheme, Green Hus. In addition to this, all our garden homes benefit from sharing bills with the main house, hence saving on energy costs. However – if you’re wanting to further reduce bills, and limit your impact on the environment, it’s worth exploring renewable energy. Solar panels can power your space all year-round and save you hundreds on your bills. But – with upfront installation costs in the thousands, are those savings really worth it?
The short answer is – yes. Solar power is a very attractive option for homeowners as it grants energy independence, and allows them to buy around 50% less electricity from the grid. As a result, it’s estimated that installing solar panels could cut up to 90% off your future payments – and this figure is only set to grow as gas prices continue to rise. With such large savings to be had, it’s little wonder solar panel installations have risen by 80% over the last year alone.
If those savings aren’t enticing enough, solar panels are among the few things to become cheaper in recent years. According to official data, the average installation cost has fallen by 88% since 2010. What’s more, our accredited solar install partners VSL, are well-versed in installing solar panels and can add them to your custom-build annexe with ease. With top-tier installation on all our fixtures and fittings, you can rely on iHus to provide a modern annexe that requires much less energy to burn…
“Ever since our very first iHus, we’ve set out to build in a cleaner and greener way. With the launch of our solar panel service, we’re proud to be helping support families through the cost of living crisis, while working to reduce our impact on the planet.”Trevor Smeaton, iHus Chief Executive Officer
Do Solar Panels Work for UK Garden Annexes?
One of the most common questions we encounter is whether or not the UK gets enough sun to make solar power worth it. Despite our reputation for cloudy weather, we’re happy to say we receive more than enough sunshine to make them cost-effective. In fact, we get roughly 60% of solar radiation found on the equator, and – in some areas of the south, we even get amounts comparable to Germany – one of the biggest markets for solar power in the world.
Remember, solar PVs use light to generate electricity – not heat, meaning it really doesn’t matter how cold it is outside. Even though they naturally produce more power on a sunny day, it doesn’t mean they can’t still produce a considerable amount when it’s cloudy. There are – however, a range of factors that can affect how much energy you’re going to produce…
As mentioned earlier, brighter sunshine generates more solar power – so you’ll get the best out of your system if it’s south-facing. You’ll also get more energy if it’s not overshadowed by trees, fallen leaves or your neighbours’ property. Another thing to consider is the roof you’re having solar panels installed on. PVs have historically struggled on flat roofs, and have worked at peak efficiency when angled between 30 and 50 degrees. Through collaboration with our expert solar partners VSL however, we have designed a solution that will combat any new flat roof projects going forward. Throughout the entire annexe build and solar install process, our helpful team of experts can help advise you on the best possible location for your garden annexe to make the most of the solar power.
What should I do with Excess Solar Power?
Far from having insufficient electricity, it’s more likely you’re going to generate more energy than needed to run your garden annex . This is particularly true during the middle of the day – when less energy is needed to heat or light your home. The advancement of solar battery storage has revolutionised what to do with excess solar power, making it a far more appealing benefit of solar, and is the reason behind the current boom in recent solar installations.
If a customer has PV only, they will only benefit from the generation at that point in the day, or receive the export rate their supplier pays from their contract which ranges between 5 -15p (ish). If a customer has a battery however, then the battery will charge in the day (multiple batteries can be used) and then be used once there is no longer any daylight, which means the customer won’t be paying grid prices, and will further benefit from their solar generation.
Another point to consider is how the invertors which our solar partners VSL use, are really clever (and are API ready), which means that the customer can force charge their batteries at a lower rate (like the old Economy 7 tariff) usually around 5-7p, and again use this stored energy rather than paying the suppliers unit rate.
Finally, because our invertors are API ready, and will talk to your supplier, then they have the ability to get an intelligent tariff like Octopus agile, or the new flux where it will buy and sell energy to allow the customer to only pay for what they have to, and benefit from being paid in some instances to collect the surplus energy the grid needs to be used. Our solar partners VSL have been tracking Octopus, and they have paid rates much higher than the current unit rates our customers are being charged.
Can I Have Solar on my iHus Annexe?
As Proud Providers of Granny Annexe Solar Panels with 400+ annexes under our belt, we know a thing or two about building in outdoor spaces. If you’re wanting to install solar panels on granny annexes, garden rooms – or any other type of additional living space, iHus delivers. We’ll advise you on the best layouts , gain planning permission from your local planning authority, and ensure we’re meeting all local regulations.
Our energy-efficient, comfortable and contemporary garden homes meet the latest building regulations and can have solar panels installed at no increase to our build time of 8 weeks… So what’re you waiting for? Simply get in touch with our team to find out more!