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Are solar panels worth it?

By Jack Benton | Posted March 26, 2024

To put it simply, yes. Solar panels are growing in popularity as they offer: control over how you power your home, a big reduction in monthly bills, a cut in your carbon footprint and now thanks to SEG tariffs the ability to even make some money. In this blog we've answered the top questions about solar panels to help you choose the best path to start your solar journey.

Will solar panels help me save money on my bills?

Solar panel savings vary based on factors such as: your location, how long you spend at home, the use of a PV diverter, and whether you have opted in to a SEG tariff. In Great Britain, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) pays you a set rate for the excess electricity you contribute to the grid. It's worth noting that to join a SEG tariff you'll need a smart meter to export your energy.

The Energy Saving Trust provides a list of potential savings (1), which are outlined below.

  • You could save £545 if you're at home all day
  • You could save £475 if you're home in the mornings
  • You could save £450 if you're home in the afternoons
  • You could save £375 if you're out all day until 4pm
  • You could save £345 if you're out all day until 6pm

When do solar panels break even?

It's difficult to say how long it will take to break even or pay back solar panels as many factors can influence this. The main variables include:

  • Your day-to-day energy usage
  • Where in the country you're located
  • If you're on a Smart Export Guarantee tariff
  • The size of your solar panel array and any other bits of technology you may have such as a battery

Each of these factors will impact the time it will take to break even. Joining a SEG tariff and getting a PV diverter will maximise your savings and reduce the time it'll take to pau off the initial cost of your solar panels.

With a SEG tariff, it can take about 10 years to break even on your solar panel system but this is dependent on the other factors mentioned above.

What is the investment value of solar panels?

Once installed solar panels last for 25 years and offer a variety of financial benefits. Creating your own energy will help to bring down monthly bills and can lower your risk of paying for price spikes in the energy market. In addition to saving money on your bills, if you have a Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff in place you can EARN money as any excess energy you don't use can be sold to the grid.

Besides the bill savings, solar panels also future-proof your home and can make it more attractive to buyers when it's time to sell. Some properties with solar panels installed have found their valuations boosted by between 0.9% and 2%.

Are solar panels with battery storage worth it?

Batteries can help you make the most of the energy that your solar panel system generates. They have been shown to help some households reduce their electricity bills by as much as 74%!

Solar panels work by converting daylight into energy so why not store that up for when the sun isn't shining. Batteries offer flexibility to your solar panels and allow you to make your system as efficient as possible. They do this by:

  • Charging up your system when it generates excess energy
  • Discharging this stored energy at points when you would have to buy from the grid

This clever cycle of charging and discharging allows even greater protection against unpredictable energy spikes. After all, it's often periods in the evening when power prices are at their highest.

Getting the most out of your solar panels

To get the most from your solar panel system there's are a few things that are worth considering:

  • Do you have a battery? If not, it's worth paying special attention to when you use the most energy at home.
  • Are you on the right tariff? By opting into a SEG tariff you'll be able to sell any excess energy you don't use to the grid which means you'll be earning for generating!
  • When do you mainly use energy? Is it often in the day time or the night.
  • How clean are your solar panels? Solar panels are generally easy to maintain and cleaned by the rain. Make sure to look up and check them for any obvious issues though a few times a year.
  • How were your solar panels installed? If they're on a flat roof they may require more regular maintenance.
  • Have you got any other solar tech installed? The use of a battery or a PV diverter if you have a water cylinder can maximise the efficiency of your system. This helps to make the energy you generate go even further!

Earning money from your excess solar panel energy

In Britain, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) pays you a set rate for excess electricity that you contribute to the grid. It's worth noting that to join a SEG tariff you'll need to have a communicating smart meter to export your energy.

For existing customers, we offer a variable SEG tariff of 5.6p per kWh and for non-EDF customers, we offer a rate of 3p per kWh.

Not an EDF customer why not sign up?

Do solar panels increase the value of my home?

Adding solar panels to your property can boost its value and attract potential buyers seeking long-term savings. Industry experts say that solar panels can add between 0.9% and 2% to a house’s overall value.

If you do decide to install solar panels it's important to remember the initial cost typically falls between £5,800 and £10,000. Therefore, if you sell your home immediately after installation, you may lose money on your initial investment.

Paying for your solar panels

There's various ways to pay for solar panels, with many installers now offering finance options and interest-free loans. Did you know with EDF you can get:

  • Free home surveys as part of the no obligation quote
  • 0% VAT on specified panels and batteries


Solar panels and batteries continue to offer a carbon-friendly way of taking control back over your energy supply. They can help you save on your monthly bill and thanks to SEG tariffs, they can even make you money from any excess energy you don't use.

Why not get a quote from us and see how solar can help you save?