Solar panels are becoming more accessible and affordable by the day, which is why many homeowners are turning to them as a way of generating their own power. There are also solar panels for garden rooms which are great for those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.
We take a look at the details of solar powering your garden room in this article and weigh up the pros and cons.
Can solar panels be installed on a garden room?
Yes, you can install them in any location that has some unobstructed sunlight providing the structure can support the weight of them. If you have a converted shed structure, for instance, then the roof will probably not be strong enough.
Solar panels are best fitted to a south-facing roof with a pitch of 30-40%. Most garden rooms have a flat roof; if you intend to install solar panels, then the roof should be pitched; this could mean it exceeds the height limits to fit within permitted development rights and may require planning permission, so ensure you investigate this first.
If you intend to fit solar panels to your garden building, then this should be discussed with the company building it for you first so they can take this into consideration.
What are the benefits of installing solar panels 0n a garden room?
- You’ll save money by not paying for electricity.
- You’ll have an environmentally friendly garden room and will reduce your carbon footprint.
- You’ll be powering your own building and reducing the need for coal-powered electricity.
- The panels are made with high-quality materials that will last a long time without needing to be replaced, so you won’t see an increase in costs over time.
While prices have come down, solar panels are not cheap. While you will save money on electricity in the long term, the initial outlay will be something you need to carefully consider.
Can you get money back for returning unused power to the grid?
We are likely to use less power in our garden rooms than the main living accommodation. This means that there will potentially be surplus power generated by solar panels.
The Feed in Tariff Scheme used to pay people for returning unused energy to the grid, this closed to new applicants in November 2019, but it was replaced with a new scheme, the Smart Export Guarantee.
What is the Smart Export Guarantee Scheme?
This scheme takes effect on February 2020 and is a replacement for the Feed in Tariff scheme.
If you have solar panels installed on your home, it’s possible to sell back unused energy generated by them at a rate set by your supplier; this is usually between 2-5.6p per kWh. The same could be said for garden room solar panels.
This will only be possible if you have an electricity meter fitted that can measure this, which some people don’t have. Smart meters are advisable if you intend to join the scheme as they measure every 30 minutes or so.
It’s important to weigh up the reasons for wanting to install solar panels for a garden room. If you are installing them to save money, then the initial cost should be looked at alongside the potential monthly savings to help you make an informed decision. If you are wanting solar panels for your garden room for environmental reasons, then the initial outlay may not be such a large factor in your decision.
Weigh up the pros and cons for you as an individual and make sure you have conversations with the relevant people, such as the people who are building your garden room and the local authority, to ensure you know have all of the information and costs first.