Solar Panels

Photovoltaic solar panels are usually placed on your roof, they capture the energy from the sun and turn it into electricity to power your home. They are straightforward to install in around two days and require very little maintenance. You don’t have to have a south-facing roof to get solar panels, east and/or west facing work fine. The benefits of solar panels are that they give you free electricity to use, will lower your energy bills and will cut your carbon footprint.

In addition to solar panels you could look at getting a battery fitted. This is an additional upfront cost but you’ll be able to use the electricity you have produced and stored during the day at other times when the sun isn’t shining. This is especially so during early evenings when we tend to use most electricity, therefore you will be buying less from the local grid.

Photovoltaic solar panels can also be used to provide hot water, mainly in 3 seasons of the year. If you have a hot water tank (including one in a heat pump system), get a quote for an iBoost (or similar) to provide water heating from the panels. It works by switching excess electricity being generated into the immersion heater installed in the hot water tank, reducing the amount of gas or mains electricity otherwise needed to provide hot water.

Climate Action Ilkley members can receive a discount on solar panels from Leeds Solar who have fitted many solar panels to homes in and around Ilkley and have a good reputation. Mention that you are a member of Climate Action Ilkley when you get a quote, and also let us know via We recommend you get quotes from a number of installers before deciding.

Because of the savings you will have from using your free electricity from the sun, you will get the money you initially spent on solar panels back after a number of years, then you’ll be making a profit. There is a handy calculator provide by Energy Saving Trust. For example, for a house with a south facing roof in Ilkley 10 solar panels (3.75 kWp) might cost around £6,500 to install and will pay back in around 7 years. Over their lifetime, solar panels have a financial return of around 17-22% which compares very well with other investments.

Your installer will be able to give you estimated payback times for systems that suit your house with and without a battery so you can decide which will best suit you.

Climate Action Ilkley runs regular heat pump and solar panel open days so you can visit local homes with these installed, including solar panels (with and without a battery), see what the system looks like and put questions to the owners.  Sign up to the Climate Action Ilkley newsletter to find out about next dates, or better still, become a member.

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