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Martin Lewis on Solar Panel

What Does Martin Lewis Say About Solar Panels?

As The Glasgow Boiler Company, we’ve been at the forefront of helping homeowners in Glasgow and beyond make informed decisions about their energy solutions. One question we often encounter is, “What does Martin Lewis say about solar panels?” Given Martin Lewis’s reputation as a trusted financial expert in the UK, it’s no surprise that many Glasgow residents are curious about his views on solar panel installation.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore Martin Lewis’s insights on solar panels, how they apply to the unique context of Glasgow, and what this means for you as a homeowner considering solar energy. Let’s dive in!

Who is Martin Lewis, and Why Does His Opinion Matter?

Martin Lewis is a well-known British financial journalist and broadcaster. He’s the founder of the Money Saving Expert website, which has become one of the UK’s largest consumer websites. Lewis is renowned for his practical, no-nonsense advice on personal finance matters, including how to save money on energy bills.

His opinions carry significant weight because:

  1. He’s independent and not affiliated with any particular green energy firms or solar panel manufacturers.
  2. His advice is based on thorough research and analysis of financial data.
  3. He has a track record of helping millions of Britons navigate the cost of living crisis and save money on various aspects of their lives.

Now, let’s explore what Martin Lewis says about solar panels.

Martin Lewis on the Financial Aspects of Solar Panels

Initial Investment

One of the first things Martin Lewis points out is that installing solar panels requires a significant upfront cost. According to recent data, the average cost of installing solar panels in the UK ranges from £4,000 to £6,000 per kilowatt (kW). For a typical 3kW system suitable for many homes, this could mean an initial outlay of £12,000 to £18,000.

However, Lewis emphasises that this shouldn’t deter homeowners from considering solar panels. He advises looking at it as a long-term investment rather than an immediate expense.

Energy Bill Savings

A key point that Martin Lewis stresses is the potential for significant savings on electricity bills. Solar panels generate electricity for your home, reducing your reliance on traditional electricity supplies from the national grid. In Glasgow, where we experience increasing energy prices, this can lead to substantial savings over time.

Lewis notes that the exact savings depend on several factors:

  • The system size of your solar PV installation
  • Your home’s energy consumption
  • How much time do you spend at home during daylight hours
  • The energy efficiency of your house

On average, a well-designed solar panel system could save a Glasgow household between £150 and £450 per year on electricity bills.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Martin Lewis is known for his focus on financial benefits, and solar panels are no exception. He points out that while the payback period for solar panels can be long, it’s essential to consider the entire lifespan of the system.

Most solar panels come with a 25-30 year warranty, and many continue to function efficiently beyond this point. Lewis suggests that homeowners could see a return on their investment within 16-21 years, depending on various factors. After this point, the energy savings represent pure profit.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) and Feed-in Tariff (FiT)

Another financial aspect that Martin Lewis highlights is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which replaced the old Feed-in Tariff (FiT). This scheme allows homeowners to earn money by selling excess electricity back to the grid.

While SEG rates are generally lower than the old Feed-in Tariff payments, Lewis points out that they still provide additional financial rewards for solar panel owners. In Glasgow, where we often have longer daylight hours in summer, this could be particularly beneficial.

Martin Lewis on the Environmental Impact of Solar Panels

While Martin Lewis is primarily known for his financial advice, he doesn’t ignore the environmental benefits of solar panels:

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Lewis points out that solar panels significantly reduce a home’s carbon footprint. By generating clean, renewable energy, homeowners can dramatically decrease their reliance on fossil fuels. In Glasgow, where we’re committed to combating climate change and becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2030, this aspect of solar panels aligns perfectly with our local environmental goals.

Energy Independence

Another point Lewis makes is that solar panels offer a degree of energy independence. By generating your own electricity, you’re less vulnerable to energy price fluctuations and potential supply issues. This is particularly relevant in Scotland, where energy security is an ongoing concern.

Martin Lewis’s Advice on Solar Panel Suitability

Martin Lewis is clear that while solar panels offer numerous benefits, they’re not suitable for every home. He advises considering the following factors:

Roof Orientation and Angle

Ideally, solar panels should be installed on a south-facing roof for maximum efficiency. However, Lewis notes that east or west-facing roofs can still be suitable, albeit with slightly reduced efficiency. In Glasgow, where we have a mix of housing styles, it’s crucial to have a professional assessment of your roof’s suitability.

Roof Condition

Lewis advises ensuring your roof is in good condition before having solar panels fitted. If your roof needs repairs or replacement in the near future, it’s best to do this before installing solar panels. At The Glasgow Boiler Company, we always conduct a thorough roof assessment as part of our solar panel consultation process.


Significant shading from nearby buildings or trees can reduce the efficiency of solar panels. Lewis recommends having a professional survey to assess potential shading issues. In Glasgow’s urban environment, this is a particularly important consideration.

Energy Efficiency

Before investing in solar panels, Martin Lewis suggests making your home as energy-efficient as possible. This might include improving insulation, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, or replacing old windows. These measures can enhance the benefits of your solar panel system.

Long-term Plans

Since solar panels are a long-term investment, Lewis advises considering your future plans. If you’re planning to move house in the near future, you might not reap the full benefits of the installation. However, it’s worth noting that solar panels can increase your property’s value, which could be beneficial if you’re planning to sell.

Martin Lewis on Government Schemes and Incentives

Martin Lewis often discusses various government schemes that can make solar panels more affordable:

ECO4 Scheme

Lewis highlights the ECO4 (Energy Company Obligation) scheme as a potential source of support for solar panel installation. This scheme is designed to help low-income households access energy-efficient home improvements, including solar panels. In Glasgow, where we have a significant number of older properties, this scheme could be particularly beneficial.

Home Energy Scotland Loan

While not specific to solar panels, Lewis mentions the Home Energy Scotland Loan as a potential funding source for renewable energy installations. This interest-free loan can cover up to £17,500 for renewable systems like solar panels.

Reduced VAT on Energy-Saving Products

Lewis also points out that solar panels benefit from a reduced VAT rate of 5%, making them more affordable than many other home improvements.

Martin Lewis’s Tips for Getting the Most Out of Solar Panels

If you decide to install solar panels, Martin Lewis offers several tips to maximise their benefits:

Use Energy During Peak Production Times

Lewis advises using energy-intensive appliances during the day when your solar panels are generating electricity. This could mean running your washing machine or dishwasher during sunny afternoons rather than in the evening.

Consider Solar Batteries

While not essential, Lewis suggests that solar batteries can enhance the benefits of your solar panel system. These allow you to store excess energy produced during the day for use at night or during cloudy periods.

Regular Maintenance

To ensure your solar panels continue to operate at peak efficiency, Lewis recommends regular cleaning and maintenance. At The Glasgow Boiler Company, we offer maintenance services to keep your solar panel system in top condition.

Monitor Your System

Lewis advises keeping track of your system’s performance. Many modern solar panel systems come with monitoring tools that allow you to see how much energy you’re producing and using in real-time.

The Glasgow Boiler Company’s Perspective

As a local company serving Glasgow and the surrounding areas, we at The Glasgow Boiler Company largely agree with Martin Lewis’s assessment of solar panels. However, we also consider some Glasgow-specific factors:

Glasgow’s Climate

While Glasgow may not be known for its sunny weather, modern photovoltaic technology is efficient enough to generate significant amounts of electricity even on cloudy days. Our longer summer days also help to offset the reduced sunlight in winter.

Glasgow’s Housing Stock

Glasgow has a diverse range of housing, from traditional tenements to modern apartments. We’ve found that solar panels can be adapted to suit most types of housing, but a professional assessment is crucial.

Glasgow’s Environmental Goals

With Glasgow aiming to become a carbon-neutral city by 2030, solar panels align perfectly with our city’s environmental objectives. They offer a practical way for homeowners to contribute to this goal.

Conclusion: Are Solar Panels Worth It?

So, what’s the verdict? According to Martin Lewis, and based on our experience at The Glasgow Boiler Company, solar panels can indeed be a good investment for many Glasgow homeowners. They offer potential long-term savings on energy bills, contribute to reducing your carbon footprint, and can increase your home’s value.

However, as Lewis emphasises, and we strongly agree, it’s crucial to do your research and get professional advice before making a decision. Solar panels are a significant investment, and their suitability depends on various factors specific to your home and circumstances.

At The Glasgow Boiler Company, we offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you determine if solar panels are right for your Glasgow home. We’ll assess your property, discuss your energy needs, and provide a detailed breakdown of costs and potential savings.

Remember, while Martin Lewis provides excellent general advice, local expertise is invaluable when it comes to making decisions about your home’s energy systems. We’re here to provide that Glasgow-specific knowledge and help you make an informed decision about solar panels.

Whether you’re looking to save money on your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, or increase your home’s value, solar panels could be a smart choice. Why not get in touch with us today to explore your options? Let’s work together to harness the power of the sun and contribute to a greener, more sustainable Glasgow.