Energy Generation 101 – What Are PV Panels? Can They Save Me Money?

So what are PV panels and how can they save me money?

I’m Jon Mullen the Energy Evangelist and we’re talking about #SaveEnergySaveMoney.

This month we are looking at how we can generate our own power. This could be creating electricity, or heating your house, but it is also finding solutions to store that energy. Today we’re talking about PV, or photovoltaic, panels which absorb energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. As a general rule of thumb a medium house in the UK will consume between 4000 and 6000 kWh each year. So can we get that amount of power from PV panels? The simple answer is yes, but you do need to have the panels pointing in the right direction which is directly south. Over the last 10 years the price of this technology has completely changed, between 2010 and 2020 the price to generate electricity from solar has reduced by 90% (In 2010 it was $2 per watt, and now it’s $0.20 per watt). On top of that in 2010 they were able to generate 290 watts per panel, and today they can generate 345 watts, which is close to a 20% increase. And the technology is still racing ahead.

And on top of that many manufacturers are now offering warranties of 25 years to guarantee that you will still be generating 85% of your original electricity peak capacity. This means that a solar panel lifetime is equivalent to a gas heating boiler. So putting all of this together. If you can install PV panels to give you the amount of electric needed for your building you will be paying close to the same price as installing a new gas boiler and the system can be guaranteed for 25 years.

This means that you will have very little electric costs for the majority of the 25 years. In my head these sums are making sense for me. What about you?

I’m Jon Mullen The Energy Evangelist. Come and find out how to #SaveEnergySaveMoney at

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