Solar power sales continue to soar


by Stuart Munro



Stuart Munro

Published in Energy Voice, November 2022

If ever there was a time to invest in solar panels, it’s now. With energy bills continuing to rise, home and business owners across the North-east are increasingly recognising the value of installing solar panels onto their homes and properties.

Since March, i-Protech has fitted thousands of solar panels onto private houses and businesses. In fact, the number of enquiries is unprecedented and its team of electrical engineers is working around the clock, fitting an average of five installations a week.

The rush for solar panels began when the Chancellor announced in his Spring statement that the VAT payable on ‘energy-saving’ materials would drop from 5% to zero from April for five years.

This, coupled with a range of other incentives such as the introduction of grants, financial schemes, and interest-free loans (in Scotland, interest-free loans of up to £17,500 are available) from organisations such as the Home Energy Scotland and the Energy Savings Trust has helped fuel that growth.

While not every home will benefit from solar energy, a south-facing roof with no shading is ideal; they can also be fitted on east and west parts of the roof. The average house can accommodate between 10 and 14 solar panels, with an average cost of around £5,000 to £6,000. Pay back varies for each home, with the current average being between five to 12 years. With the increase in energy prices, this will reduce.

Technology associated with solar energy has also improved immeasurably in recent years. The development of batteries, for example, means that extra energy generated during daylight can be used to charge the battery, rather than directing it to the National Grid, storing the electricity for future use by the household. It can also be diverted to an existing immersion heater.

This huge sudden interest in solar panel installation has not been without its issues for companies like i-Protech; like so many other industries, it has been affected by a rise in the price of materials as well as issues sourcing the relevant parts, all exacerbated by a range of factors, including Brexit and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

It is a challenge, but the firm is working its way through it, employing new staff and continuing to take enquiries and offer quotes.

Installing solar panels can be a big investment for a lot of people, so it is important that you do some research before committing to that spend, but it’s a worthwhile commitment.

How often can you say that something you have bought will give you such a substantial pay back?

Stuart Munro is the owner of i-Protech, an award-winning company which specialises in green energy, electrical, security and fire services. For more information about solar panel installation, visit

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