Solar panels take decades to pay off – but demand has quadrupled

British households are being ordered to go “green”, yet high prices means solar panels will still take decades to pay for themselves.

Interest in solar panels has reached a five-year high as internet searches for the technology rose by 316pc above average in March, according to A-Plan Insurance. The rising demand comes amid a Government drive to make the country less reliant on fossil fuels.

However, the average 4.2 kilowatt-peak solar panel system costs around £6,500 to install, according to Energy Saving Trust, an industry body. This means it will take households decades to cover the cost.

Based on current energy prices, panels installed on the typical home could take between 13 and 24 years to pay for themselves, according to analysis of Energy Saving Trust figures by consumer website MoneySavingExpert. 

Many households have turned to renewable energy after the industry price cap increased this month by £693 to £1,971, a 54pc rise, amid spiralling global gas prices. This is expected to rise further in October, to £2,490, according to Cornwall Insight, an energy market analyst. 

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