Solar panels – specifically photovoltaic (PV) – are an obvious choice for anyone wanting to green their home. What other product lowers your energy bills, reduces your carbon footprint, and can make you money by selling excess power back to the national grid?
Installing solar panels on your home isn’t cheap, and arguably not that easy either. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best solar panels available in the UK. We’re giving you a guide to who makes solar panels and what’s available, but if you decide to take the plunge you will need to go through a certified installer. When doing this you can use this guide to make any brand requests, although it may be that they have existing relationships with partners in the industry.
Prices will vary according to which installer you use.
Our Top Picks….
Company: Sunpower are a subsidiary of international corporation Maxeon Solar Technologies who are strongly committed to the UN Global Compact corporate responsibility initiative and have made commitments in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment. Maxeon have worked on some amazing projects with their strategic partners including portable solar power lamps to help children in developing countries study and mini solar farms in Myanmar.
Maxeon are also keen on manufacturing their solar panels efficiently and take waste management seriously. 80% of their total waste is recycled and one of their Mexico factories has been recognised with the solar industry’s first and only Zero-Waste-To-Landfill certification. Very impressive!
Product: What sets Sunpower’s solar panels apart from the rest is their durability and capacity. Sunpower products come with a 40-year warranty and promise to produce 25% more energy in their first year than any other product on the market. This turns into 35% more energy overall during the first 25-years.
The Maxeon 3, the latest iteration of Sunpower’s technology, can generate between 375 – 430 W of power. It is stated that they are priced above average, presumably due to the durability of the product. Once you’ve decided to make the switch, Sunpower will set you up with a local installer through their network for a consultation. Local installers are used to ensure knowledge of the local climate and sun coverage will make the most out of your solar panels.
Company: Sharp has been around over a century, and while they may have started out with office supplies they now provide tech solutions for businesses and homes covering a myriad of sectors. As a company, Sharp has many environmental accolades and has been talking about going green since 2004.
Sharp has a comprehensive climate action plan focused on three key areas; climate change, resource recycling, and safety and security. They aim to be carbon neutral (and potentially negative) by 2050 and use only recycled materials in their products. In addition to these goals, Sharp undertakes conservation efforts all over the world. They work to preserve freshwater fish species near their power plant in Kameyama, Japan and plant mangroves in Indonesia.
Product: Sharp’s solar panels come in 360 – 410 W and boast a number of creative innovations. Sharp claims to have 60 years of solar experience and have put this to good use with their half cut cell design which prevents shade interference and heat spots. Their warranty is 10 years but they guarantee 25 years of power output from one of their high-tech panels.
Company: Project Solar both make their own products and work as installers (they actually partner our earlier recommendation Sunpower, offering installation services for their panels). They don’t have a readily available environmental policy but they have won many awards including European/UK inverter installer of the year and the even more prestigious Company of the Year title at the Derby Telegraph Business Awards 2018.
It can also be said that they are huge advocates for solar and have a number of helpful resources on their website to explain the benefits and address any concerns consumers might have.
Product: Project Solar offers a range of sustainable products, but for something a little bit different we are recommending their solar roof tiles. Coming with a 12 year warranty and 25 year guarantee of power output, these aesthetically pleasing tiles are designed to blend in with your roof. Providing sustainable power whilst still keeping the exterior of your home beautiful is often a concern for people when pursuing solar, and with a promise of 15% – 50% off your energy bills, who can resist?
We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!