A man has shared his story of how he reduced his energy bills from over £90 a month to effectively paying nothing after installing solar panels and a storage battery.
Graham Johnston saw his bill for September 2023 drop to £25 a year, down from £92 last September. And thanks to his battery, he was able to sell some of the energy he generated to the grid, earning him £25.49 and offsetting his bill entirely.
He decided to first get the solar panels installed on his home as electricity and gas prices had vastly increased.
He told Express.co.uk: “It really was an ideal time to make the installation and start saving. The process itself was a lot simpler than I had expected.
“It was all completed within a day, and I was saving immediately. With the renewable energy in place, not only was I able to power my home for significantly less, but my electric car too.”
Mr Johnston then noticed that a lot of the excess solar energy he was generating was going back into the grid so he decided to get battery storage installed.
He said: “Since that point, I started selling my excess energy back to the grid, making money back on the energy I generated.”
When he came to sell the property, he said he was “shocked” at the wave of interest from potential buyers. He explained: “So many people were interested, asking about the solar panels and battery storage and having an EPC rating A helped sell the house within a week.
“For me, the decision was a no-brainer. Not only is it good for the environment, but why wouldn’t you want to do your bit if it also saves you money?”
The solar panels cost £6,000 to install while the battery cost a further £5,000. Mr Johnston is a customer with Halifax and the bank gave him for £500 towards the costs through its Green Living Reward scheme.
The scheme offers a cashback reward to mortgage customers who have a green energy improvement to their home.
The eco-saver sold the house on the second viewing and with the sale he recouped his costs from the solar installation. He said: “When the energy savings from the solar panels were pointed out to the buyer, they made an offer and similar homes that were on the market just before me (without solar panels) still haven’t been sold yet.”
Halifax is also running a trial scheme with solar panels provider Effective Home, where consumers receive a free solar plan, outlining installation costs and estimated energy bill savings.
Mr Johnston has now moved to a property in Shropshire and has had a quote for a solar installation on his new home, and has applied for Green Living Reward again.
He estimates his total installation costs, taking into account the reward, will be £8.250 for the new property.
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