New industry figures show that the number of UK households that have installed rooftop solar systems has hit its highest level in seven years. In the first few months of the current year, homeowners began switching heavily to clean energy to protect against spiralling energy bills and to safeguard their future costs and supply.
Figures show that over 50,700 homes installed rooftop solar arrays in the first three months of 2023, which is a 100% increase compared to the previous years. It's the highest figure on record, too, since 2015, when customers were incentivised by generous government subsidies via the feed-in tariff scheme which was slashed by 65% from 2016 onwards, before being closed completely in 2019.
The total number of installed rooftop systems in this quarter can collectively generate 265 MW of clean energy, which is equivalent to 50% of a standard coal-fired plant. A spokesperson for Solar Energy UK said that installation volumes were steadily climbing as British billpayers switched on to the cost and environmental benefits of rooftop solar systems.
In the last year, the installations were driven by the energy crisis and the desire to save money and enhance security of supply. However, there is still plenty of scope for solar energy to gain a strong foothold in the UK. Currently, only 4.4pc of the UK's total electricity is being produced by solar energy, compared to 23pc for wind and 36pc from gas. The message about the power and availability of the latest rooftop technologies is still filtering down to households, pushed by the ongoing energy crisis. The industry is hoping to now see further subsidies, incentives and support offered by the government to hasten further uptake and help the UK hit its net zero carbon goals.