With reports suggesting that household fuel bills could double within the next decade, there are compelling reasons to look for ways of cutting that cost. Turning off the lights or boiling only the amount of water we need is merely a starting point, and there are now a wide range of high-tech solutions designed to lower bills and maybe even generate some spare cash.
One of the most prominent solutions are solar panels. Now visible on rooftops throughout the UK, consumers have adopted the power of the sun as a means to generate some electricity of their own. Solar panels work by converting daylight into electricity (that's daylight, not necessarily sunshine) and the resulting power can be used to run your own appliances or be fed back to the National Grid, earning you somewhere in the region of 15p per unit of electricity.
You can just picture the scenario, can't you? The barbecue is firing, you're enjoying an ice-cold beer and all the while your solar panels are lapping up the sun and making money on your behalf. Sounds fabulous, but it isn't quite as clear-cut as that. The feed-in tariff continues to fall, meaning newcomers to solar power will be paid less for generated electricity, and though panel technology has progressed, the up-front cost remains a potential barrier to mass adoption.
It's a fascinating topic, so let's open up the debate: have you considered adding solar panels to your home? Let us know using the comments facility below, and if you've already had solar panels installed, we'd love to hear your thoughts on how they're working for you.