Install solar panels

Don't tell anyone but the price of solar panels has fallen by 20-25 percent in the last few months, making the government's feed-in-tariff scheme a tasty option indeed for those with the right kind of property.

The original idea, introduced by Labour, was for feed-in tariffs to entice households into installing solar panels. You'd spend perhaps £13,000 up front but then get paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh) generated. This would in turn earn you a typical annual income of £900 a year plus a £140-a-year saving on your electricity bill. The payments you receive for each unit of electricity are guaranteed for 25 years, are tax free, and set to rise with inflation.

Well, we hear you say, that's all very well but it'll take a while to pay off the original fee. But with installation costs coming down, it's suddenly looking like a rather handsome investment with returns of 10 percent of the original fork out cost looking likely each year. If you install before next April, when new payment tariffs look like to be introduced, you can still get 25 years payment guaranteed at the old rate.

So if your house gets a lot of sun you'd be a fool not to get a panel fixed up sharpish!

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