Action Surrey: Surrey's Low Carbon Community

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Renewables: Solar Photovoltaic Electricity

Solar panels generate electricity by capturing the sun's energy via silicon-based photovoltaic cells. They work best on a sunny day but still generate electricity even when it's cloudy. Solar panels need very little maintenance, reduce your electricity bills and your impact on the environment, so are a very popular investment for many UK households.

You can save up to £500 per year on your bills, and around 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions.

*Based on being home all day and benefiting from the Smart Export Guarantee.

How can I earn money through the Smart Export Guarantee?

If you are eligible to receive Smart Export Guarantee payments, you will benefit in two ways:

  • Export tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a rate for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate but don't use yourself. To see the latest SEG tariffs, please visit the Solar Trade Association Website
  • Energy bill savings: you will be making savings on your electricity bills because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.
  • Eligible technologies: solar PV, wind power, anaerobic digestion, hydro technologies up to 5MW and mcCHP with an electrical capacity of 50kW or less. 
  • Meters: Smart meters will be required to measure what you export.

Battery Storage & Solar Diverters

It is now possible to buy batteries to store the energy your panels generate so that you can then use it at night. These are a great way of maximising the potential for your panels. However, these are currently not grant-funded so there is an upfront cost involved:

More information on battery storage

Additionally, solar diverters can direct excess solar power from the panels to your hot water system. Again, these are not grant-funded as present.

Further information and resources

The below information has been made available by the Energy Saving Trust, and can help you to decide whether solar panels are right for you:

Solar PV - Choosing a Site and Info on Planning Permission

Solar PV - Solar Inverters

Solar PV - Connection to the Grid

Solar PV - Getting the Most out of Your Solar PV

Solar Energy Calculator - Calculate how much you could generate, earn and save using this tool.

There are often grants available to fund solar panels. See our Financial Support page for more info.

For more information contact Action Surrey on 0800 783 2503 or email

Alternatively, fill out our enquiry form online and one of the team will get in touch.

Enquire now

*All figures are taken from the Energy Saving Trust April 2022.