New research from The Eco Experts shows that solar panels are being searched for online more than ever before in the UK.
According to data gathered from Google Trends, on Thursday 11th August searches for ‘solar panels’ hit a score of 100 indicating ‘peak popularity’. This is the first time ever the renewable technology has reached the maximum trend score.
Solar Panels in Demand
Its previous peak was 91, reached in March 2022 when energy bill price rises were first announced by the UK Government. Data from a previous study conducted by The Eco Experts showed at the time (April 2022) that 60% of UK residents wanted to go greener due to rising energy costs.
Rising Costs and Temperatures
Combined with the rising costs, the peak score can also be attributed to the increasingly hot weather. During this time, the UK was experiencing a heatwave with temperatures rising to 35 degrees daily. It’s clear that many were searching for ways to capitalise on the sunshine to lower their household energy costs.
As UK regulator for gas and energy OFgem has just announced even more price rises to come this year, the trending interest for solar panels will only continue.
The Eco Experts editor Charlie Clissit added: “’Obviously the rising energy bills and the unusually hot weather are extremely bleak situations, but it’s encouraging to see so many people turning to this green alternative. Solar panels are quick to install, easy to maintain, and are looking increasingly sensible.”
Solar Demand Through The Roof
In line with the increased search volumes, solar panel manufacturers are also reporting increased demand. Shawton Energy recently stated that they’ve seen a tenfold increase around solar panel enquiries. This is not only for domestic use but also for businesses wanting to cut down energy costs.
“Now more than ever, businesses need assurance that their energy bills aren’t going to go through the roof and by installing Solar PV, businesses are able to see financial savings from day one and gain protection from future price rises” said Jamie Shaw, managing director of Shawton Energy.
As previously reported on Irish Tech News, 42% of businesses indicated they’d seriously consider investing in solar panel installations if they can sell excess electricity to the national energy grid. Additionally, the appeal to be more ‘sustainably focused’ is a key point that many businesses want to highlight as part of their operation.
While global forecasts show that solar power is on a roll, Ireland’s solar panel uptake has been criticised for being too slow. The Irish Solar Energy Association stated that giving as many incentives as possible, such as removing VAT on solar panels or paying for surplus generated energy that goes back to the grid, would help speed up installation.
Some Irish business owners are already taking advantage of solar technology to slash their bills.
“After paying €3400 for installation, we’ve already saved €180 over two months,” Mr Jacob, former co-owner of Idaho café in Cork city, said. “The solar panels are unbelievably efficient.”
Mr. Jacob goes on to state that with easier access to solar panels, the technology could help reduce the carbon emissions of Ireland’s farming sector.
“Larger solar panels require planning permission which is stalling the technology’s rollout across roofs of farm buildings and barns across the country. If the Government could make it easier, you could have solar panels on every farm building and barn roof, helping reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint.”
Author bio: Ardziv Simonian is a Campaign Specialist at The Eco Experts, a leading UK authority in solar panels and other renewable energy solutions. He aims to provide insightful and useful content, as well as simplifying complex subjects to help readers understand and learn quicker. When he’s not creating content, he’s creating music.