Colin's Solar Panel Journey in Hampshire

We caught up with Colin after installing solar panels at his home in Hampshire in the middle of January 2022. We wanted to check how he was getting on with his electricity bills, after switching to solar energy with Smart Energy.

solar panel installation in hampshire UK

The solar energy project

Colin is part of a two-person family, living in a “large old house.” Colin told us that they “have a hot tub which is used regularly, so this uses a lot of electricity” as well as the usual kitchen and domestic appliances. 

We asked Colin what his main motivations were for looking into solar energy, and he told us that like the majority of our customers, he was concerned about rising energy bills and his impact on the environment. For Colin, solar was the best way to address both of those problems; since solar energy reduces your carbon footprint, as well as your electricity bill.

How does solar power impact your energy bills?

We spoke with Colin after a month of having solar panels installed on his home. The big question; how had his energy bills changed? Colin let us know the good news - from mid-January to mid-February, their energy usage had dropped by 800 kWh. They hadn’t had a new energy bill just yet, but we calculated that this would save them around £84 per month if this continued all year round.

Colin and his partner can expect to save even more in the summer, as more electricity is generated by solar panels as the days get longer. This means that Colin will save at least £1,008 this year alone, all because he switched to solar energy.

solar energy system installation in hampshire UK

How have your habits changed since getting solar?

“We now heat our hot tub during the daylight hours. Hopefully, this will have a big impact on our bills going forward. We're both home most days so use the electricity throughout the daylight hours. For example, we used to put the washing machine and dishwasher on at night but not anymore.”

It’s really important to use your appliances during the day rather than at night once you’ve installed solar panels (unless you have a battery). This is because you won’t pay for any energy you generate, but you may have to pay for electricity after your solar stops working once the sun goes down.

By switching to using appliances like your washing machine in the day instead of the night, you’ll get more from your solar panels. Hot tubs and pools require huge amounts of energy to run, so Colin can expect to really save when heating his tub up when the sun is up.

Colin also told us that he liked the idea of solar power because he was looking to invest some of his money.

He said, “Being retired, I did have some capital I was looking to invest. Currently, the return on investments anywhere is very low, 1% maybe. I calculated that my return from the panels could be up to 15% per year. We annually had an electricity bill of around £2,400”

We agree with Colin that solar panels are a great investment!

Not only will Colin see a huge reduction in his bills of £2,400 per year and start saving right away, but he’ll also add value to his home.

When looking to invest, you’re usually taking a risk. If you book a home energy assessment with Smart Energy, we’ll take a look at your energy usage, and we’ll let you know exactly how much you can expect to save. We’ll also let you know if we don’t think you’d benefit from solar power.

This means you’ll know exactly what return on investment you could expect, taking the risk out of investing.

How easy is the installation process?

We asked Colin how he found the solar panel installation process...

“Very good! Kept informed all the way especially when there was a problem with the manufacturer delivering the panels. It's really refreshing to deal with friendly local people rather than faceless call centres. The installation team were great. My only slight issue is that the system was sold to us as having the tracking app which is obviously a very useful tool. It didn't come with the rest of the kit but Dan ordered it after. When I had trouble installing it Beau came round and gave it a go. Turned out the data logging stick was faulty so he got a new one.”

Would you recommend solar panels to a friend?

Lastly, we asked Colin if he would recommend solar panels to a friend. His answer? 


Every property is different, but Colin’s home had 12 ‘380 Q-Cells’ solar panels installed (a 4.6kW system,) along with a ‘Solis’ inverter. Contact us today to find out how many solar panels you might need to cover your bill, and if you could qualify for solar energy installation at your home.