MAP: How long before home solar panels cover costs in France?

The significant initial outlays are offset over time by grants and selling electricity back to suppliers

Panels fitted in the Bouches-du-Rhones generate almost twice the amount as those in Nord
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The high upfront cost of solar panels can pay for itself over time thanks to government grants and selling electricity back to suppliers, however how long this takes depends on where you live.

Last year, there were a record 200,000 new solar installations in France, allowing homes to produce 30% to 40% of the electricity they used, according to figures from state electricity company EDF.

Read more: Why record numbers of homeowners in France are installing solar panels

However, the power produced by domestic solar systems varies significantly depending on their exposure to sunlight.

Panels fitted in the department Bouches-du-Rhône generate almost twice the amount as those in Nord, for instance. This means that for solar panel setups of similar power, certain regions will prove more economically viable than others.

The amount of wear and the panels' resistance to this (ie. installation and material quality) is also a factor, as is the cost of the initial outlay, which itself varies according to the grants the homeowner receives.

Read more: What aid is available to install home solar panels in France in 2024?

How to calculate the return on investment of solar panels

(Initial investment / annual return) = time for return on investment

For example:

€12,000 initial investment / €1,000 annual return - 12 year time for return on investment.

Buyers will have to estimate their annual return prior to purchase based on the sunlight exposure in their area, the power of their solar panels and the angle and direction at which they are installed.

However, counterintuitively, they do not work as well at temperatures about 25C. A reputable company should always provide you with an accurate estimate of your annual production.

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