Greg Barker, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, suggested in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph that installing solar PV could potentially provide a better financial return than a pension.
With returns on traditional annuities having fallen, Mr Barker stated that solar power could be the answer for anyone planning for their retirement. He said: “Solar is a really attractive financial proposition… You get a guaranteed tariff for 20 years and if your panel is well-sited, it could yield 8 per cent or more.
Mr Barker’s comments were prompted by his visit to a Sussex couple who had recently installed solar PV to mark the occasion of half a million roofs in the UK being fitted with solar.
With prices for solar panels having fallen in recent years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) say that the typical domestic installation currently costs around £5,500, as opposed to £13,000 in 2010. Government figures show that typical rates of return on domestic solar panels are running between 5 per cent and 8 per cent a year.
Mr Barker summed up: “Anyone considering retiring should seriously consider whether solar panels are right for them, because in some circumstances, they will get a higher return than from putting the money into an annuity.”