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Solar panels: reduce your electricity bills while protecting the environment

February 14, 2022
The price of electricity is on the increase all over the world, and Luxembourg is no exception. However, there is a solution which can help reduce your bills: switch to renewable energy. One of the most appropriate solutions for individuals is to use photovoltaic solar panels.

Why install photovoltaic solar panels?

Photovoltaic panels are becoming increasingly popular. Here are some of the advantages of using solar panels in your home:  

  • Protect environment: by switching to a renewable source of energy; 
  • Reduce your electricity bill: photovoltaic solar panels provide significant independence, thanks to the use of self-produced energy. It is possible mostly to consume energy from the panels, which lowers the electricity bill and partly avoids fluctuating electricity prices. You are also able to sell the surplus electricity produced. This could therefore generate income, in addition to reducing the costs; 
  • Make your investment profitable: the cost of purchasing and installing photovoltaic panels is high. However, in the long term, this investment should be attractive for customers since it can reduce electricity bills and should even produce a profit from the sale of the surplus electricity. 


In Luxembourg, an interactive map of the sunshine register enables you to calculate your roof’s solar potential, and thus determine the cost-effectiveness of your installation.

What guidelines should be followed when installing photovoltaic solar panels?

You can install photovoltaic panels on the ground, or on the roof of your house. The latter solution is often the most used by individuals.

Have you finally decided to install solar panels on your roof? What you need to pay attention to, in order to maximise your production of electricity? 

  • Tilt: ideally, the panels should be tilted at 30 to 35 degrees from the horizontal (even though the tilt has little impact on the production of electricity). 
  • Orientation: the orientation of your house is critical: a south-facing house is recommended in order to maximise the amount of time the panels are sun exposed. 
  • Obstacles: identify any obstacles which may limit the panels’ exposure to the sun (trees, other buildings, etc.). 
  • Inverter: the inverter is an integral part of your photovoltaic installation. Indeed, it is the inverter that will convert the current produced by the solar panels and make it usable for injection into the grid and for current use in the house. You should choose a good quality inverter, common on the market, in order to prevent a possible disappearance of the manufacturer in case of a breakdown. 
     

Are there any subsidies for photovoltaic solar panels?

Although the cost of installing photovoltaic solar panels has come down, it will take several years for them to become profitable; and the cost of installation may therefore discourage some renewable energy enthusiasts. In Luxembourg, there are various subsidies for the installation of photovoltaic solar panels.

 

  • PRIMe House: this scheme makes it possible for you to benefit from a subsidy equivalent to 20% of the cost of installing photovoltaic panels, and these must be rated at lower than 30 kW. This subsidy may reach € 500 per kWp. This subsidy, which currently applies to applications submitted before 31 December 2021, is currently under review for further extension beyond till 2025 .
  • Commune aids: you should contact your town of residence for more information about the financial aid it can offer. 
  • Tax exemption: for income generated from the sale of electricity generated from photovoltaic panels with a capacity of less than 10 kWp; 

How are photovoltaic panels insured?

How can you protect yourself from possible damage caused to your photovoltaic panels, by storms, hail, snow or other hazards? This is why it is important to ensure that your photovoltaic solar panels are adequately insured.  In ‘Home’ policies, solar or photovoltaic panels are considered to be part of the building. No specific value needs to be declared.

A distinction should be made between two types of event: 

1.    Events causing damage to the panels

If fire, storm, hail or snow should occur and damage the panels, the Home policy covers these risks. For relatively small accidental breakages, the glass breakage insurance covers the damage. 

It is therefore important to check the scope of the home insurance policy in terms of the events covered and the limits to the cover provided. The cost of the panels and their installation should be considered when assessing the need for cover.  

2.    The damage which the panels may cause to a third party, i.e. third-party liability 

As with all other insured assets, the Home policy covers the damage or losses which photovoltaic panels may cause to third parties.

What happens if your solar panels are damaged?

The most common problems encountered with solar panels are electrical problems and hail. Fires can also occur, but more rarely. Moreover, electrical problems with the inverter should not be underestimated also.

If your panels or inverter are damaged and need to be replaced, what should you do and who comes to remove them?
You should report the damage to your insurer and refer to your installer. Your installer will come and remove your panels and take care of recycling them. The installer will also come and install the new panels. The costs of dismantling, reassembling and reimbursing the panels will be covered by the insurer within the limits of your home policy.

What if your installer is no longer in business? You can ask your insurer to recommend a local installer who can meet your needs.

Are you building or renovating, and thinking about installing electrical panels on the roof of your home? Do not hesitate to seek advice from professional or energy advisers, who will assist you in choosing the most suitable installation based on your specific circumstances.


You should also make sure that the value of your photovoltaic system is stated in your insurance policy, as this is what will be taken into account in the event of damage to your panels. It is regularly useful to review the value of your insured contents in your home insurance policy so that in the event of a claim, you will be compensated for the fair value