In troubled times like these when saving money can be essential to keep your head above the water, a long-term solution for a French property has revealed itself to be successful: solar panels. With greenhouse effect campaigns, it is worth introducing green technology to save money as well as energy.
There are two sorts of solar panels:
-> Photovoltaic solar panels
It produces renewable solar electricity for either stand alone or grid feed systems. These tools are easily connected making them ideal for battery charging, camping and remote power applications. The photovoltaic may be connected in strings for higher voltage. If you invest in your home and your energy future with on-grid connected PV solar panels, their typical life span is of 30-40 years. But solar panels in general have never made much financial sense as their purchase is very pricey.
-> Solar Water Heating
Unlike PV solar panels, solar water panels are far cheaper. Furthermore, they look discreet (as you can see on the photo opposite). These panels heat domestic water; they are reliable and provide unrivalled performance. For the average household, a 2sqm solar panel is sufficient to produce domestic hot water for the majority of the year. For hot tubs and swimming pools, larger or multiple solar panels systems can be used for larger cylinders. A solar panel's installation is like converting a car into a hybrid. After the initial investment, your car or in this case your home will run efficiently and cheaply for the next 30 years.
Cost comparison: taking into account that a given house has electricity, is equipped with an oil heating system and a wood-burning stove:
Price* without solar panels: ?1,100 per year
Price* with solar panels: ?472 per year
-> Cost of installation
It is by no means expensive contrary to what we use to hear everywhere. Depending on the brand of panels, a couple of solar water panels could cost between £4,300 and £5,000 (between ?5,000 and ?6,000). You should receive a grant of around ?1,000 and ?2,200 in the form of credit d'impots*. It's similar to a heat pump: the installation cost is about ?13,000 but you are granted ?4,000 of credit d'impots, meaning it'll really cost you ?9,000.
Energy-efficient systems still need to be improved in terms of their characteristics and efficiency but are definitely opening a new era for energy saving and the development of green properties.
*Depending on the conditions of the company you buy your solar panels from.
Sextant French property is a network of more than 160 estate agents and 50 developers in France offering a selection of 12,000 French property for sale.
They also offer French property investment such as French Leaseback properties
In order to improve their service to their customers they set up a French mortgages division who can also help customers who bought through a different French estate agent.