Sun power


Installing solar power to supply some or even all of the energy your home needs is one of the best ways to dramatically reduce your carbon pollution - on average around 1.5 tonnes of carbon a year. It can save you money over the long term, too.



For people

Solar panels, or solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, may not be cheap, but by installing them not only will you drastically cut your electricity bill, but you could also earn yourself some income through selling power back into the grid.

For planet

Unlike the conventional forms of electricity generation, solar PV does not produce any pollution and doesn't depend on extraction of oil, gas or coal. That leaves us with less pollution and more energy security, which has got to be a good thing. Of course, manufacturing panels does involve some hazardous and toxic substances. But when you consider their full lifetime, the pollution power of solar panels is far lower than that of most alternative energy forms.

Electricity generation accounts for just under 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and we’re lagging shamefully behind our European friends in the renewable generation game - just check out this graph from EuroStat. Even in the UK the sun shines enough to make solar panels an efficient form of electricity generation, with virtually no carbon emissions.

By installing solar panels, you can save around 1.5 tonnes of carbon a year.


Let's be honest, this is one of the more complex, committing Do Actions to pledge to. But it's also the most rewarding - both financially and environmentally, perhaps even socially too. We're not going to pretend to be solar installation experts, and so we'll keep the advice here short and sweet, and refer you over to the real experts at YouGen.

  1. Check you have a suitable spot for solar PV (i.e. do you have a sun-bathed spot to place the panels, ideally facing between south east and south west with them angled at 30 to 40 degrees). If you're in the England, Scotland, or Wales, it's also worth checking if you'll be eligible for the Feed In Tariff (your house needs to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or higher).
  2. Find yourself a good MCS accredited installer (MCS is the mark of quality that demonstrates industry standards). YouGen have some great advice on choosing the right installer for you.
  3. Sit back, relax, and let them do all the hard work.


Installing solar saves between 1.2 and 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (UK data)
Energy Saving Trust

Step Impact calculations:

Energy Saving Trust “an average system will save around 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year”

Figures based on average British solar installation.