EH Smith is seeing sales of photovoltaic (solar) panels soar by more than 200%. In fact, the firm has sold more solar panels for both domestic and commercial use in the first quarter of 2014 than during the whole of 2013.

This steep increase, in an already buoyant market, highlights the growing interest from homeowners in tackling high energy prices by investing in alternative sources of heat and light.

EH Smith has supplied solar panels to thousands of homes, public organisations and businesses across the West Midlands and the UK. In April, the company joined forces with the government to launch a road map which will turn the rooftops of the UK and West Midlands’ factories, supermarkets and schools into ‘solar hubs’.

EH Smith’s sustainability director John Cave, who is an advisor to the Department for Energy and Climate Change on energy efficiency issues, believes that the huge potential of solar panels to slash energy bills and create a tax-free income stream1 will see thousands more homes turn to solar power, particularly now the costs of installation are falling sharply and there are grants available to fund the work.

“EH Smith has been selling solar panels since 2008,” he said. “We have seen tremendous growth in the market over the last few years as more and more organisations and individuals recognise the financial and environmental rewards of increased energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy.

“However the growth in the first quarter of this year has been extraordinary and we attribute it to a combination of rising energy costs, increased energy security concerns and a growing commitment to carbon reduction by both energy-conscious homeowners and businesses.”

Mr Cave added: “As well as slashing energy bills, those home or business owners who install solar panels benefit from a tax-free, index-linked income of around 10%, making solar power not just the right choice from an energy efficiency perspective, but from a financial one too.”