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Last updated: 28 July 2017

How Does The Government Help You In Your Solar "Journey"?

The governments position plus information on free solar panels.

How Does the Government Help You When Installing Solar Panels? 

Many are wondering, whether the government provides any grants for installing solar panels and if not what other benefits are there. Thus, let us take a closer look at the situation.

Grants

Primarily, the UK government did provide a grant for people willing to install solar panels on their homes. However, like with any other grant, there were several criteria to be met and many forms to fill out. Somehow, it failed to attract people’s attention and so in April 2010 the new FIT(feed-in-tariff) was introduced.

The FIT

The Feed-In-Tariff itself is a scheme by which the government pays you if you to generate electricity. By installing solar panels onto your home and connecting to the national grid, your household becomes somewhat of a small power station. In this way, you get to generate enough power for your needs and all the extra energy is exported to the grid.

  • depending on the size of your system, payments can vary(however for energy generated and used you are looking at 21p per kWh)
  • the unused generated energy will get you a rate of 3.2p per kWh exported.
  • an average UK home will earn around 500£ annually and the payment term is fixed at 25 years

read more about FIT here

Judging from these facts, an average UK household is looking at 12,500£ tax-free for the whole period. Nice, but bearing in mind the significant size of the initial investment, things can get tricky and complicated.

Free Solar Panels?

Yes, there is such an option and it might be worth considering at least for some people. If the initial investment needed for the installation seems like too big of an asking price, you might want to look closer at the “rent-a-roof”scheme.

“Free” solar panels schemes are mostly offered by companies eager to chip in on the FIT. These companies offer customers the chance to rent out their roofs to them for a period of 20-25 years. In exchange, the company will install solar panels on your rooftop and maintain them, meaning that you won’t have to worry about the hefty initial investment. You still get to benefit from the free electricity produced by the system, but you won’t be getting the money from the Feed-In-Tariff.

The group of people likely to benefit more from the scheme is pensioners. This part of the population consists of people who are spending more time at home during the day and might not have the financial ability to install their own panels. Thus this option suits them well as they can save more money by utilising the free energy produced by the solar panels. However, people in general are not big fans of the “rent-a-roof” scheme as it seems somehow unfair to customers, thus many are willing to just invest in their own solar panels.

What’s the best option then?

As mentioned above, the “rent-a-roof” system is not what most people would like to commit to, yet it is also hard to set a fixed amount on the original investment needed for the panels. Therefore, it is essential that customers receive multiple quotes and offers from companies.

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So How Can You Find the Offer That Suits You Best?

As expected, people are busy with their everyday duties and many are simply not having the time needed for the research that is required when investing in something as important as solar panels. If you fall into this group of people, do not worry! There are companies that are ready to answer all your questions and assist you in your “solar” journey.

To save you some time and efforts of researching who these companies are, let’s just share some information with you. For instance, let’s take GreenMatch, a company that provides you with an easy to use platform for market comparing plus a big portion of useful information that you are likely going to need when going solar.

What’s requested of you is to just fill out a form and then several suppliers(usually the ones closest to your location) will contact you, presenting their offers. What’s good is that all of the different suppliers are aware that they are competing and you are likely to even strike a bargain.

Lastly, if you are considering whether to take a step towards going solar or not, you are aware of what awaits you. Which of the options to choose is up to you as each one has it’s pros and cons. One thing is certain though, the future is definitely in renewable energy sources, so why not join the future today?