Can I Get Free Solar Panels in the UK?
Companies offered free solar panels in the past, but this service is not available in the UK any longer. As solar panels are becoming more affordable, the government has drastically reduced the Feed-In Tariff (FIT). This has made the free solar panels scheme unprofitable for many companies.
A few years ago, when the FIT incentives were higher, this service was very popular. Companies offered to rent your roof space for up to 25 years, taking care of the solar panel installation and maintenance for free. In return, these companies would collect the money from the FIT. In this way, you got free solar panels for your home. While this worked with the higher FIT rewards, today it is no longer profitable for businesses to do.
Today, the solar buyback scheme is an alternative to the 'free solar panel deal'. Essentially, companies offer an upfront lump sum to homeowners who already have solar panels installed. In exchange, the company collects the remaining FIT rewards the homeowner would have received.
Application Deadline for Solar PV Feed in Tariff:
Read our guide on how you can still benefit from the solar PV Feed in Tariff before it ends in March 2019.
Or, if you are interested in investing in solar panels as fast as possible, simply fill in the form above to receive up to 4 quotes from our partner suppliers, free of charge and with no obligations.
What Was the 'Free Solar Panel' Deal?
If you had a suitable roof, but couldn’t come up with the cash needed to buy the solar panel system, then the free solar panel deal would have been good for you. You could get solar panels that would generate a decent portion of the electricity that you needed and you would save money on bills every year. With this scheme, you didn't have to think about maintenance, etc. as the installers offered to take care of everything.
For those that did sign up to get a free solar panel have a contract with the respective company. Once the 25 year period agreed in the contract expires, you as the owner will keep the panels, but will not receive any FIT payments. However, you will still save on bills as the panels will still generate some electricity. Savings will also be generated by selling surplus energy back to the national grid.
Anyways, mothers with small children, retired people and people working from home could make the most out of the “free” deal as they are at home during the day the most and that is the time in which one can make the most out of the generated electricity.
What Type of Roof Was Ideal for Free Solar Panels?
Companies were looking for the "right" roofs and if yours happened to fail at fitting the desired profile, you were turned down. So, your roof needed to have at least 30 square meters of free usable space. It had to be almost entirely south-facing and without anything casting shade over it, which meant that any nearby trees or different telegraph poles might have been a problem.
Some companies could make compromises if the conditions are decent enough but not quite perfect. For instance, you might have gotten the deal with a £500 charge or with a £5 monthly charge.
What Are the Downsides of Free Solar Panels?
Free solar panels are no longer available in the UK, however if you have opted for the free solar panels deal it may be good to be aware of some of its downsides.
If you are usually not at home during the day, your savings will suffer a bit as most of the energy is generated during the day and thus this is the best time to use it.
Moreover, you might have trouble with selling your home if you wish to at some point. Some people can be thrown off by the big solar panels on the roof, even though they will be the ones using them and the electricity they provide. All in all, there are no significant downsides, except the fact that you don’t own the system and hence don't receive the FiT payment yourself.
What If I Install Solar Panels Myself?
If you are able to cover the initial costs of £5,000-15,000 then this is what you should do. By buying the solar panels system directly, you receive Feed-In Tariff payments yourself. This will ultimately mean the system will pay for itself in 7-9 years. Since the FIT payments come for 20 years, you eventually end up with profits.
Many experts say that buying your own solar panel system is the better option anyway, and with solar panels becoming more affordable this is also a greater possibility for more families in the UK.
If you want to install solar panels on your house, just fill in the form above and request up to 4 quotes from suppliers nearby you. The service is absolutely free and without obligation.