London and Renewable Energy
London is not only the capital of the UK but also, and by far, its largest city. There are currently only two cities in the United Kingdom with over one million inhabitants: London, with more than 7 million, and Birmingham, with slightly more than one million people. Due to its magnitude, what happens in London has a considerable impact on the entire UK’s performance. This not only applies to social and economic aspects but also for environmental issues.
This means, for example, that in order to achieve the UK’s green energy targets for 2020, set under the program Renewable Energy Roadmap, it is crucial that local authorities and councils in London are committed and engage with environmental projects. The Mayor has set a target to reduce London’s CO2 emissions by 60% of 1990 levels by 2025. The Energy Strategy follows three main principles: using less energy, supplying energy efficiently and using renewable energy.
Solar Power in London
Due to the falling costs of solar technologies, it is becoming increasingly attractive for communities, businesses and households to invest in photovoltaics. Moreover, there are several government schemes aiming at spreading solar technology in local communities and to make it more accessible for households and businesses to invest in such technologies.
Evidencing its efforts to become a sustainable city, in January 2014 London launched the world’s largest solar-powered bridge, which has been under construction for five years. Blackfriars Rail Station, standing across the River Thames, covers half its power needs with the electricity generated by 4,400 roof-mounted solar panels.
Moreover, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) has proved very successful to attract more businesses and households to invest in renewable technologies. However, this scheme ended in April 2019, because the renewable technologies that fell under the scheme became more and more affordable, and therefore no longer need to be subsidised.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in London? Can I Get Free Solar Panels?
The exact price of a solar system will obviously depend on several factors such as type, size and quality of the system chosen. Therefore, if someone gives you an exact number without analysing your particular needs, this number might not be real. If you need a precise quote, you are more than welcome to fill in the form at the top of this page and you will be contacted by up to four of our specialist suppliers with their respective offers.
However, you probably want a quick estimate of how much money you will need to invest. We can also help you with that. Solar PV systems, which convert sunlight into electricity, cost around £3,000-8,000 but can save £120 per year and make a further £800 a year from selling power back to the National Grid. Solar thermal systems, which convert sunlight to heat water, cost on average £4,000 and will save approximately 10% on your gas bills. Remember, this is just an estimate but the exact price will depend on many factors.
It is also important that you take the decision of investing in solar energy not only based on price. You should take into account that solar panels that are connected to the grid will actually pay back after approximately 8-10 years and after that, you will make money out of them. Moreover, by investing in solar energy you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping mitigate the climate change.
Are There Grants For Solar Energy in London?
The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) was the most popular government scheme aiming at attracting a wider audience to invest in renewable technologies. The FiT meant that you would get a set amount of money for each unit of electricity you generate, say with your solar panel installation. The rate of the tariff depended on:
- The size of your system.
- The technology you have installed.
- When you have installed it.
- Who has installed it (you need a certified installer to be eligible for the tariff).
Those that signed up for the FIT scheme will receive payments from their energy supplier for the electricity generated, whether they use it themselves, or if they sell it back to the grid. The scheme has now closed, but those that registered before the closure will still benefit from payments for 20 years in total.
There is also the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a scheme that promotes the use of renewable sources of energy to generate heat. The scheme applies for solar thermal, meaning that if you decide to invest in such a technology, you can apply for a grant. Then the RHI tariff will pay you for 20 years (on a quarterly basis) for each unit of renewable heat that you produce. There is Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI and there are some conditions you need to meet in each case to be eligible for the programme.
How Can I Find a Solar Supplier in London?
Finding the right solar supplier can eat up a lot of your time. Moreover, since the required investment is quite significant, you want to make a good purchase which will make you happy during the entire lifespan of the solar system. Therefore, you should compare different suppliers and their respective options and make sure that you pick a reliable and certified supplier.
GreenMatch.co.uk is here to help. You can fill the contact form at the top of this page and you will be contacted by up to four professional solar installers with their best offers to suit your particular needs. Our no obligation service is 100% free of charge!