The renewable energy generated from solar panels has been on the agenda of the UK Government for a long time. Therefore, in September of 2021, they created a £265 million solar energy scheme. Similarly, the Renewable Energy Directive from the EU aims at making 32% of Europe dependent on installing solar panels for energy by 2030.
The plan of eradicating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 has been a driving force for solar panel funding.
Even with the dream of making the UK save on energy bills, the Government has not facilitated the rise of free solar panel grants. Even then, there are numerous incentives that you can harness, like the Feed-in Tariff, the Smart Export Guarantee and more.
Do you want to know about the financial benefits of generating electricity from solar energy? Is it possible to get solar power grants?
This article will help you get familiar with look-alike solar panel grants and schemes that can reduce your energy bills. Read on to find out!
- 1 What are Solar Panel Grants?
- 2 Renewable Energy Sources Available in the UK
- 3 What Happened to The Green Home Grants?
- 4 The Solar Incentives Available in the UK if You Install Solar Panels
- 5 Free Solar Panel Schemes – a Myth?
- 6 The Availability of Solar Panels
- 7 Are Wind Turbines Worth it?
- 8 Summing Up
What are Solar Panel Grants?
Through traditional Government grants, you could hypothetically get free solar panels installed in your home. The Government will financially support the electricity bills generated from the solar PV systems. However, it does seem too good to be true.
Ideally, there are essential solar panel grants, but they do not offer financial support.
The Government has been pushing for solar panel installation in every industrial and residential sector. So, having grants would inspire people to install solar PV panels.
Due to this, they have created some solar panel schemes which will intrigue numerous people. Some of them cater to domestic solar panels, whereas others offer incentives for businesses using solar power. Even then, over the last two years, the extent of these grants in the UK has been scrapped.
In turn, the UK Government reduced the cost of solar panels. One such example would be the discontinuation of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) back in April.
Even Ireland has a Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation funding mechanism, which acts as the Irish FIT.
Renewable Energy Sources Available in the UK
Around 900,000 homes in the UK utilise solar energy as their electricity source. It alludes to the recent developments in the availability and benefits of renewable energy sources. Moreover, the Government’s plan to generate solar power is becoming successful.
Harnessing the sun’s energy will bring down electricity costs and the overall waste of surplus energy. Hence, the Government grants created for enhancing people’s efforts are fruitful.
Even if there is no longer an official Green Homes Grant for solar panels, there are incentives. This way, the British people are encouraged and inspired to get “somewhat” free solar panels. However, the incentives have gone down since 2019 due to the increase in the popularity of solar PV.
As mentioned earlier, the solar panel price is diminishing due to the same. It means that the new users have a decreased upfront cost.
What Happened to The Green Home Grants?
This solar panel grant quoted a £10,000 voucher reward if landlords and homeowners in England worked on having energy-efficient homes.
With this, you could have a good incentive from minimising the excess energy generation. For example, it covered two renovation measures, which you cannot claim if it was already in process before application:
- Primary – Heat pumps, solar thermal, biomass boilers, etc.
- Secondary – Any upgrades to glazing or windows, etc.
You may think that – If this scheme continued, the initial costs to get your solar panels installed would have been levied by the Government. However, it closed in March 2021, and it did not cover solar PV installation.
Instead, it covered the initial investment for solar thermal panels. The Green Home Grants got cancelled due to execution problems, yet giving rise to new such schemes.
The Solar Incentives Available in the UK if You Install Solar Panels
Is there any free solar panel installation scheme available? What are the guarantees?
These two questions may have crossed your mind while looking into the possibility of harnessing renewable energy.
As mentioned earlier, there are no official solar PV panel grants available in the traditional aspect. However, the UK Government has promised to lower energy bills through their alternative schemes. They are:
Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) came into effect on January 1st, 2020. Did you know that the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is the only solar panel funding in development?
Indeed, the solar electricity generated under SEG will offer payments to those supplying to the national grid. Due to this scheme, you can buy solar panels with a promise of generating energy for your purpose and saving money in the long run.
It allows low-carbon electricity generators on a small scale to receive money from surplus energy. Therefore, all the power will go to the grid and, in turn, give you substantial ROI.
The Smart Export Guarantee is not officially or directly a government grant. However, energy suppliers of a solar PV panel need to provide an export tariff. Similarly, homeowners having a 5MW capacity in their solar panels will be eligible for this scheme.
Do you want to harness SEG? Then, you will need to have a smart meter installed in your home that measures the excess energy produced.
Feed-In Tariff (FIT)
The Feed-in Tariff was the oldest scheme for solar panel energy generation, as it was implemented in 2010. However, it closed for new applications two years ago.
Even then, the ones who have already registered with energy suppliers under the Feed-In Tariff scheme will benefit from it.
People who generate electricity through solar panels or wind turbines receive incentives for kilowatt per hour generation. Therefore, the Feed-in Tariff payments covered the energy produced by the solar thermal system. It also paid money for the electricity sent back to the grid via wind turbines or solar panels.
Indeed, it was a great way to save money by generating solar electricity. The funds received will depend on the size of your system and the technology type, along with its age.
In Feed-in Tariff, solar companies will adhere to two payment formats:
Export Tariff – The excess electricity that you can sell. (4.77p/unit) Export tariff can allow you to sell half of the total energy you have produced.
Generation Tariff – It is the fixed amount paid for all the electricity produced. (6.38 to 13.88p for every kWh)
You can ever use the Energy Saving Trust to calculate the amount you will earn from the FIT scheme.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
Do you want to heat your home using solar energy? Then Renewable Heat Incentive would be the best grant for solar thermal panels. This scheme was introduced especially for the industrial sector but got extended for domestic use in 2014.
If you are sure about introducing solar thermal panels to your home, then do them soon as this grant is set to end in March 2022.
You need to install a functional heating system from an energy supplier in your homes to avail of this incentive. Furthermore, the primary purpose of RHI is to allow people to switch to renewable heat technologies.
Some systems covered by the RHI are:
- Solar water heaters
- Pellet stoves
- Biomass boilers
- Solar thermal panels
Due to this, you can minimise the electricity bill and save up on energy while reducing carbon emissions. With this, you will get seven-year support as they offer quarterly payments. However, it would be best to have an EPC assess energy efficiency before applying for RHI.
If you had a Microgeneration Certification Scheme while installing the renewable energy source, then applying for these solar grants in the UK would be easier.
Free Solar Panel Schemes – a Myth?
A few years ago, installing solar panels for people who did not have a budget was the priority of the UK Government. Therefore, you could acquire free solar grants from any energy supplier. This way, you could save money right from the start.
Even so, in exchange for that, you would have had to rent your roof for at least 20 to 25 years. People used to ask themselves – Are solar panels worth that?
Some homes found that free solar panels as opposed to offering their roofs was a good deal. Essentially, you would have allowed the company to sell the energy in turn for some maintenance and installation.
In 2021, such grants are no longer valid. The main reason behind these grants was the expensive nature of solar panels. However, now solar panels have become affordable, and the maintenance cost has also diminished.
So, what are the next best thing? RHI and SEG schemes along with the existing customers of FIT!
The Availability of Solar Panels
Did you know that 4% of all the energy generated in the UK is from solar-powered energy? The energy source is the sun in every type of equipment found in the UK.
The two types of solar panels are:
These panels are made from polycrystalline components that have silicon cells. Moreover, it comprises wiring strips framed in metal and encased in temper glass. Such solar panels can convert light into electricity and goes perfectly on a south-facing roof.
Such kinds of solar panels work on UV rays rather than sunlight. Hence, the energy generation will be diffused due to the absence of the sun. These are great for heating purposes.
Are Wind Turbines Worth it?
Using a wind turbine to generate your own energy is possible. However, in a domestic household, using this to have reduced energy bills will be a hassle. Why? Because of the considerable anatomy and the noise pollution.
In case if you are from the industrial sector, then this could be a possibility. These turbines (6kW) cost £2,000 to a whopping £30,000, depending on the installation process. On the other hand, installing such solar panels will cost £6,000 to £7,000 for an average household.
Hence, people choose solar panels over such problematic endeavours.
Solar panels are a great way to make the world sustainable. Therefore, the Government has done everything in its power to minimise the installation costs by offering incentives for the energy exported per kilowatt-hour.
Numerous households have successfully transferred their energy requirements to solar. However, there are no “free” grants to reduce the initial costs.
Once you have installed solar panels, you can apply for an RHI or SEG scheme to harness the incentives. How do you get paid?
With every extra power you send to the national grid, you will get paid! After reading this article, you are now fully equipped to access all kinds of Government grants on solar-powered energy. Even then, some schemes are getting discontinued, so you better work fast!
Are you ready to introduce sustainable energy in your life?