British Gas to offer free solar panels to homeowners
By Rob Hull on August 25, 2010
British Gas has become the latest energy firm to offer installation of solar panels to UK homeowners with no up-front fee.
The move is part of the British Gas mySolar Energy pilot scheme which gives consumers the choice of either paying for solar PV panels themselves and reaping the financial benefits through the Feed-in Tariff, or having the panels installed for free and paying British Gas the cost back through the savings the household makes through the new tariff.
According to research carried out by the leading utilities company, Britain’s homes could earn between £600 and £1,000 a year from installing solar panels.
The firm went on to suggest that, with the savings made on bills and the payments through the Feed-in Tariff, the 12 million homes with a roof suitable for solar installation could collectively earn a total of £7bn a year. With these earnings forecast, British Gas has predicted one quarter of British households will make the switch to small-scale self-sufficient microgeneration systems.
And the mySolar Energy scheme is a new tactic to encourage the switch.
Through the scheme, households will receive a full installation service from the assessment of the home, installing the panel(s) and providing the homeowner with a Certificate of Expected Panel Performance.
Jon Kimber, Managing Director of British Gas New Energy, said, “Solar power will revolutionise the way British homes generate and use energy.
“British Gas, the largest energy supplier in the UK, is leading the way, helping our customers reap the benefits of this technology to cut their electricity bills, reduce their carbon footprint and earn a yearly income.
“British Gas is already one of the largest installers of solar panels in the UK, and we intend to be the leading player in this sector.”
Also helping push the new scheme is financial expert and broadcaster, Jasmine Birtles.
She said: “Installing solar panels will create a regular, tax-free income for homeowners. Not only that, but the income is index-linked and guaranteed by the Government for the next 25 years.
“As it typically gives returns of five to eight per cent, it’s potentially far better than most current bond or gilt investments.
“It is also a great way to keep your electricity bills down. It seems like a win-win situation to me!”
Published by Rob Hull on August 25th, 2010