Solar panels and the Green Deal
Launched in October 2012 the Green Deal is a Government scheme which is set to revolutionise Britain’s poorly insulated and ageing housing stock. Through the scheme customers will be able to apply for funding from 28th January 2013 to install energy efficient home improvements including solar panels and other microgeneration technologies.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has estimated that around 14 million homes will be able to benefit from the Green Deal. While the initial focus of the retrofit scheme will be to target those properties in desperate need of a home insulation makeover, customers who embrace the Green Deal will also be able to receive funding to install renewable energy technologies to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes.
Microgeneration technologies are becoming increasingly popular as more and more energy consumers look to generate their own green electricity and heat, not least as a means of tackling rising energy bills. The Green Deal will facilitate the installation of specific technologies and measures and enables work to be carried out at no upfront cost to the customer. Taking in to account the Green Deal ‘Golden Rule’, savings achievable must be equal to or more than the cost of installing the measures. The Green Deal loan is paid off through energy bill savings.
What’s so great about solar energy technologies?
There are two types of solar technologies which can be installed with the Green Deal – solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar thermal hot water systems. While solar thermal panels heat your hot water, solar PV panels will generate electricity for the home and are far and away the most popular type of renewable technology.
A typical solar PV system for your home will be capable of producing around 40% of the electricity a home will use in a year and save in the region of 20% of a home’s annual carbon footprint. Costs to install the technology have come down considerably over the last twelve months. A 2kWp system will cost in the region of £4,000 to £5,000 and for a larger 4kWp system you’re looking somewhere between £7,000 to £8,000 to install. Solar thermal panels are available in two ‘types’, flat plate collectors and evacuated tubes. A slightly cheaper technology, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that it will cost around £4,800 to install a typical solar thermal system. During the warmer summer months solar thermal hot water heating could meet most of your home’s hot water needs, but it will be less during the cold winter season.
Aside from helping to reduce your home’s energy bills and cut your carbon footprint, by installing solar panels you will also be able to benefit financially from Government incentives such as the feed-in tariff (solar PV) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (solar hot water) which were introduced to encourage the uptake of these renewable technologies by paying people to produce their own renewable electricity and heat.
How do I get solar panels under the Green Deal?
Start by registering your interest and get the ball rolling by arranging for a Government approved Green Deal advisor to carry out an assessment of your property. Green Deal assessments are the foundations of the scheme and set out a plan of recommendations that, once completed, will significantly boost a home’s energy efficiency.
How will I pay for my solar PV panels or solar hot water system?
There was a time when renewable energy technologies like solar PV panels were seen as only accessible by the rich. However the cost to install the technology over the last twelve months has dropped significantly and in doing so has enabled more people to install solar than probably would have done so before. Yet while more and more people are embracing the benefits solar energy has to offer, the fact remains that a large number of energy consumers simply do not have the means to fund the cost of an installation.
Up to £10,000 of home improvements can be undertaken and you won’t have to stump up the money. Funding comes courtesy of the Green Deal Finance Company to pay for the upfront installation costs.
So if you want to install solar water heating or solar PV panels to generate your own heat or electricity but don’t have the money to pay for it, the Green Deal is the answer.
The Green Deal scheme is open for business from 28th January 2013.