Solar Panel Grants In The UK (2023): Complete Guide
Are you interested in installing solar panels or solar roof tiles in your home but need clarification on the costs and funding options available to you? Solar Guide is here to help, the ultimate resource for homeowners in the UK seeking information on solar panel grants.
At Solar Guide, we understand the importance of making informed decisions regarding your home’s energy needs. That’s why we offer a complete guide to solar panel grants in the UK, including eligibility requirements and application processes. With our help, you can explore various funding options, from government schemes to private grants, and find the best fit for your budget and goals.
But that’s not all – SolarGuide can also help you connect with trusted installers and compare quotes to ensure you get the best deal. You no longer need to spend time and effort searching for installers or risk being overcharged by unreliable contractors again. Whether you’re new to solar panels or an experienced homeowner, our personalised and informative approach can help you make the most of this eco-friendly and cost-saving technology.
So why wait? Learn more about solar panel grants in the UK and take the first step towards a greener future for your home and community. Best of all, our services are completely free and without obligation – so what do you have to lose?
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Which Government Grants For Solar Panels Are Available In The UK?
A great option to lessen your carbon footprint and save money on electricity costs is to install solar panels. However, the initial cost of installation can be daunting for many homeowners.
Fortunately, the UK government offers several grants to help cover the cost of solar panel installation. Let’s take an in-depth look at the government grants currently available in the UK.
Here is a table summarising the available grants, their eligibility requirements, and application deadlines:
|Grant Name||Eligibility Requirements||Application Deadline|
|Home Energy Scotland Programme||You must own your home or have the consent of the owner to install renewable technologies||Started since 2013 – Still open|
|Warmer Homes Scotland||Based on income, and the property’s condition.||September 2015 – Still open|
|Smart Export Guarantee||Homeowners, landlords, and small businesses in the UK||January 1st 2020 - (indefinite)|
|Energy Company Obligation||Low-income households in England, Scotland, and Wales||April 1st 2022 - March 2026|
|Feed-in Tariff||Homeowners and businesses in the UK||Closed (Those registered will continue to benefit)|
|0% VAT||Available to residential properties that are used solely for domestic purposes||April 1 2022 - March 2027|
|Home Upgrade Grant||Low income, absence of a gas connection and EPC (rating between D and G)||April 2023 – March 2025|
|Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund||Must be registered social landlords in England, local authorities, and combined authorities||May opt to deliver till 30 September 2025|
|Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund||Central government departments, local authorities, and other public sector organisations||Phase 3c is ongoing (2023)|
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a scheme that requires energy suppliers to pay homeowners, landlords, and small businesses for the excess electricity generated by their solar panels and exported to the grid. The energy supplier sets the rate paid, and may vary depending on the time of day. The SEG has been in effect since January 2020 and is open to new applicants.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) is a UK-wide scheme that provides funding for energy-efficient improvements to low-income households. The scheme covers a range of improvements, including installing solar panels. It is open to households in England, Scotland, and Wales. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the type of improvement being made, and the scheme is ongoing.
0% VAT scheme: The 0% VAT scheme is a government initiative that allows homeowners to pay no VAT on installing solar panels and other eligible renewable technologies. The scheme applies to new and existing residential properties and is available to homeowners installing eligible renewable technologies such as solar panels. To qualify for the scheme, a registered installer must carry out the installation.
Home Energy Scotland Programme: The Home Energy Scotland Programme provides free, impartial advice on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and financial support for homeowners in Scotland.
The program offers interest-free loans for up to £17,500, with no upper limit for renewable energy properties. The loan can fund solar panels, battery storage, and other renewable technologies. To qualify, you must own your home or have the consent of the owner to install renewable technologies.
Warmer Homes Scotland: Warmer Homes Scotland is a Scottish government initiative that aims to reduce fuel poverty by making homes warmer, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient. The program offers grants of up to £10,000 for measures such as insulation, heating systems, and solar panels for households that meet certain criteria. Eligibility for the program is based on income, health, and the property’s condition.
Home Upgrade Grant: The Home Upgrade Grant is a new government grant scheme that was launched in April 2023. The grant will provide up to £5,000 per household for energy-efficient home improvements, including solar panels, insulation, and heat pumps.
The Home Upgrade Grant is available to households meeting specific criteria, including low income, absence of a gas connection, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating between D and G, and residing within the boundaries of the listed local authority areas.
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund: The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is a government initiative that aims to help social landlords in England decarbonize their properties.
The program offers grants of up to £50,000 per property for measures such as insulation, heating systems, and solar panels. The grants cover up to 75% of the costs of eligible measures, with social landlords contributing the remaining 25%. Eligible applicants must be registered social landlords in England.
Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund: The Public Sector Decarbonisation scheme is a government initiative that aims to help public sector organisations in England decarbonize their buildings.
The program offers grants of up to £1 million per project for measures such as insulation, heating systems, and solar panels. The grants cover up to 100% of the costs of eligible measures. Eligible applicants include central government departments, local authorities, and other public sector organisations.
In the decision, several government grants are available in the UK to help cover the cost of solar panel installation. Each grant has its own eligibility provisions and application deadlines, so it’s important to research and choose the most pleasing one that suits your needs.
With these grants’ help, homeowners can switch to solar energy and enjoy the benefits of a more sustainable and cost-effective home. But remember, renewable heat incentives, green homes grants and feed-in tariff, which are supposed to be among the available government grants in the UK, have expired; however, those who applied for feed-in tariff will continue to benefit.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme is a UK government initiative to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. The scheme started in 2013 and is currently ongoing. Its goal is to provide funding for energy-efficient improvements to low-income households in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The ECO4 scheme requires large energy suppliers to fund energy efficient improvements to eligible households. The scheme is split into three parts, each with its own eligibility requirements:
- Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) – This part of the scheme targets low-income households and those living in fuel poverty. The funding covers improvements to heating systems and insulation.
- Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) – This part of the scheme covers a range of energy-efficient home improvements, including installing solar panels, insulation, and double-glazed windows.
- Local Authority Flexibility (LAF) – This part of the scheme provides funding to local authorities to help them improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock.
To be eligible for the ECO4 scheme, homeowners must meet certain criteria, including receiving certain benefits or having a low income. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the part of the scheme being accessed.
The funding for the ECO4 scheme is provided by energy suppliers, who are required to meet certain targets for energy-efficient improvements. The scheme’s cost is passed on to consumers through their energy bills. Still, the government has implemented measures to ensure that vulnerable households do not bear the brunt of the cost.
The ECO4 scheme has successfully provided funding for energy-efficient improvements to low-income households, reducing carbon emissions and tackling fuel poverty. However, there have been concerns about the scheme’s complexity and the potential for some households to fall through the cracks. So, how can you get the grant? Look out for the next section.
Can I Get A Grant For Solar Panels Via ECO4?
Yes, but to qualify for a grant from ECO4 for solar panels, homes must fulfil specific requirements. These consist of:
- Low-income households: ECO4 is primarily aimed at low-income households. To qualify for a grant for solar panels, your family income must be below a certain threshold. The income threshold varies depending on your household size and the area you live in.
- Receiving certain benefits: You may also be eligible for a grant for solar panels if you receive certain benefits, including Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-related Employment or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Support Allowance.
- Energy efficiency measures: To qualify for a grant for solar panels, your home must also meet certain energy efficiency requirements. This means that you may need to have other energy efficiency measures installed, such as insulation or a new boiler.
So, the eligibility requirements for the ECO4 scheme are complex and can vary depending on the energy company you apply to. However, many energy companies offer support and guidance throughout the application process to help you determine whether you are eligible for a grant for solar panels. But you don’t need to worry about that; SolarGuide is here to help.
You should also know that it’s worth noting that even if you’re not eligible for ECO4 funding, there are other grants and schemes available that can help with the cost of solar panel installations. For example, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) provides payments for surplus energy generated by solar panels.
How To Apply For The ECO4 Scheme
Suppose you meet the eligibility criteria for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme and are interested in applying for funding for solar panels via ECO4. In that case, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the ECO4 application process:
- Find an approved ECO4 supplier: To apply for funding for solar panels via ECO4, you’ll need to find an approved supplier who can carry out the installation. You can search for approved suppliers on the Simple Energy Advice website.
- Get a quote: Once you’ve found an approved supplier, you’ll need to get a quote for the installation cost. The supplier will assess your home and provide a detailed quote based on the size and complexity of the installation.
- Apply for ECO4 funding: Once you have a quote, you can apply for ECO4 funding through your chosen supplier. They will guide you through the application process and provide you with all the crucial paperwork.
- Wait for approval: Once you have presented your application, the energy company will need approval to fund the scheme. This can take a few weeks, so patience is important.
- Schedule the installation: If your application is approved, you must schedule the installation with your approved supplier. They will work with you to find a suitable date and time for the installation to take place.
- Install the solar panels: On the installation day, the approved supplier will install the solar panels and any other necessary equipment. This process can take several hours, depending on the size and complexity of the installation.
- Receive payment: Once the installation is complete, you’ll receive payment for the ECO4 funding. This will be paid directly to your approved supplier, who will deduct the amount from your overall installation cost.
Applying for the ECO4 scheme involves contacting the relevant energy company, arranging for a home assessment, accepting a quote, and having the solar panel installation carried out by an approved installer. So, Solar Guide is here to help you with your patience and persistence; you may be able to secure grant funding for your solar panel installation and enjoy the benefits of renewable energy in your home.
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Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme started in the UK on January 1, 2020, to replace the Feed-in Tariff scheme that ended in 2019. The SEG is an initiative by the UK government to encourage people to invest in small-scale, low-carbon electricity generation, such as solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectricity.
The scheme is administered by energy suppliers obligated to offer tariffs to customers who generate excess electricity from their solar panels and feed it back to the grid.
Under the SEG, energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers must offer at least one tariff to customers with solar panels, paying them for any surplus energy they generate and export back to the grid. The rates offered by suppliers may vary, and customers are advised to shop around to find the best deal that suits their needs.
The SEG has no end date, and the rates offered by suppliers can change every quarter, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on the market to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal. The SEG is a significant incentive for homeowners to invest in solar panels, as it can save them money on their electricity bills and earn them extra income by exporting surplus energy.
Additionally, it helps reduce the carbon footprint of the UK. It supports the country’s transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy.
Can I Get A Solar Panel Grant Via The SEG?
While the SEG does not offer direct solar panel installation grants, it provides homeowners with financial benefits by paying them for their exported electricity.
To be eligible for the SEG, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your solar panels or other renewable energy systems must have a capacity of up to 5MW or up to 50kW for micro-CHP (micro combined heat and power).
- You must have a smart metre installed to measure how much electricity your system generates and exports to the grid.
- You must use an accredited supplier to sell your excess energy to the grid.
However, homeowners must also register with an SEG licensee, who will pay them for their exported electricity.
How To Apply For The Smart Export Guarantee
If you’re interested in applying for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) to get paid for exporting surplus energy back to the grid, here are the steps to follow:
- Choose an SEG-licensed electricity supplier – First, you need to make sure that your electricity supplier (ES) is licensed to offer the SEG. You can find the list of licensed suppliers on Ofgem’s website.
- Install an eligible solar panel system – To be eligible for the SEG, your solar panel system must meet the criteria set out by Ofgem. This includes using an installer certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and ensuring that your panels have a capacity of 5 MW or less.
- Register for the SEG with your supplier – Once you’ve installed your solar panel system, you need to register for the SEG with your licensed electricity supplier. They will then confirm your eligibility and explain the next steps.
- Agree on a tariff rate with your supplier – After registering. Your supplier will offer you a tariff rate for your surplus energy. You can negotiate this rate or choose from their standard rates.
- Export surplus energy to the grid – Once you’ve agreed on a tariff rate, you can start exporting your surplus energy to the grid and receive payments from your supplier.
It’s worth noting that the SEG is a relatively new scheme, and some suppliers may still need to offer it. So, if you’re interested in applying for the SEG, get a quote from Solar Guide.
Other Ways To Aid In Solar Panel Funding
The UK’s government grants for solar energy systems can be an excellent way to lower the upfront cost of buying and installing solar energy systems. However, there are also other ways to aid in solar panel funding. One of these ways is the VAT-free period.
The VAT-free period started in April 2022 and will run till 2027. During this period, the VAT on installing solar panels and other renewable energy products is reduced to 0% instead of the standard 5%. This means that households and businesses can save significant money on the initial purchase and installation of their solar panels.
However, it’s crucial to note that only some are eligible for the VAT-free period. In order to qualify for the 0% VAT rate, certain criteria must be met by both your home and the new installation. Specifically, the installation and its accompanying product must be undertaken in conjunction.
While it is possible to incorporate additional goods and services, such as insulation, during the same period, most of the effort must be devoted to implementing energy-efficient materials. It’s best to check with your supplier or installer to see if you are eligible for the VAT reduction.
So, the best way to save money on the initial purchase of solar panels is to compare quotes from reputable suppliers and installers. SolarGuide is a great resource for this, as it allows you to get multiple quotes from different suppliers and compare them side by side. This can help you find the best deal for your budget and ensure you get the most value for your money.
Remember, it’s free to use our service to find the best solar panels deal, and at no point are you obligated to accept any of the quotes you receive.
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Can I Get Solar Panels For Free From The Government?
In the past, government schemes in the UK offered free solar panel installations to eligible households. However, as of 2021, there are no longer any government grants or schemes that offer completely free solar panels.
However, some options are still available that can help reduce the cost of solar panel installation. For example, as we mentioned earlier, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme can provide financial assistance for low-income households to install energy-efficient measures, including solar panels. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme can also help solar panel owners earn money by exporting excess energy back to the grid.
Expired Solar Panel Subsidies
Solar panel subsidies have been an important tool to encourage homeowners and enterprises to adopt renewable energy. In the UK, several subsidies have helped make solar power more affordable and accessible, but unfortunately, many of these programs have now expired. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these programs.
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was a subsidy scheme that encouraged homeowners to switch to renewable heating systems, such as solar thermal panels or biomass boilers. The scheme ran from April 2014 until March 2022, and during that time, homeowners could receive quarterly payments based on the amount of renewable heat their systems generated.
The amount of money homeowners could save from the RHI varied depending on the size of their property and the type of system they installed, but on average, homeowners could save around £600 a year.
Feed-In Tariff (FIT)
The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) was a scheme that allowed homeowners to earn money for the electricity generated by their solar panels. The scheme ran from April 2010 until March 2019, and those registered could continue to benefit until March 2039. The scheme provided homeowners with three benefits: generation tariff, export tariff, and savings on their energy bills.
The generation tariff was a payment homeowners received for every kWh of electricity they generated. In contrast, the export tariff was a payment for any surplus electricity they exported back to the grid. The savings on energy bills came from homeowners using their own electricity, rather than buying it from the grid.
Free Solar Panel In The UK
The free solar panel scheme was a government initiative that aimed to help homeowners install solar panels on their properties for free that worth £5,000-£11,000. The scheme ran from 2010 until 2019 and was offered to homeowners who met certain criteria, such as having a south-facing roof and living in an area with high solar radiation levels.
Homeowners who qualified for the scheme could have solar panels installed on their property for free. They would then benefit from reduced energy bills and payments for the electricity they generated.
What Solar Panel Incentives Are There in Scotland?
Scotland is setting the bar high for renewable energy, and as an impact, there are many financial advantages for solar panel installation for homes and businesses. Here are some of the incentives available in Scotland:
Community And Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)
The CARES program funds and supports community and locally owned renewable energy projects. It’s available for groups of individuals, businesses, and organisations that are interested in developing renewable energy projects. The funding provided by the CARES program can be used for feasibility studies, planning, and installation costs of renewable energy systems.
Resource Efficient Scotland
The Resource Efficient Scotland program provides free advice, support, and funding for businesses to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. This program is available to businesses of all sizes and sectors in Scotland. The funding provided by the program can be used for renewable energy installations such as solar panels and other energy efficiency measures.
Home Energy Scotland Loan
The Home Energy Scotland Loan is a Scottish Government scheme that provides interest-free loans to homeowners who want to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. This includes the installation of solar panels, as well as other measures such as insulation, double glazing, and more. The loan is available to all homeowners in Scotland, regardless of income or property type.
ECO4 is a UK-wide scheme that provides funding for energy efficiency measures in homes, including installing solar panels. The scheme is available to low-income households and those living in social housing. The ECO4 grant can cover the whole installation cost, making solar panels more affordable to individuals who couldn’t afford them.
In conclusion, investing in solar power or other clean energy sources is a smart decision for both the environment and your wallet. And if you’ve already made that decision, Solar Guide is here to help. Rather than wasting hours of your precious time researching multiple installers and calling them one by one to compare prices, our network of reliable solar panel installers can provide you with up to 4 free, no-obligation quotes for solar panels. All you need to do is take a minute to fill out our simple form.
It’s easy to start – click the link below and answer a few questions about your solar needs. From there, we’ll take care of the rest, saving you time and effort while ensuring you receive competitive quotes from reputable installers. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to switch to sustainable energy – let Solar Guide help you transition today.
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When will solar panels pay for themselves in the UK?
The size of the system, energy demand, geography, and government incentives all have a role in how quickly solar panels in the UK pay for themselves. In the UK, it typically takes solar panels 8 to 10 years to pay for themselves.
Can I get a grant for solar panels?
Yes, you can potentially receive a grant for solar panels in the UK through available grants and incentives offered by local authorities or organisations. It is advisable to check with the latest information from official sources for the most up-to-date options.
In the UK, how long do solar panels last?
Solar panels are designed to be durable and long-lasting. In the UK, most solar panels come with a manufacturer’s warranty of 20 years or more. However, solar panel systems can last for much longer than this, with some systems still operating at full capacity after 30 years or more.
The lifespan of a solar panel system can depend on several factors, including the quality of the components used, the installation process, and the level of maintenance the system receives.
Regular maintenance can prolong the lifespan of a solar panel system, and many installers offer ongoing maintenance services to ensure that the system continues to operate at peak efficiency.