Tarven Final Logo RGB
020 8087 0216

Contact us today

Business Grants for Solar Panels

In today’s eco-conscious market, businesses are increasingly opting for solar energy solutions. The use of solar power not only reduces their carbon footprint but also cuts down on operational costs. Understanding the financial aid available can significantly ease the transition. Grants for business solar installations and other UK government grants for solar energy are designed to support this shift. These grants provide substantial support in terms of funding schemes, like solar panel grants and renewable energy grants for businesses. Businesses looking to harness solar power can benefit from various incentives, including financial assistance for commercial solar projects and green energy grants. It is essential for UK companies to be aware of the eligibility criteria, application processes, and best practices to fully leverage these opportunities for sustainable growth.

Exploring UK Government Grants for Solar Energy

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) 

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) was launched in the UK on January 1, 2020. It aims to promote investment in small-scale, low-carbon electricity generation, with a strong focus on solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric systems. Managed by energy suppliers, the SEG requires those with over 150,000 customers to offer tariffs, rewarding customers who generate surplus electricity and feed it back into the grid. With varying rates and no set end date, it is essential for businesses to stay informed about the best deals available, making the SEG a significant driver for investing in solar energy. 

Financial Incentives Through SEG

While the SEG does not directly provide grants for installing solar panels, it does offer financial incentives. Businesses generating extra electricity can earn payments for the surplus energy exported back to the grid. This system not only helps in cutting electricity costs but also supports the UK’s transition towards a more sustainable, low-carbon economy. 

Eligibility and Application Process for SEG

Businesses interested in benefiting from the SEG should ensure their systems do not exceed a 5MW capacity, with micro-CHP systems capped at 50kW. A smart meter is essential to measure exported electricity. To engage with the SEG, one must register with an SEG licensee who will manage the payment for exported energy. 

How to Apply: 

  1. Choose an SEG-licensed electricity supplier: Verify that your supplier is authorised to offer SEG by checking Ofgem’s list of licensed suppliers. 
  2. Install an eligible system: Your solar panels must meet specific standards, including installation by a certified Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installer. 
  3. Register with your supplier: After installation, register your system to start the SEG process. 
  4. Negotiate your tariff rate: Discuss and agree on a tariff rate with your supplier for the surplus energy you will export. 
  5. Start exporting energy: With everything in place, you can begin exporting surplus energy and receiving payments. 

Best Practices for Utilising Solar Grants

When applying for solar panel grants or participating in schemes like the SEG, businesses should: 

  • Assess eligibility criteria thoroughly: Ensure that all prerequisites are met before applying to avoid any setbacks. 
  • Seek multiple quotes: This is crucial for finding the best equipment and installation deals. 
  • Stay updated on changes: Government incentives can change, so keeping informed will help maximise benefits. 

Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) 2024

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) 2024 offers a promising opportunity for businesses looking to invest in solar technology. This comprehensive initiative aims to support the agricultural sector by providing grants of up to £50,000. The key objective of the FETF 2024 is to enhance productivity while also promoting environmental sustainability. 

Eligibility For These Grants Is Determined Based on Several Criteria:

  • The potential for improving productivity 
  • The environmental benefits of the proposed technology 
  • The technology’s adoption rate within the industry 
Climate Change Agreements (CCAs)

Understanding Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) for Businesses 

Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) are a cornerstone of the UK’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy efficiency among high-energy industries. These voluntary arrangements between the UK government and industries aim to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. In exchange for meeting agreed-upon efficiency targets, participating businesses receive a significant reduction in the Climate Change Levy (CCL), a tax imposed on energy delivered to non-domestic users. 

Key Features of CCAs 

  • Target Setting: Each CCA sets specific energy efficiency or carbon reduction targets that a business commits to achieving. 
  • Duration: Typically, these agreements span a fixed period, during which companies must periodically report their progress. 
  • Certification and Monitoring: The Environment Agency administers the scheme, ensuring compliance and certifying achievements towards the targets. 


Benefits of Participating in a CCA 

  1. Reduced Energy Costs: Businesses can significantly lower their operational costs by improving energy efficiency and reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources. 
  2. Tax Incentives: A discount on the Climate Change Levy provides direct financial savings, making investments in technologies like solar panels more viable. 
  3. Enhanced Reputation: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability can strengthen stakeholder relationships and improve a business’s public image. 
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Participation in a CCA helps companies to stay ahead of regulatory changes and prepare for stricter future environmental legislation. 

How Solar Panels Fit into CCAs 

Solar panels play a significant role in achieving the targets set out in CCAs. By installing solar panels, businesses can: 

  • Reduce Carbon Emissions: Solar power is a clean energy source that directly replaces energy that would otherwise be sourced from fossil fuels. 
  • Exceed CCA Targets: Excess energy production from solar panels can sometimes be fed back into the grid, potentially allowing businesses to exceed their CCA targets and achieve more significant tax reductions. 
  • Long-Term Sustainability: Solar installations contribute to long-term sustainability goals, providing energy security and price stability. 

Other Ways to Help in Solar Power Funding

VAT Free Periods 

VAT-Free Period for Solar Panels

The UK government’s introduction of a VAT-free period for installing solar panels and other renewable energy systems offers a significant incentive for businesses. This initiative, which began in April 2022 and extends until 2027, reduces the VAT on such installations to 0% from the standard rate previously set at 5%. This reduction aims to encourage businesses to adopt renewable energy solutions and enhance their energy efficiency. 

Key Benefits for Businesses

Substantial Cost Savings: The removal of VAT on solar panel installations directly reduces upfront costs. This can translate into considerable financial savings for businesses, especially for larger installations typical in commercial settings. 

Enhanced Corporate Responsibility: By investing in renewable energy, businesses not only benefit financially but also boost their corporate social responsibility profile. Adopting green technologies can improve a company’s image as an environmentally conscious organisation, appealing to customers, investors, and stakeholders who prioritise sustainability. 

Long-Term Energy Cost Reduction: Solar panels significantly reduce energy bills over time. Businesses, which often have higher energy needs than residential users, can achieve substantial long-term savings and a faster return on investment.

Eligibility Considerations for Businesses

To qualify for the 0% VAT rate during this period, businesses must meet specific criteria: 

  • Property Type: The installation must occur on properties categorised under commercial use. 
  • Compliance with Energy Efficiency: The installation should be part of a broader effort to improve energy efficiency within the business premises.

Businesses interested in taking advantage of this VAT reduction should consult with professional installers who can confirm eligibility and ensure that all requirements are met. 

How Businesses Can Maximise This Opportunity

  • Detailed Planning and Professional Consultation: Engaging with energy consultants and professional installers can provide businesses with a tailored plan that maximises solar panels’ financial and environmental benefits. 
  • Comparative Analysis: Obtaining and comparing multiple quotes from different suppliers ensures that businesses can find the most cost-effective installation options. 
  • Leveraging Additional Incentives: Businesses should also consider other available grants and incentives, such as the Smart Export Guarantee, which compensates for surplus energy fed back into the grid, adding another layer of financial benefit.

Location Specific Grants and Funding Opportunities

Birmingham - The Net Zero Grant Programme

In Birmingham, the Net Zero Grant Programme targets small to medium-sized enterprises within the Birmingham City Council or Solihull Borough areas. This grant offers up to £100,000 for energy and resource efficiency enhancements, including installing solar panels at business properties. This is a significant opportunity for businesses aiming to achieve sustainability goals. 

Lancashire - Chamber Low Carbon Grant

Lancashire businesses, except those in Blackpool, can leverage the Chamber Low Carbon Grant to support the adoption of green practices. This initiative provides comprehensive assistance through UK government-backed programs, focusing on achieving net zero targets and integrating low-carbon technologies into business operations, thus promoting environmental sustainability. 

Derby - The Peak Innovation SME Innovation Grant

Derby’s Peak Innovation SME Innovation Grant encourages small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in innovative practices that boost growth. With grants ranging from £1,000 to £10,000, businesses can adopt energy-efficient and low-carbon technologies, enhance productivity, and expand their market reach through exports, fostering economic and environmental development. 

The West Kent Green Business Grant Scheme

Kent offers the West Kent Green Business Grant Scheme to businesses in the Sevenoaks District, aiming to advance their environmental projects. Available from January 23, 2024, to March 13, 2024, the scheme covers up to 40% of project costs, with grants between £5,000 and £8,000, promoting significant environmental improvements. 

Norfolk and Suffolk - New Anglia's Business Transition to Net Zero Grant

In Norfolk and Suffolk, the New Anglia Grant helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint while boosting productivity. Grants range from £25,000 to £100,000, enabling significant strides towards sustainability and economic advancement within the local business community. 

Suffolk - Net Zero Innovation Fund

Suffolk’s ambitious Net Zero Innovation Fund offers £1,000k in grants to foster innovative solutions aimed at achieving the county’s net zero goals. This fund encourages local enterprises to develop and implement groundbreaking technologies and processes that contribute to environmental sustainability. 

Nottingham, Rushcliffe - Rushcliffe Accelerator

The Rushcliffe Accelerator supports businesses across the Rushcliffe district until March 31, 2025. It offers grants and other assistance to help companies grow, improve efficiency, and sustainably plan for the future, contributing to the district’s economic vitality and environmental goals. 

East Midlands - The Accelerator Project

The East Midlands’ Accelerator project aids businesses throughout the region in starting, sustaining, growing, and innovating through fully funded, tailored support. Funded by the UK Government and East Midlands Chamber, it provides strategic assistance that has a lasting impact on business operations and regional economic health. 

Somerset - North Somerset Council's Net Zero Business Grants Programme

In Somerset, the North Somerset Council offers up to £30,000 in capital grants for businesses to install renewable energy solutions and improve energy efficiency. Targeting SMEs and Community Interest Companies in North Somerset, this program supports local businesses in becoming more environmentally friendly and economically sustainable.