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Solar Panel Grants And Incentives In The UK

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Are you considering investing in solar panels for your home or business in the UK? You’re not alone. With growing awareness of environmental issues and the increasing cost-effectiveness of renewable energy, more and more people are turning to solar power as a sustainable solution. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to make the switch thanks to the abundance of grants and incentives available to support your solar journey. There is a wealth of assistance waiting to help you harness the power of the sun and reap the benefits of clean, renewable energy.

Solar Panel Grants And Incentives In The UK

ECO4 Scheme

  • Government allocated £4 billion budget over 4 years (until 2026).
  • UK homeowners now have a better chance of qualifying for this grant as councils decide the eligibility criteria depending on the needs and circumstances of people in the area.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

  • Came into effect in January 2020.
  • Enables homeowners to receive payments for any surplus energy they export back to the grid. 
  • All homeowners with regular solar panel systems (up to 5MW capacity) are eligible.

VAT Reduction

  • 0% on solar panel materials and installation 
  • Applicable for homes in Great Britain until March 2027 – it will then return to 5% VAT.
  • Must buy both installation and solar panel products together.

Before we delve into the details of these schemes, let’s cover the advantages of installing solar panels and their cost in the UK.

The Benefits Of Installing Solar Panels

There are many benefits of incorporating solar panels onto your property. Beyond reducing your carbon footprint, these sleek energy generators have the potential to slash your energy bills significantly and offer savings that could reach remarkable heights. In an era where soaring energy costs are the new normal, investing in solar panels proves to be not just an eco-friendly move, but a financially savvy one too.

The perks don’t stop there. With schemes like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) available, you can even turn your surplus energy into a source of income by feeding it back into the National Grid. It’s a win-win scenario – not only are you reducing your reliance on traditional energy sources, but you’re also reaping the rewards of your eco-conscious efforts.

And forget the notion that solar panels are only viable under constant sunshine. Contrary to popular belief, our quintessentially British weather is actually ideal for solar panels. They thrive on good old-fashioned daylight, meaning they can operate efficiently even on cloudy days.

How expensive are solar panels in the UK?

The price of solar panels varies based on your energy consumption requirements, as well as the number and quality of solar panels you opt for.  

In our experience as installers working in London and the South East, a solar panel system for a typical three-bed house falls within the region of £7,500, meaning you could break even in four to six years depending on your usage.  

Check out our blog on solar panel costs and savings which explains everything you need to know with regards to cost without the use of a grant. It includes three case studies on a small, medium, and large properties to help you budget for your home.

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Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4)

Replacing its predecessor, ECO3, the ECO4 initiative is scheduled to run until March 2026 and packs a punch with a whopping £4 billion injection from the UK government (over 4 years). The goal? To turbocharge the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of low-income households and drive down carbon emissions across the nation. Say goodbye to outdated, inefficient heating systems and hello to eco-friendly alternatives like solar PV panels, all courtesy of ECO4.

Thanks to the introduction of LA Flex, a game-changing addition to the scheme, more individuals than ever are now eligible for the ECO4 solar panel grant.

To qualify for ECO4, you need to tick a few boxes:

  • You must be a homeowner, landlord, or private tenant.
  • Your property should sport an EPC rating of E, F, or G, signalling inefficient electric heating.

You are receiving any of the following benefits:

  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), income-based.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income-related.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Pension Credit.
  • Income Support (IS).
  • Universal Credit (UC).
  • Work Tax Credit (WTC).
  • Warm House Discount Scheme Rebate.
  • Child Tax Credits.
  • Child Benefit (depending on income threshold)

Even if you’re not currently on any of these benefit programs but still find yourself in the low-income bracket, fear not! With LA Flex in the mix, your local council holds the power to assess your eligibility based on various factors like income, age, household size, and more. It’s all about providing tailored solutions to ensure no one gets left in the cold when it comes to energy efficiency.

How Do You Apply For The ECO4 Scheme?

To kickstart your grant application, begin by filling out the ECO4 online eligibility checker. After submission, a certified surveyor will conduct a free assessment of your home to determine if it qualifies for ECO4 and recommend the best measures to implement it. Once the survey is complete, they will schedule the installation of your solar panels at your convenience.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

The SEG allows you to cash in on your surplus solar power, is a game-changer in the world of renewable energy. Since its launch on 1st January 2020, this initiative has been empowering small-scale low-carbon electricity generators to earn money by exporting excess energy back to the grid.

While SEG isn’t a direct government grant, all licensed energy suppliers are now required to offer an export tariff to their customers. Big players with over 150,000 customers have a mandatory obligation, while smaller suppliers can opt in voluntarily. This means you’ve got options and opportunities aplenty to make the most of your solar setup.

So, what’s in it for you? As an SEG Generator, you’ll have the freedom to shop around for different SEG Licensees to find the best price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for your exported energy. You’ll decide what suits you best in terms of contract length and rate. 

SEG isn’t just a green home improvement project – it’s a smart financial move that puts money back in your pocket while helping the planet.

Am I eligible for SEG and how do I apply?

What makes you eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)? If your home generates energy through any of these methods:

  • Solar PV panels
  • Wind
  • Micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP)
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic digestion (AD)

You’ll also need to have a smart reader installed to provide half-hourly export readings.

To become an SEG generator, you’ll need to find a licensee (an electricity supplier offering an SEG tariff) and apply directly to them. Every SEG licensee is required to provide an SEG tariff if you have an eligible solar panel system, but each has its own application process.

Since tariffs can change, it’s wise to shop around for the best deal. You’re not tied to getting your SEG tariff from your current electricity supplier.

0% VAT On Solar

UK households have been enjoying the benefits of the VAT reduction on solar panel installation since April 2022. But this incredible scheme is only available until March 2027, so now’s the time to seize the opportunity!

While the VAT remains at a glorious 0%, families across the nation can pocket over £1,000 in savings just by opting for solar panels plus additional savings each year on their energy bills. That’s money back in your pocket while you make a more sustainable choice for your home.

There’s more to this scheme than just solar panels. It’s a one-stop shop for all things energy-saving, covering essentials like central heating, insulation, heat pumps, and more. 

To qualify for the 0% VAT scheme, your home and solar panel installation need to meet a few requirements. You’ll need to purchase both the installation and solar panel products together and DIY installations are a no-go. While you can bundle in other energy-saving goodies like heat pumps, the majority of the work must focus on energy-saving materials.

If the product costs (excluding VAT) make up less than 60% of the installation cost, you’ll be charged 5% VAT and the standard 20% on the products. But fear not – your installer will handle all the nitty-gritty details, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the VAT savings hassle-free.

Are you ready to invest in a solar panel system? We’d love to chat things through with you. 

Call us today and chat directly with one of our solar panel experts. All our costs are inclusive and completely transparent. We don’t require a deposit either!

Choose us for high-quality solar panel installation or electrical services. Getting started is as simple as contacting us on 020 8087 0216 or sending an email to enquiries@tarvenlimited.co.uk.