Funding for Solar Panel Grants has changed
Previous to 2010 Solar Panel grants were paid in a grant format but now this has changed to a ‘feed in tariff’ payment for self-use and contribution to the grid. Over the last few years home owners have enjoyed high returns on their investment and a marked reduction in their energy bills. More recently the Government has changed this programme and there have been substantial reductions in the feed in tariff rates. All in all it is generally accepted that you will still get high single figure returns for your capital outlay.
What is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
With the disappearance of Solar Panel Grant type of funding the Government has replaced this with the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) which is due to start in Spring 2014. RHI has three key elements to it. The first part is the installation of a renewable heating system in your property like solar water heating panels. After installation of your solar panels an assessment of how much your renewable system will produce is made. Based on the assessment you will receive a fixed amount for generating your own heating. It is anticipated that any tariffs associated to the RHI programme will remain constant for a fixed term
Solar Panel Grants: A Bright Idea
Even during winter and on cloudy days, the sun still shines. If it didn’t, the UK’s climate would be identical to the climate of the North Pole. This means that even when we aren’t completely aware of it, the sun pumps energy and warmth into the atmosphere and down to the surface of the planet.
A lot of this energy is never used and just goes to waste or is reflected back into space. If winter sees you cursing the cold and the high cost of heating your home, then you might very well wonder if there is any way to harness this energy – anything that cuts the cost of heating your home is an advantage.
Solar energy already does a little towards heating your home. Opening curtains during the day to let sunlight in, followed by closing them at night to trap the heat in, helps you get some extra home heating for free. But that’s not the only way that you can make use of the energy of the sun to make your home more energy efficient and your home heating bill smaller.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are the more familiar type of solar panel. These convert the sun’s energy to electricity, which is then used in your home like electricity from any other source. PV panels can supply up to 40% of the typical energy consumption of the average household. For you, this means a smaller electricity bill. For the planet, it means that less fossil fuel is being burned to power generators. PV panels are used very widely in Europe in countries at similar latitudes to the UK, with Germany being a world leader in the use and installation of PV panels.
The other type of solar panel is the solar water heating panel. This uses the warmth of the sun directly to heat your domestic water supply. Heating water for baths, laundry and washing dishes is one of the biggest components of the average domestic electricity (or gas) bill. This cost can be cut – sometimes almost completely – once a solar water heating panel has been installed.
The government knows that solar panels of both types reduce the UK’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and our dependency on imported fossil fuels. This is why solar panel grants are available through the Affordable Warmth scheme, which aims to reduce power bills and do our bit to cut down on fossil fuels. The scheme targets beneficiaries and those at the lowest income level, meaning that they can afford the improvements that will reduce their power bills.
To find out if you qualify for Affordable Warmth solar panel grants, please fill out our online application form.