October 11, 2022

Solar Panels: Funding & Grants in the UK

With the current energy crisis in the UK, it’s no surprise that people are looking for energy-saving improvements for their homes. In this blog, we’re looking at the funding and grants available in the UK for solar panels to help you join the thousands of UK residents already saving on their energy bills

What are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are an assembly of photo-voltaic cells mounted in a framework for installation. Solar panels use sunlight as a source of energy to generate direct current electricity, meaning that you can generate electricity every single day. Many people believe that solar panels need to be in direct sunlight to work, but this is not true.

Solar panels are powered by PV cells that turn sunlight into electricity. The electricity generated from your solar PV system can be used for all electrical appliances in your home.

If you generate more electricity than you use, this surplus energy will be sent to the National Grid. If you’d prefer to store excess electricity, you can do so with a next-generation battery system.

Solar panel home

Solar Panel types

If you’re thinking of installing solar panels, you need to make sure you choose the most appropriate option. There are three main types of solar panels, ranging in price, energy efficiency and lifespan.

Monocrystalline solar panels

This type of solar panel is made using single crystal cells that are rounded off to support the production of electricity. Monocrystalline solar panels are one of the most attractive options on the market, and they also have impressive efficiency levels. Due to this, these panels are one of the higher-priced options on the market.

Polycrystalline solar panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are made from multiple crystal fragments put together, they are a more affordable option, and they do not have quite the same efficiency as monocrystalline solar panels. This option is still reasonably attractive with blue colouring.

Thin Film solar panels

This is the cheapest and least efficient option for generating electricity through solar power. It is still a good option for those wanting to use renewable energy sources, but they would require more roof space to have the same impact as other types of solar panels. A huge benefit of using thin film panels is that they can be created as solar roof tiles, so you don’t have to worry about having panels across your roof.

You can make a decision based on the factors that are important to you and how much roof space you have. You can use our free solar panel estimator tool below to find out your best options.

Don’t worry about which way your roof faces or how much sunlight it gets; a professional will be able to offer valuable advice on solar panels.

Solar Panel Funding Options in the UK

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

Currently, the only solar panel funding scheme in the UK is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme. This is an ongoing scheme that allows those with solar panels to be paid for any unused solar-generated electricity. The energy is then exported back to the National Grid.

The current offering is between 2 and 5.6p per kWh of energy exported. Most homeowners with solar panels installed are able to benefit from the scheme. One requirement is that you must have a smart meter installed so that energy can be accounted for easily.

If you’re unsure whether you could qualify for the SEG scheme, you can speak to a local and trusted installer through our solar panel estimator tool below.

Solar Panel Grants

One solar panel grant the UK Government is currently running is the ECO4 (Energy Company Obligation) scheme which will be in place until 2026. This Government initiative is providing £1 billion each year until 2026 to support the scheme.

The scheme has been altered to ensure that lower-income households have access to their own renewable energy sources. The main focus is on solar PV systems so that more renewable energy can be exported back to the grid. They will also encourage the use of heat pumps to replace old boilers.

The previous ECO scheme, ECO3, meant that fewer people were eligible to qualify for the scheme, which led to a low uptake in residential renewable energy sources, like solar.

Who is eligible for the ECO4 scheme?

The energy efficiency measures available through ECO4 scheme consultation are given via eligibility criteria. If you are on qualifying benefits, and you’re a homeowner or a private tenant, you are likely to be eligible for support from energy suppliers via this scheme from April 2022.

The aim of the ECO4 scheme is to support low-income households, so if you meet the requirements and haven’t already considered it, now is a great time to install solar panels if you’re looking to make some big savings on your energy bills.

Many homes will soon be living in fuel poverty due to rising energy bills, so don’t leave it till it’s too late and accept the help from solar panel grants while it’s available.

To find out how much you could save on your energy bills with solar panels, use our FREE solar estimator tool below. It takes 60 seconds and could save you thousands!

UK Solar Panel Support

Did you know you could benefit from 0% VAT when you purchase and install a renewable energy solution? Running for the next 5 years (beginning April 2022), the government is offering this impressive incentive.

With this removal of VAT, you’re reducing your carbon footprint, saving around £1000 on solar panel installation costs, and you could save thousands on your electricity bills.

If you’re in a position to purchase solar panels for your home, now is the perfect time. Save yourself money now, and you may even be able to make your own money back from the SEG scheme.

Feed In Tariff

The Feed In Tariff is now closed to new applicants, but there’s a chance you may still be able to benefit. (Under the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs), householders receive payments for the electricity generated by eligible installed systems like solar PV). Those who applied before 2019 will still receive the payments as normal. This means that if you move into a property that was enrolled on the Feed In Tariff scheme, you may benefit from the payments.

Unfortunately, this scheme is no longer available to enrol on as it was replaced by the SEG scheme.

What next?

The UK solar market is currently in a great position, with solar panels currently 88% cheaper than they were in 2010. If you’re looking to make energy-efficient improvements to your home, now is the perfect time to buy solar panels, especially with energy prices set to rise further at the end of this year. You’ll save huge amounts of money in the long run and reduce your carbon emissions. There are many benefits of using renewable energy sources, like solar. 

You’re free to switch your energy supplier to save even more money after having your solar PV panels installed.

Solar power is a future-proof way to become more energy efficient and lower your energy bills.

If you think your home would benefit from solar panels, use our free tool below to see how much you could save.