You may or may not be aware of the Government scheme in which homeowners can have free solar panels fitted, thus benefitting from free electricity for their household, and payments for the electricity the panels generate which is fed into the National Grid. Here’s how the scheme works:
- Certain companies, for example – Freetricity, are now able to offer free Solar PV Systems to homeowners due to the recent introduction by the UK Government of the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT).
- This means that you can now generate your own electricity using the free panels, saving you money.
- The scheme also requires any electricity companies to pay households that are generating their own electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar power.
- On top of this you can earn up to £1000 tax free each year under the scheme, as the Government will pay you for every unit produced, whether it is used by your household or passed back to the National Grid, based on a fixed price and it lasts for up to 25 years.
- These payments are in addition to the bill savings made by using the electricity generated by the Solar PV System.
So in a nutshell, you get the panels and installation costs paid for by an authorised company who has signed up to the scheme, the homeowner benefits from the free electricity, plus the two payments by the company who installed the panels, and the Government for the electricity generated, and the company claim the FIT payments from OFGEM. Sound too good to miss out on? Well you might. A court ruling by the Supreme Court on the 26th January overturned the Government’s appeal against reducing the feed-in tariff. This means that the higher rate of 43.3p/kWh will now apply only until 3rd March 2012. So why is this so important? Because solar panels installed after this deadline will not qualify for the higher rate and will drop down to 21.1p/kWh, meaning a 50% drop in profit.
But if you think solar power is an ineffective way of generating electricity, think again. You could produce all of the electricity you need for free by installing solar panels at your home, providing you with significant savings on your energy bills and adding to the value of your home. Here are some facts about solar panels if you need any more convincing to sign up to this scheme:
Solar panels are probably the easiest and most effective way of generating free solar energy and free electricity, without harming the environment. This is because they do not produce any pollutants, are not unslightly or noisy and they are easily fitted to most buildings. They require hardly any maintenance and you get a 25 year warranty and repair guarantee on them, once they are fitted. Contrary to popular belief, solar panels in the UK do produce enough energy to power a typical home. As they rely on light, not heat, even on a cloudy day there is ample light to power them. They work continually throughout the seasons, including winter, to produce electricity as soon as it is daylight.
Most companies are offering free installation of the solar panels but if the tariff changes, this may not be the case anymore so you’ll have to be quick as some installers are now setting a deadline for fitting before the 3rd March. If you want to take part in the Government scheme and want to get in touch with companies that provide the free solar panels, here are some options for you:
Make sure however, that in order to get the feed-in tariff, both the system and the installer should be members of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).