All Solar Panel Grants and Schemes in the UK 2022

The recurring query, “Are solar panels worth it in the UK in 2022?” will be addressed in this article. The viability of the ECO4 makes the answer a resounding “yes” this year (Energy Company Obligation Scheme)

 Benefits:

  • Solar energy systems can cut your energy costs by up to 70%.
  • The ECO4 program allows the least energy-efficient homes to save up to £1,600 a year!
  • Energy expenses for the typical home will climb by £1,578 a year starting in October 2022, therefore now is the perfect time to switch to solar and take advantage of grants!
  • The government provided £4 billion through the ECO4 Scheme for the installation of heat pumps and solar panels around the UK. The government is also allowing local councils to choose the eligibility requirements in accordance with the demands and unique conditions of the local populace.
  • This is a significant accomplishment because, in the past, many applicants for funds didn't fit the strict requirements. With ECO4, eligibility is significant in that it isn't merely restricted to households with income or those receiving welfare. But can be adjusted for factors like the number of occupants, the house's condition, the age, and health of the residents, etc.
  • Therefore, there is a significantly higher likelihood of actually receiving a solar panel grant between 2022 and 2026. This is supported by the fact that in March 2022, during the energy price crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak declared that the VAT for solar panels had been reduced to 0% for a 5-year term!

Latest news: VAT on solar panels is scrapped until 2027!

Energy prices in April 2022 caused inflation in Europe to reach levels not seen in more than 40 years! Energy prices account for more than 40% of this inflationary rise.

The UK government announced a reduction of the current 5% VAT refund on energy-saving measures (such as solar panels, heat pumps) to 0% to aid homeowners in lowering energy costs and improving energy efficiency. A typical household equipped with rooftop solar panels, according to the UK government, will save £300 annually in energy expenditures in addition to more than £1,000 in total installation costs.

When the VAT-free term expires in March 2027, the rate will go back to being 5%. By comparing solar panel prices, you may start saving the most money if you want to get a head start before it's too late.

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What Solar Panel Funding is Available in the UK?

Since many years ago, the UK government has prioritized encouraging the use of renewable energy sources. By 2030, all EU members must achieve a 32% renewable energy target, according to the EU's Renewable Energy Directive. The UK has been working toward that objective since additional programs and incentives are being added in the renewable energy sector as a way to advance in this direction.

New purchasers do not need to fear because this trend was accompanied by a drop in solar panel prices. Although there aren't any grants in the conventional sense, there are ways to finance solar panels in the UK. The Smart Export Guarantee is the only programme currently accepting new applicants (SEG).

Overall, there are six notable incentives for solar panels in the UK that will be covered in this guide:

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Available solar panel grants in the UK as of September 2022


ECO4 Scheme

From April 1, 2022, to March 1, 2026, ECO4 (Energy Company Obligation) took the place of ECO3. To raise the energy efficiency of UK households and lower carbon emissions, the government has budgeted 4 billion pounds, or 1 billion over 4 years. Because to LA Flex or flexible eligibility, ECO4 differs from ECO3 in that more people will be able to qualify. The programme went into effect on July 27, 2022, although qualified measures installed between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2026, and are eligible for ECO4.


Benefits of ECO4 Scheme

Low-income households can use ECO4 to upgrade their inefficient heating system to a more effective and sustainable system, like solar PV panels.

According to estimates, the ECO4 will update over 450,000 residences, largely to EPC band C. The typical household energy cost will be reduced by about £290 for qualified households. Nevertheless, this might save as much as £1,600 a year for the least energy-efficient households.

Eligibility

Low-income, fuel-poor, and vulnerable households receiving benefits are eligible for the ECO4 programme. Your home must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to qualify for solar PV panels:

  • Now use a heating system that is inefficient and falls within the D-G energy efficiency range.
  • Own your home and reside there, or rent a private residence.
  • Government benefits are not available for all-electric (on and off-gas) residences when biomass boilers or the District Heat Network are used (e.g. child benefits or income support)
  • If you are low-income but not currently receiving benefits, you might still be eligible for ECO4 under the ECO4 LA Flex.

LA Flex offers councils the freedom to choose the eligibility requirements for their region; these requirements are no longer restricted to benefit eligibility or even to income levels; instead, they can be customized to the local population's needs (e.g., age, number of occupants, number of children, condition of the house, etc.). As a result, more UK residents will be eligible for incentives for solar panels.

How to Apply for ECO4 Scheme

  • Simply get in touch with a participating energy supply if you're interested in the ECO4 programme and wish to apply. They will then do a telephone assessment by getting information from you regarding your house and your heating requirements. The installer can then visit your home to determine whether it qualifies for ECO4 and which energy-saving improvement would be most appropriate.
  • It's crucial to note that selecting the appropriate panels is the key to maximizing savings through solar panel funding before going on to the other awards offered in the UK. Grants shouldn't be applied to subpar panels or panels that are the wrong match for your house.
  • For best effectiveness, the appropriate panels are created specifically for your home's energy-saving requirements and characteristics. Customized panels can reduce yearly energy costs in the UK by nearly 70%!

Maximize savings through grants by comparing up to 4 tailor-made solar systems available near you.


Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

Since its implementation on January 1st, 2020, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) has been in force. It makes it possible for tiny, low-carbon power plants to be compensated for any extra energy they export to the grid.

All licensed providers are now required to provide their clients with an export tariff, even though this is not a direct government grant. Suppliers with more than 150,000 clients must offer a tariff; those with fewer clients may choose to participate freely.

This incentive makes solar panels a great type of green home improvement project.


Benefits of Smart Export Guarantee

You can compare SEG Licensees as a SEG Generator to discover who gives the best pricing per kWh that is transmitted. The contract's duration and price are up to you to decide. The price per kWh will typically be in the 1p to 7.5p range. You can select any SEG Licensee, including one that is not your power provider, so shopping around for the greatest price will result in the best deal for you.

At the current SEG rate of 7.5p per kWh, the typical owner of a three-bedroom house with a 3.5 kWh solar panel installation will make £112 per year.

Eligibility

Under the SEG, any households with conventional solar panel installations (up to 5MW capacity) are eligible. A smart meter must also be installed in the home in order to quantify exports. Additionally, certain energy providers only provide energy exported from certain solar battery storage systems at unique rates.


How to Apply for Smart Export Guarantee

  • To become a SEG Generator, you must search for a SEG Licensee (an electricity provider permitted to provide a SEG rate) and submit an application directly to them. All SEG Licensees are required to provide all eligible generators with a SEG tariff. However, each one will have a distinct application procedure that you must adhere to.

  • You must first lock in an energy-efficient, custom-made panel before you can begin submitting SEG tariff applications. That meets the needs of your house. This will guarantee that you are beginning to save right away. Since you don't want to apply grants to panels that seem to be poor quality or the wrong fit for your house.

  • You can save time and effort by using UtilityKing to quickly find the finest solar panel offers for your home and household. You can use the time to get ready to apply solar panel grants and advantages to your just installed solar system, rather than spending it on calling several installers to explain your heating system scenario.


Reduced VAT for Energy-Saving Products

Homes in the UK will now enjoy zero VAT on the purchase of materials and their installation as of April 2022.


The VAT-free period expires after five years, and the rate then goes back to 5%. Thus, the elimination of the VAT in addition to the grants for solar panels puts every householder one step closer to obtaining renewable energy sources than ever before.


Benefits of 0% VAT

The average household with rooftop solar panels will save more than £1,000 on installation and £300 yearly on their energy bills as a result of the repeal of the 5% VAT on renewables, which was already a relatively low rate.

Along with solar panels, other energy-saving products like heat pumps, biomass boilers, insulation, and more are also eligible for the 0% VAT.


Eligibility

automate device The permanent elimination of particular eligibility requirements that previously applied to the 5% reduced rate is another positive development for the new zero VAT regulations. To get all the information, visit the government website. If you want to take advantage of a 0% VAT rate, your house and any new installations must satisfy a few standards.

  • Must involve both the installation and the product, which must be completed simultaneously.

  • Although other products or services (such as insulation) can be installed concurrently, the energy-saving materials must account for the majority of the labor.


How to Apply for 0% VAT?

Your installer will automatically apply the 0% VAT if the installation and energy-saving component qualify. As a result, there is no application process required.



Recently Expired: Domestic RHI

On March 31, 2022, all existing applications for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) were closed. Homes might save as much as £2,981 on solar thermal panels through the RHI. Later, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme took its place (BUS). BUS is not meant for solar panel upgrades; rather, it is meant for switching to heat pumps and biomass boilers.

You can save up to £2,981 on solar thermal panels by using the Domestic RHI. Solar thermal, in contrast to solar PV, doesn't produce electricity but has two key benefits. They heat your water using solar energy, which may then be provided to your faucets and showers, as well as used as a wet central heating system.

Since household solar thermal panels typically cost around £4,000, you will receive domestic RHI payments over a 7-year period that should allow you to recuperate the majority of the installation costs.

The property must first get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which is necessary for the RHI application and evaluates the property's current energy efficiency and potential for improvement.


Recently Expired: Feed-In Tariff (FIT)

Initiated in 2010, the Feed-in Tariff operated well for several years. Those who are now registered will continue to get benefits from the FIT scheme, even though it stopped accepting new applications in 2019.

For each unit (kilowatt per hour) of electricity they produce and for any excess energy they sell back to the grid, participants in this programme receive a certain amount of money.

The precise sum received varies according to the system's size, kind of technology, and date of installation. With the payments lasting a total of 20 years from the date of registration, the initial investment's payback period is cut in half.

After selecting a licensed installer, you had the option of choosing to either receive payment from your energy provider or from a list of registered suppliers. There are two categories of payments:

The Generation Tariff, which is based on the aforementioned variables, is a fixed percentage of all energy produced and consumed. Depending on the system size, the price per kWh/h ranges from 6.38p to 13.88p;

The extra electricity you sell, for which you will receive 4.77p per unit, is subject to the export tariff. Half of the entire amount of energy you create can be sold.


Recently Expired: Free Solar Panel Scheme

In the past, you could get solar panels for free from companies that would rent your roof space for up to 25 years if you couldn't afford to buy them. With this plan, a business would offer to give away solar panels and handle installation and maintenance at no cost in exchange for Feed-in Tariff (FIT) payments.

As an alternative, a programme known as “solar buyback” has emerged. Under this programme, businesses offer homeowners a large sum up front in exchange for collecting the FIT payments the homeowners would have otherwise received. To decide if this repurchase programme would be worthwhile, you must weigh an offer like this against the overall FIT payments you would receive.


Is UK Solar Panel Funding Legitimate?

Yes, it is the answer. The bulk of the cost of solar panel installation may be recovered via ECO4. If you qualify as a homeowner, you may also be able to recover the cost of other energy-saving improvements like insulation. Additionally, you may make money by using your solar panels to produce extra electricity thanks to the Smart Export Guarantee.

It's crucial to keep up with grants if you want to maximize your savings. Regularly updated articles on UtilityKing reflect the most recent governmental pronouncements and examine solar panel financing.

Additionally, it's crucial that you apply for awards to the correct panels. Getting a grant for a panel that is subpar or inappropriate for your home is pointless. The proper panel is produced specifically for your home's needs, and we make it simple for you to reach an informed selection by evaluating up to 4 locally made custom options.

On the government's website, you can discover more details about the various energy incentives, including all the information you need about grants for solar-related equipment as well as grants for other renewables like heat pumps and boilers.

If you decide to invest in solar energy or other clean energy sources after gathering the necessary data, UtilityKing can assist you in getting up to 4 free, non-binding estimates for solar panels, heat pumps, and boilers.

We can help you by utilizing our network of dependable solar panel installers to help save you time and effort instead of having to call around to different installers to compare pricing. To get started, simply click the button below and provide some information regarding your heating requirements. We'll handle the rest for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a grant for solar panels?

Yes, you may receive a grant for solar panels in the UK to save your energy costs by up to £1,000 a year, or perhaps receive a solar PV panel system for free. Currently, there are three solar panels financing alternatives that you can be eligible for.

Can you still get free solar panels?

Through the ECO4 Scheme, it is possible to receive free solar panels, but you must meet certain requirements, such as income and benefits. Other free solar panel awards have existed in the past, but they have since ended.

How much do solar panels cost in the UK in 2022?

The typical household will pay between £6,000 and £8,000 for a 4kW system. There are various incentives available to assist homeowners reap the benefits of their investment sooner. They can either help you cover a portion of the upfront costs of solar panels or help you make money from the electricity you generate, depending on which grant or programme you qualify for.

How much money do you get back from solar panels in the UK?

You may make up to 11p per kWh produced by your solar panel system and transmitted back to the electrical grid in the UK thanks to the Smart Export Tariff. Your income is based on the SEG-licensed electricity supplier you use.

As per UtilityKing the best energy suppliers are:

  •  Best overall service | Scottish and Southern Energy.

  •  Best at resolving complaints quickly | EDF.

  •  The largest supplier | British Gas.

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Conclusion:

Now you understand that using the free energy price comparison tool of UtilityKing will not only help you to compare energy suppliers but also bring you the options to select the best electricity provider in your area. UtilityKing is also able to help you with energy switch to ensure that you will get the best energy deals from the cheapest energy supplier.


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