The Government does not offer grants for solar panels, but instead pays you for the energy that you produce through what’s called a Feed-in tariff.
However, the government cut the Feed-in tariff for solar panels by close to 87% in January 2016.
All solar installations approved before January 2016 were still guaranteed that current rate for 20 years.
Solar panels allow you to earn money in the following three ways:
- Feed-in tariff rate – 4.14p/kWh and 4.36p/kWh [through to 30 June 2017] The Government pays you for the electricity that you generate and use, which can work out to about £450 – £500 per year for an average 4kW solar power system. The Feed-in tariff is tax-free and guaranteed for 20 years and it is adjusted to keep track with inflation.
- Sell the energy you don’t use back to the national grid As of February 8, 2016, if you use a certified installer your export tariff will be 4.85p per unit of electricity. If your export is above 30kW, you will need an export meter. That energy is sold back to the national grid and could earn you roughly £80 – £90 a year.
- Save on electricity bills The electricity that you use when your panels are operating is free, so you will also save money on your electricity bills. This should also save you about £100 – £135 a year. You will also be protecting yourself against rising electricity costs.
Note: According to the Dept of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), the price of electricity has risen faster than the consumer price inflation and is 20% above inflation since 2007. Estimates for continued energy price inflation is approximately 7 – 10% per year.
Read more about the feed-in tariffs here.