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Are you looking for the latest information on solar panel grants UK in 2023/2024? Did you know that solar energy is one of the most eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to power your home or business. But installing solar panels can be a big investment that not everyone in the UK can afford, especially now with the cost-of-living crisis. That’s why there are various government grants and incentives available to homeowners that can help you switch to solar energy without breaking the bank.

In this article, we will show you how you can access these government grants and save money on your solar panel installation. We will also answer some common frequently asked questions that you may have, such as:

  • How much can I save with a solar panel grant?
  • What are the different types of solar panel grants available?
  • How do I know if I am eligible for a solar panel grant?
  • How do I apply for a solar panel grant and what documents do I need?

By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of what UK government grants are available to you and how to get the best deal for your solar panel system installation, so you can start enjoying the benefits of clean, green, renewable energy.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme
  • The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) Scheme
  • The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme
  • Zero VAT (0% VAT) rate on solar panel installations
  • Expired solar panel grants in the UK
  • The average cost of solar panels in the UK
  • FAQs about solar panels and solar grants

Are There Any UK Government Grants For Solar Panels?

Currently in the UK there are several solar panel grants and incentives available for homeowners with the aim of encouraging homeowners to switch to clean, green, renewable energy, which can help you to reduce your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Listed below are the current solar panel grant schemes available in 2023/2024.

UK Solar GrantsRun TimeEligibility RequirementsPotential Savings
Energy Company Obligation 4 (ECO4) scheme including the LA (Local Authority) Flex SchemeApril 2022 – March 2026Homes in England, Scotland, or Wales. Eligibility determined by local council authoritiesUp to 100%
Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2)April 2023 – March 2025Low-income, off-gas grid homes with EPC rating of D, E, F, or GUp to 100%
Solar Together SchemeOngoingHomeowners and renters living in a participating council areaSavings vary (savings of approx.30–35% have been made in previous years)

As well as the solar panel grants above, there are two other solar panels incentives available for UK homeowners at the moment are the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme and 0% VAT on solar panel installations until 31 March 2027 (after that solar panel installations will be charged at a reduced 5% VAT rate). There are several UK government solar panel grants that were available for solar panel installations which have since expired, we have listed these below for your information.

SchemeRun TimeEligibility RequirementsPotential Savings
Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)OngoingHomes with a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate or equivalent document. Solar panel installation must include an export meter and have a maximum capacity of 5kW1p (E) – 24p (Octopus Energy) per kWh of excess electricity produced by solar panels and exported to the National Grid
Zero per cent VAT (0% VAT)April 2022 – March 2027Solar panel purchases and installations made in England, Scotland, and WalesSavings dependent on solar panels cost but will be a saving of £250 on a £5,000 system
Feed-in-Tariff (FiT)Expired 1 April 2019 (Those registered before this date will continue to benefit for the remainder of the 20-year period they signed up for from the date they originally signed up)Owners of solar panels, wind turbines, and micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systemsGeneration Tariff – 6.38p – 13.88p per kWh. Export Tariff – 4.77p per unit
Green Homes GrantExpired 31 March 2021All homeowners in EnglandUp to two-thirds of the total cost (up to £5,000) or up to 100% (maximum of £10,000) for those on qualifying benefits in England
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)Expired 31 March 2021Owners of biomass boilers, heat pumps, and solar thermal collectorsUp to £2,981
Free Solar Panel SchemeExpired March 2019All homeownersEntirely free solar panel system (in exchange for your installer receiving all Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) payments)

Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme (Including LA Flex)

The current UK government Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme Phase 4 (ECO4) which is managed by Ofgem focuses on improving the country’s least energy-efficient homes and is primarily aimed at low-income and vulnerable households. Through the scheme, larger energy suppliers like British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, Octopus Energy, OVO, etc. must provide energy efficiency measures for their UK customers who live in non-energy efficient homes.

The full list of the energy suppliers who are part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme are:

British Gas

E (Gas & Electricity) Ltd

E.ON UK Solutions

Ecotricity

EDF

Octopus Energy

Outfox the Market

OVO

Scottish Power

Shell Energy (formerly First Utility and formerly Hudson)

So Energy (Including ESB Energy)

The Utility Warehouse

  • The Utility Warehouse, Network HQ, 333 Edgware Road, London NW9 6TD
  • Phone: 0333 777 0777
  • Website: https://uw.co.uk/

Utilita Energy Ltd

  • Utilita Energy Limited, Hutwood Court, Bournemouth Road, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh SO53 3QB
  • Phone: 0196 267 9048
  • Email: ECO@Utilita.co.uk
  • Website: www.utilita.co.uk

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has gone through a series of phases in regard to eligibility criteria and the focus of the scheme. ECO4 is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme Phase 4. You could be eligible for the new ECO4 funding if you receive any of the following UK Government benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit

The Child Benefit income threshold to qualify for ECO4 varies depending on how many children you have and whether you’re a single or two-parent household. The follow income thresholds are:

Single-parent Households:

  • One child – £19,900
  • Two children – £24,800
  • Three children – £29,600
  • Four or more children – £34,500

Two-parent Households:

  • One child – £27,500
  • Two children – £32,300
  • Three children – £37,200
  • Four or more children – £42,000

Those claiming additional UK Government Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits, regardless of whether you receive Universal Credit (UC), may also be eligible for the ECO4 scheme.

The ECO4 grant’s focus is primarily on homes occupied by their owners. However, the scheme can also be extended to support energy-inefficient social housing and privately rented properties (this is so long as the property owner or landlord agrees to the sitting tenant applying to the ECO4 scheme, check with the property owner or your landlord before applying).

LA Flex (Local Authority Flexible Eligibility), is an extension of the ECO4 scheme, that allows local authorities to identify households that may not have met the criteria or been eligible under the national criteria for ECO4. Through LA Flex local authorities have the power to decide eligibility for energy efficiency improvement, this is usually based on the following:

  • The household is defined as low-income and is at risk of fuel poverty.
  • The property is hard to heat, often due to poor insulation or lack of a central heating system.
  • The residents are vulnerable in some way, such as being elderly, disabled, or having young children.
  • For private tenants to be eligible for LA Flex, they would need their landlord’s permission.

Those residents who are eligible under the ECO4 or LA Flex scheme could be entitled to up to 100% off their solar panels.

How To Apply For The ECO4 Grant

You can apply directly via your current energy supplier such as British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, Octopus Energy, OVO, etc. or assess your eligibility by filling out the ECO4 scheme eligibility questionnaire here: ECO4 Eligibility Requirements Form v1.0. A surveyor will then evaluate your home and determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels based on the roof orientation, roof pitch, roof location and facing and any roof shading amongst other criteria for installing solar panels.

To learn more about the ECO4 scheme grant application process, we spoke with Mr. Kevin Henney, Director at ECO4 Hub. Mr. Henney has been managing the activities related to the ECO4 grant programme, including grant applications, local authority coordination and client installations for almost two years, so he is in an ideal position to give some advice and tips on what to expect when you apply for an ECO4 grant.

Here are the main takeaways and some advice and tips to help the process go smoothly.

Applying for the grant is easy, provided you avoid these common mistakes

  • Helpful Tip #1: When applying, make sure you have all the necessary documentation to hand. You’ll need your local authority council tax bill, ID, and evidence that the household income is under £31,000 per annum – this can be in the form of a pension statement, three months’ worth of payslips and bank statements or a P60 dated in the last six months. If you are in receipt of benefits, you are required to sign a consent form which is verified by the Energy Saving Trust and provide a copy of a utility bill to confirm your details.
  • Helpful Tip #2: Double check that your full name is spelled correctly at every step of the application process. Mistakes can hold up the process.

Your ECO4 Grant could be approved in under a week

  • Helpful Tip #3: If you’re receiving eligible government benefits, a survey can be arranged with the solar panel installer soon after this is verified. This process could take less than a week.
  • Helpful Tip #4: The Local Authority Flexibility (LA Flex) scheme has different eligibility criteria depending on your local council authority and this could take a few weeks for approval to be granted, depending on your local council.

Your solar panels could, theoretically, be installed within a week

  • Helpful Tip #5: Once your ECO4 grant is awarded and you’re happy with the proposed work, and you have checked all the paperwork, a date will be arranged for the installation with your solar panel installer.

Grants exceeding £80,000 have been awarded for large-scale projects

  • Helpful Tip #6: The amount of money that you could be awarded will vary depending on what work is required to maximise your property’s energy efficiency rating (EPC rating).
  • Helpful Tip #7: The project can involve a single-measure installation, such as a boiler replacement worth £5,000, right up to a comprehensive energy makeover involving internal wall and loft insulation, an air source heat pump and a solar panel installation, with a total value exceeding £80,000.

There’s been a significant increase in ECO4 grant applications this year

In the last year, increasing numbers of UK households are applying for the ECO4 grant. This has been attributed to rises in the cost of living, higher than normal energy prices, and a greater awareness of the ECO4 grant.

How to Get Free Solar Panels with the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2)

If you live in England and meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) that can cover up to 100% of the cost of installing solar panels on your roof.

The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) is a UK government-funded scheme that aims to help low-income households in rural areas improve their energy efficiency rating (EPC Rating) and switch to renewable energy sources. The HUG2 scheme runs from April 2023 to March 2025, and is available in 45 local authorities across England (see the full list of local authorities below).

The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) can be used for various home improvements, such as home insulation, heat pumps, double glazing, solar thermal panels, and heating controls. However, one of the most popular and beneficial options available is solar panels, which can generate clean and free electricity for your home.

According to the latest data from the UK government, 27% of the grants awarded by the HUG2 scheme so far have been for solar panels. On average, a local authority will pay for 87% of the cost of your solar panels, but in many cases this rises to 100% under certain criteria. This means you can get solar panels installed for free or at a very low price under HUG2.

Who Can Apply for the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2)?

To qualify for the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2), you need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Your home must not be connected to the gas grid. This means you rely on other fuels, such as oil, coal, or wood, to heat your home.
  • Your household must have a total gross annual income under £31,000. This includes any UK government benefits or pensions you receive.
  • Your property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating of D, E, F, or G. This means your home is poorly insulated and wastes a lot of energy.

If you’re not sure about your EPC Rating, you can check it online at Find an energy certificate – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) using your postcode, street name and town, or certificate number.

How Much Can You Save with the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2)?

The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) can help you save a lot of money in two ways: by reducing the upfront cost of solar panel installation and by lowering your electricity bills in the long term.

The average cost of installing a solar panel system on a typical three-bedroom house in the UK is around £8,000, but here at NXTGEN Energy we can install 12 solar panels with solar battery storage from just £7,800. However, with the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2), you can expect to pay only £1,000 or less. In some cases, if your meet the criteria, you may not have to pay anything at all to have solar panels installed.

But that’s not all. Solar panels can also help you save money on your electricity bills by generating free power from the sun. Depending on the size and location of your solar PV system, you can expect to cut your electricity bills by 70% on average. Over the next 25 years, the average life span of solar panels, this could add up to savings between £8,000 and £20,000.

That means that you can recoup your initial investment in less than a year and enjoy free electricity for decades to come.

How to Apply for the Home Upgrade Grant?

If you are interested in getting solar panels with the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2), here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Check if your local authority is on the list below. If it is, contact them and ask for more information about the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) Scheme.
  • Fill out an application form and provide proof of your household income and your home EPC Rating. You may also need to get a quote from a certified installer, which as NXTGEN Energy is a MCS Certified Solar PV Installer and MCS Certified Battery Storage Installer we can help you with a completely free no-obligation quote and solar PV system design service that you can send to your local council with your HUG2 Application Form. We are also accredited by HIES, NAPIT and TrustMark and have a 5-Star Rating on Google and an ‘Excellent’ Rating on TrustPilot.
  • Wait for approval from your local authority. They will assess your eligibility and decide how much of the Home Upgrade Grant you can receive.
  • Choose an MCS Certified Installer, like NXTGEN Energy and schedule a date for your solar PV system installation. Make sure they are accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), which ensures quality and safety standards, which NXTGEN Energy are. NXTGEN Energy are both MCS Certified for Solar PV Installations and MCS Certified for Battery Storage Installations.
  • Enjoy your almost free or completely free solar panels and start saving money on your energy bills.

List of Local Authorities Offering the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2)

Here are the 45 local authorities in England that are participating in the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2) scheme:

Basildon Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £1,573,200

Blackpool Council

  • Blackpool Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £41,400,000
  • consortium members: Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Chorley, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre

Bristol City Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £11,393,650
  • consortium members: Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset

Broadland District Council

  • Broadland District Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £3,933,000
  • consortium members: South Norfolk, North Norfolk, Breckland, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Norwich

Calderdale Council

Cambridge City Council

  • Cambridgeshire
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £11,509,200
  • consortium members: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire, South Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £82,313,888
  • consortium members: Bedford, Milton Keynes, Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, Buckinghamshire, Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Tendring, Thurrock, Uttlesford, Hart, Broxbourne, Dacorum, East Hertfordshire, Hertsmere, North Hertfordshire, St Albans, Stevenage, Welwyn Hatfield, Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Havering, Sutton, North Northhamptonshire, West Northamptonshire, Oxford

Cheshire East Council

  • Cheshire East Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £6,210,000
  • consortium members: Cheshire West and Chester

City of York Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £1,242,000.000

Cornwall Council and Council of the Isles of Scilly

Darlington Borough Council

Dartford Borough Council

Devon County Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £13,339,272
  • consortium members: East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, Teignbridge, Torridge, Torbay

Dorset Council

Durham County Council

Eden District Council

Greater London Authority

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £12,006,000
  • consortium members: Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Westminster, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Leeds City Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £15,525,000

Leicester City Council

Lewes District Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £6,230,700
  • consortium members: Eastbourne, Hastings, Rother

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

Midlands Net Zero Hub

Newcastle City Council

North Tyneside Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £621,000

Northumberland County Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £12,420,000

North Yorkshire County Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £14,545,420
  • consortium members: Scarborough, Ryedale, Selby, Hambleton, Harrogate, Craven, Richmondshire

Oxfordshire County Council

  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £6,417,000
  • consortium members: Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, West Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse.

Plymouth City Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £3,376,610

Portsmouth City Council

  • Portsmouth City Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £41,400,000
  • consortium members: Arun, Adur, Basingstoke and Deane, Brighton and Hove, Chichester, Crawley, Croydon, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Horsham, Isle of Wight, Mid Sussex, New Forest, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Rushmoor, Rutland, Southampton, Test Valley, Winchester, Worthing

Rochdale Borough Council

Sedgemoor District Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £8,289,000
  • consortium members: Mendip, Somerset and Taunton, South Somerset

Sevenoaks District Council

Sheffield City Council

Shropshire County Council

Stroud District Council

  • Stroud District Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £6,240,000
  • consortium members: Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, South Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury

Suffolk County Council

  • Suffolk County Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £8,662,000
  • consortium members: Babergh, East Suffolk, Mid Suffolk, West Suffolk, Ipswich

Surrey County Council

  • Surrey County Council
  • HUG2 Funding Available: £12,470,000
  • consortium members: Elmbridge, Epsom, Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley, Woking

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £621,000

Wakefield Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £1,552,500

Walsall Council

Wealden District Council

West Devon Borough Council

  • HUG2 Funding Available: £4,140,000
  • consortium members: South Hams

Wiltshire Council

Don’t miss this opportunity to get free solar panels with the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG2). If your local authority is on the list above, contact them today and find out how you can apply. You will not only save money on your energy bills, but also help the environment by reducing your carbon emissions. It’s a win-win situation for you and the planet. 

Solar Together – The Solar Group Buying Scheme

Solar Together is an initiative that helps homeowners and businesses in the UK to install solar panels and solar battery storage systems in their properties at a lower cost through the Solar Together group buying scheme than if you got a solar PV system installed on your own.

The way Solar Together works is by organising group buying schemes in different local council areas in the UK.

The current local councils who are currently organising group buying schemes with Solar Together are:

  • Bedford
  • Blaby
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Charnwood
  • Elmbridge
  • Epsom and Ewell
  • Guildford
  • Harborough
  • Hinckley and Bosworth
  • Leicester
  • Luton
  • Melton
  • Mole Valley
  • North West Leicestershire
  • Oadby and Wigston
  • Reading
  • Reigate and Banstead
  • Runnymede
  • Slough
  • Spelthorne
  • Surrey
  • Surrey Heath
  • Swindon
  • Tandridge
  • Waverley
  • West Berkshire
  • Wiltshire
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Woking
  • Wokingham

A group buying scheme is a method of purchasing goods or services in bulk, which usually results in a lower price per unit. Anyone who is interested in joining a group buying scheme for solar power can register online for free and without obligation on the Solar Together website at https://solartogether.co.uk/. Solar Together will then invite qualified solar panel installers to participate in an auction, where they will compete to offer the best price and installation service to the registered group.

After the auction, Solar Together will select the winning installer based on various criteria, such as price, quality, and customer satisfaction reviews. Solar Together will then send a personalised offer to each registered participant, based on their specific property details and solar energy needs. The offer will include information such as the size and type of the solar panel system, the installation cost, the expected savings, and the environmental benefits. The participants can then decide whether to accept the offer or not. If they accept, they will sign a contract with the installer and then arrange a date for the installation.

Solar Together aims to make solar power more affordable and accessible for everyone in the UK. By using a group buying scheme, Solar Together can negotiate better prices and terms with the solar energy installers, and pass on the savings to the registered participants. By using solar power, participants can also enjoy lower energy bills, increased energy security, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Solar Together also ensures that the installers are vetted and MCS Certified, and that they deliver high-quality products and services throughout the solar panel installation process.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme

The UK government launched the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme on 1 January 2020 to replace the old Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme requires large energy suppliers like British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, Octopus Energy, OVO, etc. to pay their customers who produce their own green electricity using solar panels or wind turbines.

To be eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, customers need to have a renewable energy system with a capacity of up to 5MW (5,000kW), an export meter to measure how much electricity they send to the National Grid, and a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate issued by an accredited MCS Certified Solar PV Installer like NXTGEN Energy, or a similar document, to prove that their solar PV system meets the quality standards as set by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Customers can also benefit from installing a solar battery storage to store the excess electricity they generate and use it when they need it, but this is not a requirement for the SEG scheme, but NXTGEN Energy are also a MCS Certified Battery Storage installer and only 1 of 10 MCS Certified Battery Storage Installers in Essex.

How To Apply For The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme

To receive Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme payments, you’ll first need to apply directly to an energy supplier which offers a SEG tariff. Energy suppliers who offer tariffs are listed below:

List of Licensees who advised Ofgem that they are SEG Licensees for the fourth SEG year: 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024

Mandatory Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme Licensees

  • British Gas
  • E (Gas & Electricity)
  • E.ON
  • EDF
  • Octopus Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy
  • So Energy
  • The Utility Warehouse
  • Utilita

Voluntary Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme Licensees

  • Pozitive Energy
  • Rebel Energy

Best & Worst SEG Tariffs/SEG Rates out there, as of June 2024.

Energy CompanySEG Tariff NameWho Can Access This SEG TariffSEG rate per kWh 
E.ON NextNext Export Premium PlusE.ON Next customers who have had both solar panels and a battery installed by E.ON after 1/1/202440p(a)
Octopus EnergyIntelligent Octopus FluxOctopus customers who have solar panels and a GivEnergy battery27p(b)
E.ON NextNext Export PremiumE.ON Next customers who have had solar panels installed by E.ON after 1/1/202425p(a)
Octopus EnergyOctopus FluxOctopus customers who have solar panels and a battery21p(c)
Ovo EnergyOvo SEG TariffOvo customers in eligible area who bought solar panels and battery through Ovo20p
Good EnergySolar Savings ExclusiveGood Energy customers in eligible area who have solar panels and battery installed by Good Energy solar installers20p
So EnergySo BrightSo Energy customers who have solar panels and battery installed through So Energy20p(d)
E.ON NextNext Export ExclusiveE.ON Next customers, or non-customers who solar installed by E.ON16.5p
Octopus EnergyOutgoing FixedOctopus customers(e)15p
Ovo EnergyOvo SEG TariffOvo customers in eligible area who bought solar panels through Ovo15p
Scottish PowerSmartGen+Anyone who bought solar panels and/or battery through Scottish Power15p
British GasExport and Earn PlusBritish Gas customers15p
Good EnergySolar SavingsGood Energy customers15p
Scottish PowerSmartGenEveryone12p
Octopus EnergyOutgoing Fixed LiteOctopus customers who have an EV8p
British GasExport and Earn FlexEveryone6.4p
Rebel EnergySEG TariffEveryone6p
EDF EnergyExport Variable ValueEDF customers5.6p
Utility WarehouseUW SEG – BundleUtility Warehouse customers who use three or more Utility Warehouse services5.6p
So EnergySo Export FlexEveryone4.5p
Octopus EnergySEG TariffEveryone 4.1p
Ovo EnergyOvo SEG TariffEveryone 4p
Good Energy Export OnlyEveryone4p
UtilitaUtilita Smart Export GuaranteeEveryone3p
EDF Energy Export VariableEveryone3p
E.ON NextNext ExportEveryone3p
Utility WarehouseUW SEG – StandardEveryone2p
EE SEG January2020v.1Everyone1p
Rates correct in 3 June 2024. (a) Rate fixed for 12 months. (b) Time-of-use tariff, approx. 27p average. Peak rates 4-7pm. (c) Time-of-use tariff, approx. 21p average. Peak rates 4-7pm; low rates 2-5am. (d) Fixed for 12 months; thereafter So Export Flex rate, 4.5p/kWh. (e) Only Octopus Energy customers (not white labels) can benefit from its Outgoing Fixed 15p/kWh rate. White labels include Affect Energy, M&S Energy, London Power and Co-op Energy.

You should note that your current energy supplier does not need to be your Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme tariff supplier – these can be two separate companies. Any suppliers who are part of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme are obliged to offer you a SEG tariff, and this can be either fixed or variable; with the terms and conditions being set by the energy supplier. Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme tariffs can change over time, so be sure to carry out regular checks on whether your SEG tariff is still competitive.

Zero VAT (0% VAT) Rate On Solar Panels

The UK government is currently offering a tax incentive for people who want to install solar panels on their homes or businesses. The tax incentive is called the reduced VAT (Value Added Tax) rate for energy-saving materials and equipment. VAT is a tax that is added to the price of most goods and services in the UK. The current standard VAT rate is 20%, which means that for every £100 you spend, you pay £20 in government tax. However, for some energy-saving materials and equipment, including solar panels, the VAT rate is reduced to 0% until 31 March 2027. This means that you do not pay any VAT on the purchase and installation of solar panels in England, Scotland and Wales. After 31 March 2027 solar panels with be on a reduced 5% VAT rate, so you wont pay 20% VAT on solar panel installations even after 31 March 2027.

The reduced VAT rate for solar panels applies to both domestic and non-domestic customers, as long as they meet certain conditions. For domestic customers, the solar panel system must be installed in a residential property that is used by the customer or their family. For non-domestic customers, the solar panel system must be installed in a building that is used for a charitable purpose or provides residential accommodation. The reduced VAT rate also applies to any ancillary services, such as site surveys, design, planning, delivery, installation, testing, and maintenance of the solar panel system.

The reduced VAT rate for solar panels is one of the ways that the UK government encourages people to switch to clean, green, renewable energy sources and contribute to the fight against climate change. By installing solar panels, you can not only save money on your energy bills, but also help protect the environment and support the green economy.

Other Ways To Fund Solar Panels

There are several other organisations, like banks and building societies, which offer assistance to fund solar panel installations, which focus on mortgage holders specifically.

  • Barclays Greener Homes: Register by 31 January 2024 – First-time claimers with Barclays residential mortgage customers who pay by direct debit £1,000 cashback
  • Lloyds Bank Eco Home Reward: Register by 31 October 2023 – Lloyds Bank mortgage customers get £500 cashback
  • Halifax Green Living Reward: Register by 31 October 2023 – Halifax mortgage customers get £500 cashback
  • Nationwide 0% Green Additional Borrowing: Register now – Current Nationwide mortgage customers must be used for eco home improvements

Barclays Greener Homes

Barclays Greener Homes is a term that refers to various initiatives and products offered by Barclays to help its customers make their homes more energy efficient and reduce their environmental impact. Some of the Barclays Greener Homes initiatives are:

  • Barclays Green Home Mortgages: These are mortgages that reward customers who buy new build homes with an energy efficiency rating of A or B, by charging a lower interest rate compared to a standard mortgage. Customers can save money on their mortgage payments and also benefit from lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Barclays Green Buy-to-Let Mortgages: These are similar to the Barclays Green Home Mortgages, but for customers who buy new build properties to let out. They can also enjoy lower rates on some fixed-term mortgages if the property has an energy efficiency rating of A or B.
  • Greener Home Reward: This is a scheme that allows eligible existing Barclays residential mortgage customers to apply for up to £2,000 to help make selected home energy efficiency-related improvements, such as solar panels, home insulation, or a heat pump. The reward is paid into the customer’s bank account after they submit an invoice from a TrustMark-registered business like NXTGEN Energy that shows the cost and details of the eco home improvements.
  • Hive Thermostat Mini Offer: This is an offer that gives existing Barclays residential mortgage customers 50% off the cost of a Hive Thermostat Mini, Hub and installation. The Hive Thermostat Mini is a smart device that allows customers to control their home heating from their smartphone, wherever they are. It can help them save energy and money by setting schedules and switching their heating on and off remotely, like when they are at work.

These are some of the ways that Barclays is supporting its customers to live a more sustainable lifestyle and contribute to the UK’s transition to a Net Zero economy by 2050. If you are interested in any of these initiatives, you can find out more on the official Barclays’ website at Greener Home Reward | Barclays or you can contact them directly.

Lloyds Bank Eco Home Reward

The Lloyds Bank Eco Home Reward is a scheme that offers cashback to qualifying mortgage customers who make an eligible green home improvement to their property.

The Lloyds Bank Eco Home Reward scheme aims to encourage customers to make their homes more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment and the planet. The cashback amount depends on the type of eco home improvement, and ranges from £500 to £1,000. The scheme is available for customers who apply for a qualifying mortgage between 1 November 2022 and 30 September 2023, and register for the Eco Home Reward before 31 October 2023. The eco home improvement must be completed by a TrustMark-registered business, like NXTGEN Energy, and the customer must claim the cashback by 29 February 2024.

Some of the eligible home improvements are:

  • Air source heat pump or ground source heat pump (£1,000 cashback)
  • Biomass pellet boiler, battery for solar storage, solar panels, solar thermal heating, A-rated double/triple glazing, or secondary glazing (£500 cashback)
  • Cavity wall insulation, flat roof insulation, loft and pitched roof insulation, room in roof insulation, smart air bricks, solid floor insulation, solid wall insulation, or suspended wooden floor insulation (£500 cashback)

The Lloyds Bank Eco Home Reward scheme is part of the Eco Home Hub, which provides information and tips on how to make your home more sustainable and save money on your energy bills. You can also find out about other Eco Home offers, such as the Green Home Mortgages and the Greener Home Reward. If you are interested in applying for the Eco Home Reward or any other Eco Home offer, you can contact Lloyds Bank directly or visit their website at Eco Home Reward | Mortgages | Lloyds Bank for more details.

Halifax Green Living Reward

The Halifax Green Living Reward is a scheme that offers cashback to qualifying mortgage customers who make an eligible green home improvement to their property.

The Halifax Green Living Reward scheme aims to encourage customers to make their homes more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint. The cashback amount depends on the type of home improvement, and ranges from £500 to £1,000. The scheme is available for customers who apply for a qualifying mortgage between 1 November 2022 and 30 September 2023, and register for the Green Living Reward before 31 October 2023. The eco home improvement must be completed by a TrustMark-registered business, like NXTGEN Energy, and the customer must claim the cashback by 29 February 2024.

Some of the eligible home improvements are:

  • Air source heat pump or ground source heat pump (£1,000 cashback)
  • Biomass pellet boiler, battery for solar storage, solar panels, solar thermal heating, A-rated double/triple glazing, or secondary glazing (£500 cashback)
  • Cavity wall insulation, flat roof insulation, loft and pitched roof insulation, room in roof insulation, smart air bricks, solid floor insulation, solid wall insulation, or suspended wooden floor insulation (£500 cashback)

The Halifax Green Living Reward is part of the Green Living Hub, which provides information and tips on how to make your home more sustainable and save money on your energy bills. You can also find out about other Green Living offers, such as the Green Home Mortgages and the Greener Home Reward. If you are interested in applying for the Green Living Reward or any other Green Living offer, you can contact Halifax directly or visit their website at Claim Cashback For Eco Friendly Home Improvements | Halifax for more details.

Nationwide 0% Green Additional Borrowing

The Nationwide 0% Green Additional Borrowing scheme is a new initiative by the Nationwide Building Society to help its existing mortgage members fund their energy-efficient home improvements.

It allows them to borrow an additional amount of money at 0% interest for the first 2 or 5 years, depending on the product they choose.

The 0% interest loan amount ranges from £5,000 to £15,000, and the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio cannot exceed 90%. The entire loan must be spent on eligible green home improvements, such as solar panels, boiler upgrades, loft insulation, or an electric car charging point.

There are no product fees with this scheme, and only one 0% Green Additional Borrowing mortgage is available per property. This scheme is part of Nationwide’s commitment to going green and supporting its members to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills. You can contact Nationwide directly or visit their website at Green Additional Borrowing | Nationwide for more details.

Solar Panel Grants In The UK That Have Now Expired

Several UK government solar panel grants have expired in recent years, and the table below lists these.

UK Solar GrantsCurrent StatusEligibility RequirementsPotential Savings
Feed-in-Tariff (FiT)Expired 1 April 2019 (Those registered before this date will continue to benefit for the remainder of the 20-year period from the date they signed up)Owners of solar panels, wind turbines, and micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systemsGeneration Tariff – 6.38p – 13.88p per kWh Export Tariff – 4.77p per unit
Green Homes GrantExpired 31 March 2021All homeowners in EnglandUp to two-thirds of the total cost (up to £5,000); or up to 100% (maximum of £10,000) for those on qualifying benefits
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)Expired 31 March 2022Owners of biomass boilers, heat pumps, and solar thermal collectorsUp to £2,981
Free Solar Panel SchemeExpired March 2019All homeownersFully free solar panel system (in exchange for your installer receiving all Feed-in Tariff payments)


Green Homes Grant Scheme

The Green Homes Grant was a short-lived UK Government scheme that aimed to help people in England make their homes more energy efficient and eco-friendly. The scheme was launched in 2020 as part of the UK’s plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Green Homes Grant scheme offered vouchers to homeowners and landlords who wanted to install energy saving eco home improvements, such as home insulation, low-carbon heating, double glazing, or heating controls. The vouchers could cover up to two-thirds of the cost of hiring qualified professionals to carry out the work, up to a maximum of £5,000 per household. However, low-income households could get vouchers for up to 100% of the cost, up to a maximum of £10,000 per household.

The Green Homes Grant scheme had two categories of home improvements – primary measures and secondary measures. Primary measures were those that had a direct impact on reducing the amount of energy used in the home, such as home insulation or low-carbon heating. Secondary measures were those that improved the efficiency of the existing heating system or reduced heat loss from the home, such as double or triple glazing, energy efficient doors, or heating controls. To qualify for a Green Homes Grant voucher, homeowners and landlords had to install at least one primary measure first, and then they could apply for a secondary measure.

One of the primary measures that was supported by the scheme was solar thermal systems, which are different from solar panels. Solar thermal systems use solar energy to heat water, which can then be used for domestic hot water or space heating. Solar panels, on the other hand, use solar energy to generate electricity, which can be used to power appliances, lights, or electric heating. Solar panels were not covered by the Green Homes Grant scheme, but they are eligible for another UK government incentive called the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, which pays solar panel owners for exporting excess electricity to the National Grid which is currently running.

Unfortunately, the Green Homes Grant scheme was not very successful and was closed to new applications in March 2021, less than a year after it was launched. The Green Homes Grant scheme faced many problems, such as delays in processing applications, lack of availability of qualified and professional installers, poor communication with customers, and low uptake. Many people who applied for the Green Homes Grant vouchers did not receive them in time or at all, and many of the professional installers who did the work did not get paid by the UK government. The Green Homes Grant scheme was criticised by customers, installers, environmental groups, and MPs for being poorly designed and managed by the UIK government.

The Cost Of Solar Panels In The UK

Solar panels are solar PV (photovoltaic) devices that use the energy from the sun to produce electricity for your home or business. They can help you save money on your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and increase your energy security. But how do they work in different weather conditions and seasons?

Solar panels work by absorbing the sunlight that hits their surface and converting it into direct current (DC) electricity. This electricity is then passed through an inverter, which changes it into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by your appliances, lights, and heating systems. Any excess electricity that you do not use can be stored in a solar battery or exported to the National Grid, depending on your solar PV system and your Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme tariff.

The amount of electricity that your solar panels can produce depends on several factors, such as the intensity and angle of the sunlight, the orientation and tilt of the solar panels, the outside temperature and the efficiency of the solar panels, and the presence of any shading or dirt on the solar panels. Therefore, solar panels work best in sunny, clear, and cool days, when they receive the most sunlight at the optimal angle and temperature.

However, this does not mean that solar panels do not work in other weather conditions and seasons in the UK. Solar panels can still generate electricity on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days, as long as there is some daylight available. The output may be reduced by up to 50% compared to a sunny day, but it is not zero. Solar panels can also work in winter, when the days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky. The output may be lower than in summer, but it can still cover a significant portion of your energy needs.

One of the main advantages of solar panels is that they are very affordable and accessible. The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly in the past decade, making them more competitive with other sources of energy. The average domestic solar PV system with battery storage costs around £7,000, NXTGEN Energy can install 8 solar panels plus solar battery storage from just £6,750, contact us today on 01268 928 690 for a free no-obligation quote, but this can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • The installer you choose: you should compare different quotes from reputable installers and check their reviews and credentials including their MCS Certifications at https://mcscertified.com/
  • The quality of your solar panels: you should look for solar panels that have high efficiency ratings, long warranties, and good performance in low-light conditions.
  • The size of the solar PV array: you should choose a solar PV array that matches your energy consumption and roof space. The larger the solar PV array, the more electricity it will produce, but also the more expensive it will be.
  • The ease of roof access: you should consider how easy or difficult it is to access your roof for installation and maintenance. If your roof is steep, high, or complex, you may need to pay extra for scaffolding or special equipment.
  • The type of solar panels: you should decide whether you want building-integrated solar panels or standard solar panels. Building-integrated panels are designed to blend in with your roof tiles or slates, while standard panels are mounted on top of your roof. Building-integrated panels may look more aesthetically pleasing, but they are also more expensive and less efficient than standard solar panels.

In addition to the initial cost of solar panels, you can also benefit from various incentives and savings that make solar power even more attractive. For example:

  • The reduced VAT rate: under the government’s green incentives scheme, selected energy-saving materials and equipment (including solar panels) qualify for a reduced VAT rate of 0% until 31 March 2027. This applies to both the supply and installation of solar panels and battery storage in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme: under this scheme, larger energy suppliers are obliged to offer an export tariff to their customers who generate their own renewable electricity via solar panels or wind turbines. The tariff pays you for every unit of electricity that you export to the National Grid, which can add up to a significant income over time.
  • The energy bill savings: by using solar power, you can reduce the amount of electricity that you need to buy from your energy supplier, which can lower your energy bills considerably. The amount of savings depends on how much electricity you use, how much you generate, how much you store or export, and what tariff you are on.

By taking into account all these factors, you can estimate how long it will take for your solar panels to pay for themselves and start making you a profit. This is known as the break-even point or the return on investment (ROI). The break-even point can vary from system to system, but on average, it is around five to ten years. After that, you can enjoy free electricity from the sun and save money annually in Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) revenues and energy bill savings.

As you can see, solar panels are a great way to make your home or business more energy efficient and eco-friendly. They work in all weathers and seasons in the UK, they are affordable and accessible, and they offer various incentives and savings. If you are interested in installing solar panels in your property, you can contact us on 01268 928 690 or admin@nxtgen.ltd.

The below table is the average solar panel cost according to your house and solar panel array size

Solar panel systemNumber of panelsFamily sizeAverage cost including installationNXTGEN PRICE FROM JUST
2kW81 person£4,000 – £7,000£6,750 includes Battery
2.5kW101-2 people£5,000 – £8,000£7,200 includes Battery
3kW122-3 people£6,000 – £9,000£7,800 includes Battery
4kW163-4 people£7,000 – £10,000£8,500 Includes Battery
5kW204-5 people£8,000 – £11,000Contact Us for Latest Deals
6kW245-6 people£9,000 – £12,000Contact Us for Latest Deals
7kW286-7 people£10,000 – £13,000Contact Us for Latest Deals
8kW327-8 people£11,000 – £14,000Contact Us for Latest Deals
9kW368-9 people£12,000 – £15,000Contact Us for Latest Deals
10kW409-10 people£13,000 – £16,000Contact Us for Latest Deals

Are Solar Panels Worth It In The UK?

Choosing to switch to solar panels in the UK has many advantages, including:

Saving Money On Your Electricity Bills

Solar panels can ease the pressure on your household budget as electricity prices continue to rise in the UK. They rely on daylight, which is a free and powerful clean, green, energy source. The average household can expect to save over £400 per year on their energy bills with a solar panel system.

How much you save will depend on:

  • Your home’s electricity consumption
  • The type of solar panels
  • The size of your solar panel system
  • If your roof is at an optimal angle for solar panels
  • The location of your house
  • How much is paid to you through SEG scheme for the energy sold back to the National Grid

There’s also no need to worry about generating electricity in the UK’s cloudy weather conditions. You can harness solar energy from anywhere in the country every day, no matter the weather. Solar panels still generate electricity on gloomy or cloudy days and only need light to function. However, the brighter the light, the higher the output.

The table below is an estimate of how much your could save on your energy bills based on the size of your solar PV system

Solar panel systemNumber of panelsAverage cost including installationNXTGEN Price From JustEstimated energy generated per year*Estimated energy bill savings per year*
2kW8£4,000 – £7,000£6,750 includes Battery1,873kWh / year£390 / year
2.5kW10£5,000 – £8,000£7,200 includes Battery2,341kWh / year£439 / year
3kW12£6,000 – £9,000£7,800 includes Battery2,810kWh / year£485 / year
4kW16£7,000 – £10,000£8,500 Includes Battery3,746kWh / year£567 / year
5kW20£8,000 – £11,000Contact Us for Deals4,683kWh / year£642 / year
6kW24£9,000 – £12,000Contact Us for Deals5,619kWh / year£713 / year
7kW28£10,000 – £13,000Contact Us for Deals6,556kWh / year£781 / year
8kW32£11,000 – £14,000Contact Us for Deals7,492kWh / year£847 / year
9kW36£12,000 – £15,000Contact Us for Deals8,429kWh / year£911 / year
10kW40£13,000 – £16,000Contact Us for Deals9,365kWh / year£974 / year
* Figures based upon a Bognor Regis Postcode, 30 degree roof pitch, south facing and no roof shading with data from the Solar Energy Calculator. If you have a different postcode, roof pitch, roof facing and some shading you could earn less than the figures stated.

Get Paid For Generating Excess Energy

Solar panels are devices that use the energy from the sun to produce electricity for your home or business. However, you may not always need or use all the electricity that your solar panels generate, especially during the day when the sun is shining and your demand is low. In that case, you have two options for what to do with the excess energy that your solar panels produce:

  • You can store it in a solar battery: which is a device that can store the direct current (DC) electricity that your solar panels produce and release it when you need it. A solar battery can help you maximise your self-consumption of solar power, which means using more of the electricity that you generate and buying less from your energy supplier. Solar battery storage can also provide backup power in case of a power outage or a National Grid failure.
  • You can export it to the National Grid: which is the network of power stations, cables, and substations that delivers electricity to homes and businesses across the UK. By exporting your excess electricity to the National Grid, you can earn money from energy companies through a scheme called the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme is a UK government initiative that requires larger energy suppliers to pay their customers who generate their own renewable electricity via solar panels or wind turbines. The payment is based on the amount of electricity that you export to the National Grid, which is measured by an export meter.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for you depends on your personal preferences, energy needs, budget, and location. You can also combine both options and use solar batteries to store some of your excess electricity and export the rest to the National Grid. However, you should be aware that some energy suppliers may not pay you for exporting electricity if you have a battery installed, or they may pay you a lower rate. You should check with your energy supplier before installing a solar battery if you want to benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme.

Very Low Maintenance

One of the main benefits of solar panels is that they are very durable and reliable. Solar panels have no moving parts, which means that they are less likely to break down or wear out over time. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, wind, and hail, without affecting their performance. Solar panels can also resist corrosion, rust, and fire, making them safe and long-lasting.

Another benefit of solar panels is that they are very low-maintenance. Solar panels do not need any regular servicing or repairs, unlike other types of energy systems. The only thing that you need to do to keep your solar panels in good condition is to clean them a few times a year. Cleaning your solar panels can help remove any dust, dirt, bird droppings, or leaves that may accumulate on their surface and reduce their efficiency. You can clean your solar panels yourself using a soft cloth, a hose, and some mild soap, or you can get your window cleaner to clean them while he is cleaning your windows. You do not need to pay your installer a monthly or yearly fee to clean or maintain your solar panels, this is a scam.

The lifespan of solar panels depends on several factors, such as the quality of the materials, the installation method, the location, and the usage. However, most solar panel manufacturers now offer warranty periods of 20 to 25 years for their solar panels. This means that they guarantee that their solar panels will produce at least 80% of their rated power output for that period of time. However, this does not mean that solar panels stop working after their warranty expires. In fact, many solar panels can continue to operate for up to 40 years or more, with only a slight decrease in efficiency over time.

As you can see, solar panels are a smart investment that can provide you with clean, green, renewable energy for decades. They are easy to install (takes a day or less for most solar PV system installs), easy to operate, and maintain, and they offer various incentives and savings.

Solar Energy Is Renewable And Eco-Friendly

Switching to green, clean, renewable energy is one of the key benefits of installing solar panels. Unlike other household energy sources which rely on fossil fuels like oil and coal, solar panels can lower your carbon footprint and reduce your impact on the environment and the planet.

Independence From The National Grid

Solar panels can help you generate electricity in areas without normal access to the National Grid electricity supply. The storage capacity of solar batteries can give you complete energy independence. This also means you won’t have to deal with energy suppliers and high price increases like we have all suffered in the last few years.

When Will You Break Even?

The amount of time it takes for you to break even from your initial solar panel investment will depend on various factors like:

  • Your initial solar panel installation cost
  • Where you live in the UK
  • Your current energy consumption
  • The current price of electricity
  • If you have a solar battery or not
  • If you’re part of the SEG scheme

Solar Panel Grants That Are Now Expired

In a massive effort to introduce solar panel technology as a mainstream home improvement, the UK government used to offer various incentives and grants that were very enticing, but these grants have now expired and are no longer available.

Expired: Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme

First launched in 2014, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme closed for new applications on 31 March 2022. Through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, the UK government would pay quarterly payments of 20.66p/kWh for seven years after installation of solar panels, eventually amounting to a saving of £2,981.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme only included heat-generating renewables, so those with thermal solar panels benefitted, while solar PV panels were excluded. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, launched in April 2022, is its natural successor, but does not include solar panels as part of the scheme.

Expired: Feed-in-Tariff (FiT)

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) was originally launched in April 2011 and it closed to new applicants in April 2019. During the eight years that the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) ran, homeowners would receive payments for any surplus electricity (paid by kWh) generated by their domestic solar panels that was exported back to the National Grid.

Homeowners who signed up for the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme will receive payments for 20 years from the date of registration with payments depending on the size and type of their solar panel array.

Expired: Free Solar Panel Scheme

For a limited time, if you could not afford the upfront costs to install solar panels on your property, some companies would essentially rent roof spaces, install solar panels for free and absorb the costs of maintenance. In return, homeowners would benefit from the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) payments. Schemes like this stopped running in 2019 as the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme ended, as it was no longer cost effective for the companies to rent roof spaces.

Conclusion

In 2023 solar panels are the most affordable they’ve ever been, and with UK solar grants available like ECO4, LA Flex, and the HUG2 scheme, you can soon start reaping the rewards of clean, green and renewable solar energy. You can save on energy costs and even receive payments when you send your excess solar energy back to the National Grid via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme.

Here at NXTGEN Energy we highly recommend considering whether you’re eligible for funding and further researching the advantages of solar energy. You might assume switching to solar energy is out of the question, but with the help of 0% VAT and various UK government funding schemes, solar panels could be much more within your reach than you think.

Even if you investigate the current solar grants available in the UK and you find out that you are not eligible, why not think about finance? Here at NXTGEN Energy we have teamed up with Ideal4Finance to offer some flexible finance options to our customers including a 0% fixed interest rate over 12 months, visit our Finance page for more details and contact us on 01268 928 690 or admin@nxtgen.ltd if you are considering finance for your solar panel installation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Panels and Solar Panel Grants

How much do solar panels cost?

According to the latest UK government figures, the average cost of a solar panel system for a family of three is around £7,000. The total cost depends on the brand and number of solar panels you choose as well as the inverter and if you have solar battery storage and on top of that is the installation costs of a MCS Certified Solar PV Installer. Contact NXTGEN Energy on 01268 928 690 or admin@nxtgen.ltd for a free quote and solar PV array design service today as we currently have some great offers on solar panel installations.

How much money can I earn from my solar panels?

Through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, you can sell any excess electricity generated by your solar panels back to the National Grid. How much you can earn per kWh depends on the tariff your energy supplier pays per kWh of electricity which is between 1p – 24p and how much of your solar generated power you use. Contact your current energy supplier to find out about the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme.

Can I get free solar panels in the UK?

Qualifying UK residents may be eligible to get free solar panels through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme, which requires energy suppliers to help low-income households on certain UK government paid benefits make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes to reduce carbon emissions for the UK’s Net Zero 2050 scheme. Qualifying improvements include the installation of renewable energy sources such as solar panels. The ECO4 website has a handy eligibility questionnaire to help you determine if you could receive a grant for solar panels.

If you’re not currently on any UK government paid benefits, but you’re still struggling to budget for solar panels, you might still qualify for a grant under the Local Authority Eligibility Flexibility (LA Flex) scheme, which gives local councils the ability to expand the eligibility criteria to their local residents at their discretion. Contact your local council to find out more about the LA Flex scheme, and contact your current energy supplier to find out about the ECO4 scheme.

What is the UK government solar panels programme in 2023?

In 2022, the UK government announced that energy-saving materials such as solar panels would be exempt from VAT charges (0% VAT) until 31 March 2027 (except in Northern Ireland, where specific conditions are in place), at which point energy-saving materials such as solar panels will be subject to a reduced rate of 5% VAT instead of the current 20% VAT rate. This measure could shave an average of about £250 off the cost of solar panels.

There were no new funding programmes for solar panels announced in the Spring 2023 Budget statement.

Does the UK Government give grants for solar panels?

The UK Government has committed £4 billion to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme between April 2022 and March 2026. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme requires energy suppliers and local authorities to help low-income households make energy-saving improvements like adding solar panels to their homes. Eligible households can receive partial or fully-funded grants for solar panels through the ECO4 scheme.

There was no mention of any new support for households to upgrade to renewable energy in the Spring 2023 Budget statement.

What grants are available in Scotland for solar panels?

Home Energy Scotland – https://homeenergyscotland.org/ is a Scottish grant and loan scheme that is funded by the Scottish Government. It provides a series of grants or repayable loans to help Scottish residents make energy-efficient upgrades as part of the UK government’s bid to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. Funding of up to £6,000 is available for solar panels under the scheme. To find out if you can get a grant or loan, you’ll need to talk to a Home Energy Scotland advisor, who will perform an assessment of your home to determine which improvements you can benefit from. Please note though that you must wait until funding has been approved before starting any work.

How can I finance solar panels?

If you’re interested in getting solar panels but are struggling to find the money for them, there are options available. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) provides partial or full grants to help low-income households and those on certain benefits to buy solar systems.

If you’re not on benefits and your income is too high to qualify for the extended LA Flex scheme, you might be able to get affordable finance through the Green Deal scheme. Once funded by the UK Government, the Green Deal has been continued by private investors.

To qualify, your home must have an electricity meter. You need to have your property evaluated by a registered Green Deal assessor, who will provide you with a report about which energy-saving measures you can benefit from and whether they would be likely to pay for themselves through energy bill savings. The loan is attached to the property, not the owner, with repayments made through a charge on the home’s electricity bill. If you sell your house before the loan is repaid, the new homeowner takes on the responsibility for all future payments.

Here at NXTGEN Energy we can now offer you flexible finance options so that you can invest in solar panels for your property, our finance packages start at 0% fixed interest rate over 12 months, see more details on our Finance page.

How do you qualify for a solar panel grant?

In most cases, you will need to be on certain UK Government benefits to qualify for a solar panel grant like the ECO4 scheme. However, some local council authorities have the power to provide funding for low-income households that aren’t on UK Government benefits at their discretion under the LA Flex scheme.

Can you get solar panels on the Green Homes Grant?

No, the Green Homes Grant scheme closed to new applicants on 31 March 2021, so it is no longer possible to get solar panels through this government scheme. If you applied for a Green Homes Grant voucher before this date, you should check the UK Government website for details of what to do next at [Withdrawn] Green Homes Grant: make energy improvements to your home (closed) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Can pensioners get a grant for solar panels?

If you or anyone in your household is receiving a State Pension or Pension Credits, you are likely to qualify for a grant under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme. If not, and you are over the age of 60, you can find out if your local council authority can help with funding through the LA Flex scheme.

What are the VAT rules on renewable energy installations?

From April 2022 to 31 March 2027, renewable energy materials such as solar panels qualify for a 0% rate of VAT, which can reduce the cost of installations by an average of £250. In Northern Ireland, a number of conditions must be met in order for the 0% VAT rate to apply. After 31 March 2027 the VAT rate on renewable energy materials like solar panels will be at a reduced rate of 5% VAT, instead of the current 20% VAT rate.

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in the UK?

The financial investment required for installing solar panels can differ significantly. However, on average, you might expect to pay approximately £7,000 for a 3kW solar PV system setup. Alternatively, for a slightly larger 4kW system, the cost could be around £8,000 – £10,000.

These figures are based on averages, and individual costs may vary. Factors such as the brand and efficiency of the solar panels, the ease or difficulty of installation, and whether or not you need to modify your property can all play a role in the final cost.

A 4kW system would generally generate sufficient energy for a typical household comprising three to four family members. This suggests that, despite the initial outlay, the system could substantially save you money on your electricity bill over time. Not only could installing solar panels make a significant difference to household finances, but it also contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing reliance on fossil fuels for power, so lowers your carbon footprint and helps towards the UK becoming Net Zero by 2050.

Do I need to tell my electricity supplier I have solar panels?

Yes, your electricity supplier must be informed that you have a microgeneration system (your solar PV array). It’s essential for safety and regulatory reasons because the company needs to ensure that its National Grid can accommodate the power you’re generating.

You may be eligible to participate in schemes like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme if your system produces excess electricity fed back into the National Grid. Under the SEG scheme, energy suppliers are required to pay households for the renewable electricity they export back to the National Grid. Therefore, it’s advantageous to let your electricity supplier know about your solar panels so you can potentially earn money from your excess solar power.

Always consult a professional, like NXTGEN Energy on 01268 928 690 or admin@nxtgen.ltd to ensure that you comply with all necessary steps and requirements when installing solar panels.

Is it worth getting solar panels in the UK?

Yes, solar panels can be a wise investment for several reasons. Solar panels can generate substantial electricity, despite the UK’s cloudy weather. This helps reduce your reliance on National Grid electricity, leading to significant savings on your energy bills.

Solar panels also contribute to reducing your carbon footprint, supporting the broader global effort to combat climate change. With the UK Government’s commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050, the transition to renewable energy sources like solar power is increasingly important for both the UK and the planet.

Financially, the cost of solar panels has dropped drastically over the last 10-years, making them more affordable for the average homeowner, especially if you are eligible for a UK Government grant for solar panels like the ECO4 scheme. Additionally, through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, you could earn money by selling your excess electricity that you generate back to the National Grid.

However, the worthiness of solar panels will depend on your individual circumstances, such as your energy consumption, your home’s roof orientation, the roof pitch and the amount of sunlight it receives. Contact NXTGEN Energy is you are thinking about getting solar panels on 01268 928 690 or info@nxtgen.ltd and we can give you free advice based upon our staff’s 10-years of experience in the solar energy industry in the UK. We’re here to help.

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