Scottish Government Renewable Energy Grants for Solar Panels
The development of renewable energy technology over the last decade has led to more and more government initiatives aiming to encourage households to adopt green energy systems. Solar panels are no exception. The Scottish government has created several schemes in the last few years to try to increase solar panel technology uptake throughout the country.
What grants are available?
Up until 2010 the Scottish government backed The Energy Savings Scotland Home Renewables Grant. This scheme gave successful applicants a sum of money if they got PV panels. They could recieve up to 30% of the installation fee for solar panels worth up to £4,000.
While this no longer exists, the government still supports a similar community grant for whole housing developments or businesses which gives up to £150,000 to install solar panels.
Is there any other help in Scotland?
Although Scotland has moved away from grants there are still several options to help domestic residents install solar panels.
Loans of up to £2,000 are given on a first come first served basis. These loans are also interest free but only offered to homeowners installing solar panels for their primary homes or for builders on behalf of a primary home owner. For more information or to submit an application visit energysavingstrust.co.uk/scotland.
The Feed-in-Tariff Scheme
One of the main reasons that the Scottish government has stopped offering grants for solar panels is the UK wide introduction of the Feed-In Tariff scheme. Under this scheme, solar panels owners are paid for the renewable energy they create. For every unit of electricity generated the government pays the homeowner 4.39p/kWh, even if the electricity is used within the home.
Excess electricity produced that cannot be stored is returned to the national grid, but the householder is still rewarded with a bonus payment per unit. The average domestic household can earn up to £404 a year (£8,080 over 20 years) through this scheme while energy bills will also be reduced significantly.
It is important to note, however, that if a homeowner receives a grant from a non-government organisation such as an energy company it is unlikely they will receive the tariff payments. In the majority of cases the company providing the grant will take these payments as a condition of the agreement.
While grants for solar panels in Scotland are currently unavailable there is every chance another scheme will be backed in the future, as the government looks to spread green, renewable energy across the nation. Even without grants, significant financial incentives exist with interest free loans and the Feed-In Tariffs scheme available.
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