Solar Panel Grants in Scotland
Solar panel technology is widely regarded as a potential solution to our current energy crisis. Solar panels work by converting energy from natural daylight into an electric current which can then be used as electricity. However, solar panel systems can cost on excess of £10,000 to install and as a result many are looking towards grants to help them install the technology.
What help is available in Scotland?
Until recently the Scottish government had offered The Energy Saving Scotland Home Renewables Grant Scheme which offered a contribution towards installation costs of solar panels of up to £4,000. However, this scheme was discontinued in July 2010 as allocated funds ran out.
The Scottish government are still offering an interest free loan of up to £2,000 to install a solar panel system. This is allocated on a first come first served basis.
What other help is available?
Solar panels owners in Scotland also qualify for the Feed-In Tariff scheme. This scheme is backed by the government and offers solar panel owners payments for the electricity they produce. Owners receive 41.3 pence per unit of electricity, kilowatt, produced even if this electricity is used within the property. Excess electricity is returned to the national grid but each unit of such electricity is rewarded with a further 3.1 pence payment. It is estimated the average household will receive over £1,000 a year from these payments. The scheme is backed for at least 25 years and all payments will be tax free. This means solar panel owners can earn in excess of £25,000 which is a substantial profit on the £10,000 or so the technology costs to install.
Can I get free solar panels in Scotland?
There are numerous Scottish companies which offer free solar panel installation. However, these companies will receive the Feed-in Tariff payments for the duration of the scheme. In this case home owners will only receive reduced electricity bills. A list of Scottish companies who provide this service can be found by visiting energysavingtrust.org.
There are significant benefits to installing solar panels. Environmentally, the solar panels are seen in a positive light as they created green, renewable energy. Solar panel owners will also see a reduction in their standard utility bills. However, solar panel grants in Scotland have generally been replaced by the Feed-In Tariff scheme. There has been a distinct step away from helping people with installation costs towards a more long term financial rewards for installing the technology.