Scottish Government Grants For Solar Panels
Solar panels in Scotland
Government figures released in March 2017 showed 51,426 households in Scotland have installed solar panels. This works out at 213 solar installations per 100,000 homes.
While this figure is below the average for the UK, Scotland is a good location for solar energy. The Scottish government has created several schemes in the last few years to try to increase solar panel uptake.
The developing sophistication in renewable energy technology alongside government initiatives has seen a rise in households adopting green energy systems.
What grants are there for solar in Scotland?
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 installed solar PV panels. They could receive up to 30% of the installation fee for solar panels worth up to £4,000.
While grants for solar panels in Scotland are now unavailable it is likely another scheme will be backed in the future, as the government looks to spread green, renewable energy across the UK.
The government currently provides a range of different schemes to support for those wanting to install solar panels and solar thermal heating in their homes.
There are interest-free loans, available through the Home Energy Scotland renewables loan scheme, financial incentives provided by the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), financial support through the ECO and Warmer Homes Scotland programmes. The UK-wide Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) scheme pays solar panel owners for the renewable energy they create.
The Feed-in Tariff in Scotland
For every unit of electricity generated by solar panels, the government pays the homeowner 4.32p/kWh, even if the electricity is used within the home. Any excess electricity produced that cannot be stored is returned to the national grid and the homeowner 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. Energy bills will also be reduced significantly.
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.
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Home Energy Scotland Renewables loan
The Scottish Government offers interest free loans for homeowners in Scotland who want to install a domestic renewables system or heating powered by a renewable energy source.
You can receive up to 75 percent of the total cost of renewables systems up to £10,000 and up to 100 percent of the total cost of connecting to a district heating scheme up to £5,000.
You must not start work until you have received a written offer of the loan. The amount that can be borrowed depends on the system type being installed. The scheme is also subject to availability of loan funds.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) provides support from energy suppliers to those in particular living situations and can be used with some Scottish Government loan schemes. It covers three areas.
Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO)
Energy companies provide insulation and heating improvements for those that qualify as low-income and vulnerable households.
Carbon Saving Communities Obligation (CSCO)
Energy companies provide insulation measures and connection to district heating to people in the bottom 25% of the UK's most deprived areas and rural areas by income.
Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO)
Energy companies provide funding for wall and roof insulation measures and connection to district heating as primary measures.
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK Government scheme set up to encourage homeowners to use renewable heat technologies. The scheme is a world first and applies to households in England, Wales and Scotland.
The RHI is expected to make a key contribution to the aim to have 12% of heating powered by renewable sources by 2020. It provides financial support to homeowners who implement renewable heating systems for seven years.
To find out if you are eligible, the scheme’s rules and requirements can be found on Ofgem's website.
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