Free Solar Panels and Government Solar Grants in 2018

Free solar panels no longer exist but the Feed-in Tariff allows you to earn and save up to £7,300 over 25 years for the energy produced by your panels.

The government provide the Feed-in Tariff to ensure households with solar panels make a healthy return on investment.

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Can I Still Get Free Solar Panels or Government Solar Grants in 2018?

Back when the solar panels boom was at its peak, a number of installation companies were offering to install free solar panels on people’s homes. Why? It was a lucrative time because they were able to cash in on the energy produced by the panels via the government’s generous Feed-in Tariff, resulting in healthy profits. Another available incentive was the government’s solar grant, which was introduced to drive the take-up of renewable energy systems.

Government grants are no longer being offered, nor are free solar panels – but it’s not all bad. The solar Feed-in Tariff is still available until April 2019 and has become much more attractive because the price of solar panels has reduced significantly over the years. This means that it’s much quicker to get returns on your investment and, of course, you can still look forward to much lower energy bills.


What is the Feed-in Tariff?

The solar Feed-in Tariff rewards homeowners who install solar panels. The government pays you for every kWh of energy your panels generate.

You get paid for both the energy you use (the generation tariff) and the energy you don’t use (the export tariff). Your energy bills will also drop significantly, because your panels will generate free electricity.

The money you receive is tax free and index linked. The scheme applies for 20 years and you can expect a good return on investment. Typically you can earn up to £7,300 over the 25-year-lifespan of a 4kW solar system.


Did the Government Cut the Feed-in Tariff in 2016?

With the costs of solar panels plummeting, the government announced plans in 2015 to reduce the Feed-in Tariff by 87%.

Fortunately for homeowners, the government have backtracked, reducing the Feed-in Tariff by 64% instead. This still allows households to earn a healthy return on investment over 20 years.


Will the Feed-in Tariff Be Reduced in the Future?

As solar panels now make financial sense on their own without the need for any grants or funding from the government, the Feed-in Tariff will end in April 2019. That means now is the ideal time to lock in all the benefits of solar panels and the soon-to-end Feed-in Tariff.

Do bear in mind that there’s a cap on annual new spending for the Feed-in Tariff. This cap limits the amount of solar that can be registered for the Feed-in Tariff each quarter. Applications after the cap is reached will be placed in a queue for the next quarter.

Interestingly, out of 390 UK homeowners with solar panels that we surveyed in January 2018, 81% said that they'd still install solar panels even if the FiT didn't exist. This shows that the majority of homeowners believe that solar panels are still a worthwhile investment even without the government's monetary incentive.


How Do You Beat Future Cuts to the Feed-in Tariff?

The Feed-in Tariff rate for new applicants reduces every 3 months. Once you register your panels you lock in your guaranteed payments for the 20 year lifespan of the Feed-in Tariff regardless of any future cuts to the scheme.

If you are considering installing solar panels at your home, act soon to lock in the current tariff rate for this quarter before it gets reduced.


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How Much Can You Save With the Feed-in Tariff?

The Feed-in tariff is guaranteed for 20 years. Find out below how much you could save if you installed a 4kW panel costing £6,000:


Savings per Year:

Source of Income:
Earnings for Installations Apr-Jun 2018:
Generation Tariff:
£145
Export Tariff:
£91
Energy Bill Savings:
£72
Total Per Year:
£308

*based on installation on a south facing roof with no shade and a monthly household electricity bill of £50


Savings Over 20 years:

Solar panels are a long term investment. While the Feed-in Tariff payments last for 20 years, your solar panels will continue to save you money on your electricity bills after the FiT payments stop.

We have calculated how much profit you can make from installing a 4kW solar system costing £6,000 over 20 years:

Year
Earnings for Installations Apr-Jun 2018:
Profit/Loss for Installations Apr-Jun 2018:
One
£308
-£5,692
Five
£1,540
-£4,460
Ten
£3,080
-£2,920
Fifteen
£4,620
-£1,380
Twenty
£6,160
+£160

*based on installation on a south facing roof with no shade and a monthly household electricity bill of £50


You could also make further savings by installing a solar battery. Learn more about solar panels combined with a battery system.


Watch a video on how the FiT works


Get a Bespoke Solar Panel Quote for Your Home


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