It is becoming more and more common in recent years to see solar panels on the roofs of family houses. However most of us are aware that those people with solar panels are likely to have paid in excess of £10,000 for the privilege and more importantly, the incentives to have panels installed are less likely to encourage us to spend that much. It is a good question to wonder if it is possible to get solar panels installed for free and enjoy the lowered energy bills which come as a result without having to spend a fortune to get it.
Free solar panel schemes
The fact is that almost anyone who owns their own home can take advantage of a free solar panel scheme. In most cases the schemes work like this:
- You agree with a solar panel installation company that they can use your home for their panels for a set period of time – usually 20 years.
- The installation company will take care of the cost of installation and will agree to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the panels.
- In return the installer will receive the government feed-in-tariff incentive, which over the course of the contract will more than pay off the cost of the installation. You will enjoy lower energy bills.
- At the end of the contract you will either have ownership of the panels or they will be taken down by the installer.
- If you wish to remove the panels before the end of the contract you may need to pay a fee to cover the cost of doing so and the lost income resulting from the break of the contract.
- If you sell your home, you may be able to pass the contract on to the new owner – but this may have an impact on the value of your home.
These scheme are great for anyone who wants to keep their energy costs as low as possible, however there a number of pitfalls to bear in mind especially if you want to sell your home. However if you have the space, are staying in your home for the long term and you cannot afford to buy panels yourself, this route may be a worthwhile one for you.
Landlords can also take advantage of these schemes to the benefit of their tenants.
Local authority schemes
If you live in a house owned by your local authority, you may be lucky enough to have a home which is part of a solar panel scheme. Many council houses are now earning the local authorities a small income from the feed-in-tariff and the tenant receives the advantage of a lowered bills. This is ideal for low income families. Check with your council to see if there are schemes available for you.