Solar Panel Grant Tips

These solar panel grant tips should help you sort your way through the complicated process.

In view of the high capital outlay on installing a solar system which is around £12,000 depending on the type of installation, a grant is worth investigating.

The whole process of buying, securing a grant, obtaining Planning Permission and installing a system will be a lengthy process.

The result will be that your electricity bills will be greatly reduced.

HOW THE SCHEME WORKS

Solar panels hold out the promise of a reduction in your current electricity bill of around £90 and a possible annual income of £1,050 which the Government promises to be tax free and inflation proof.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST – an independent body) calculates on a typical domestic installation you should be around £1,200 better off.

The solar panel grant tips and advice is to tread with extreme caution. Consumer protection organizations have reported an increase in the number of rogue firms now operating. These grants for solar panels are drawing the insects out of the woodwork.

More than 300 complaints about one firm alone have been received. The typical scam is requesting a deposit – usually £500 – for installing the product. The prospective buyer is then informed that because of a change in the rules, this particular scheme is no longer operating. Consumers then find it very difficult to get a refund. You really cannot afford to ignore our solar panel grant tips.

Even legitimate companies have been known to over-egg the potential savings and also to slightly pressurise prospective buyers with phrases such as ‘time is running out’ and ‘solar panels will increase the value of your property’.

Read these solar panel grant tips and sort out the good from the distinctly ugly.

The Government announced its ‘feed in tariff’ scheme in April, 2010. This offered money to home owners who generated their own electricity via solar panels (or other means). In most cases this means ‘photovoltaic’ panels (PV panels). The feed-in tariff will pay a fixed rate for all electricity generated - even when it is used in your own home. Any excess that is sold to the National Grid receives extra payments.

The prices offered at time of contract will be index-linked and Government has pledged to maintain these tariffs for the next 25 years.

WHAT CAN MY ROOF EARN?

As stated the average cost of paying for your own installation is £12,000 and it is estimated that it will take about 10 years before the initial cost is recouped. You will be liable for any repairs during this period and of course, you will not be able to take the panels with you when you move. Reading these solar panel grant tips should save you a lot of heartache over money.

The alternative advice from these solar panel grant tips is to rent your roof to an installation company. Here the costs are minimal. In some cases owners are required to pay a couple of hundred pounds. Naturally there is a downside (no free lunches syndrome) in that the installation company collects the feed-in tariff. Home owners will be able to use energy generated by their installation, but it would be wise to disregard claims that this will ‘considerably’ reduce your electricity bill or that you can heat your home for free. This all depends on the amount of electricity you use during the course of a day. If you are a pensioner, retired or off work and at home all day you will benefit more than a family who are out at work all day.

POSSIBLE DRAWBACKS See below.

Regarding the claim that panels increase the value of your house when it sold; prospective buyers might well be attracted if you have bought and paid for the panels yourself but they might not like the thought that a large proportion of their roof is owned by an outside company through a rental agreement.

If your house is mortgaged, contact your mortgage company and make sure that you are able to sign an agreement to lease your roof. There is a possibility that they will not agree to this as until your mortgage is full paid up, technically your house is owned by the mortgage company. Better safe than sorry.

At the time of writing conveyance law remains largely untested on this issue. Clearly it may be at some time in the future when the question of who actually owns the panels arises when ownership of the actual house changes. Solicitors will be happy here.

Another point of contention is will the Government maintain their 25 years promise? Although any change would need to be a legislative procedure it is worth bearing in mind that they have scaled back on tariffs paid to commercial organisations. Plus there is the prospect of advances being made in this field of technology which could easily supersede the PVs. in a few years time.

Fuel costs are a major item in every family budget. The current feed-in tariffs apply until April, 2013 but may be withdrawn if the scheme becomes over-subscribed.

31st October, 2011. The Government announced today that the grant previously offered to domestic purchasers on the feed-in tariff will be reduced by 50%. This means the original figure of 42p. per unit will be reduced to 21p. The closing date on this scheme is 12th December, 2011. Please check with your prospective supplier.

A further development: An appeal has now been lodged against this judgment - but don't hold your breath.

25th January, 2012. The appeal was won, but the Government are believed to be contemplating lodging an appeal against this judgement.

The present tariff will only last until 3rd March. The plot thickens!

The Government will also almost halve subsidies again by April 2013 in three further stages. The first cut will be on 1 August, and rates will drop again on 1 November 2012.

Please check the situation carefully before you take action regarding Solar Panels.

It is as well to remember that any business which either relies heavily on Government support or depends on a small number of key customers can be questionable.

The above possible drawbacks form a key component of this article giving solar panel grant tips. Here you really need to stop and think seriously before taking your final decision.

Our aim - as always - is to save you money.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

The advice is get three quotations (this applies whether you are buying the PVs. yourself or renting your roof).

Before signing get a written quotation including a standard performance estimate for your particular property – don’t allow yourself to be fobbed off here, remember you are the customer about to lay the golden egg.

Use only companies that are members of the REAL Insurance Scheme and who are certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). In others words – don't allow yourself to be ripped off!

Bear in mind that you will need Planning Permission from your local Council in order to proceed. Another delay and another cost to be considered.

Despite all the advice given in these solar panel grant tips the best advice of all is think long, take time - a lot of money is at stake and don't allow yourself to be be pressured.


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