Grants for Solar Panels Scotland

Solar panels have boomed in popularity across Scotland in recent times, with more homeowners than ever looking to reduce carbon emissions by making the move to sustainable energy.

As demand increases, the cost of acquiring solar panels has dropped significantly, with installation costs 61% lower in Scotland than they were 10 years ago.

There are multiple reasons for this including constant improvements in technology and lower material costs.

With energy prices constantly on the rise, solar panels have never been a more attractive addition to your home, offering energy independence and massive reductions in your annual energy bills.

However, there is still a significant upfront cost required to install solar panels on your home, and any help in this regard is a positive.
At Greener Energy Group, we are a leading supplier of solar panels in Scotland and the question that we get asked on a regular basis is whether there is Government grant funding available that allows you to get solar panels installed for free or at least significantly cheaper than would otherwise be the case.

To help answer this question have put together this guide explaining all the solar panel grants currently available to Scottish homeowners.

Solar Panel Grants Scotland

The Scottish Government have pledged to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, and encouraging homeowners to make the switch to more renewable forms of energy is critical to achieving this.

For this reason, over the past few years, there have been many incentives and initiatives put in place to make solar panels more attractive.
With more than 56,000 households already installing solar PV systems, there has never been a better time to join the solar energy revolution.

Can I get Free Solar Panels?

Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to get a Government grant to cover the installation of solar panels in Scotland.

There once was a scheme available called the Energy Saving Scotland Home Renewables Grant, that offered homeowners as much as £4,000 (up to 30%) towards the costs of their new solar panels, however, this was scrapped in 2010.

In its place, the Home Energy Scotland Loan scheme was introduced, offering interest free loans that could help to reduce the financial impact of forking out a lump sum for solar panels.

Home Energy Scotland Loan

The Home Energy Scotland Loan is available to Scottish residents who are looking to make sustainable energy improvements in their home.

It is not just installing solar panels that this loan can be used for and some of the improvements that may be eligible for a loan include:

  • Renewable energy – Eg. Solar Power, Heat Pumps, Wind Turbines
  • Additional installation – Including triple and double glazing
  • Heating systems – Eg. More efficient boilers

In terms of solar panel installation, there are loans of up to £5,000 available to help cover the initial costs.

This loan is completely interest free and can be repaid over 5-10 years depending on the size of the loan granted.

This means that over 75% of the cost of a standard 3-4kWp system does not need to be paid for upfront, opening up the technology to a much larger market than would otherwise be possible.

It is worth noting that successful applicants will have to pay a 1.5% administration fee on any loan taken out, so factor this in when considering solar panel installation.

Who is eligible for the Home Energy Scotland Loan?

Every homeowner in Scotland is eligible to apply for this loan.

Whether they are successful or not is a different matter and this will be determined on a number of factors including credit rating and the type of work being suggested.

Once successful you must carry out the agreed work within six months to ensure you are ready to have your solar panels installed in a timely manner after your application is accepted.

Can I sell the energy my solar panels generate?

Yes! Not only are there schemes in place to make the installation of solar panels more affordable, but it is also possible to sell any excess energy that you do not consume in your own home

Feed-in-tariff

The feed-in-tariff was introduced in 2010 by the UK government and rewarded those generating electricity through renewable sources by paying them for every kWh of electricity produced.

However, 9 years after its introduction, in March 2019, the scheme was scrapped after the Government instead shifted its renewable energy funding towards larger commercial projects.

If you were already signed up for the scheme prior to its termination you will still receive payments on the same schedule as before until the end of your contract but what about for new solar panel owners?

Luckily, it is still possible to get paid for the solar energy that you generate, thanks to Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) legislation that was introduced on 1st January 2020.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

Under UK government legislation, every energy provider with over 150,000 customers is required to offer an SEG tariff.

SEG is a support mechanism that allows domestic homeowners to get paid for the electricity that they produce via renewable energy sources and put back into the national grid.

If you have one of the following renewable technologies installed on your property you may be eligible for SEG payments:

  • Solar PV systems
  • Wind Turbines
  • Hydro systems
  • Heat Pumps
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Micro-CHP
  • The SEG means that Scottish homeowners are able to sell their own electricity, produced by their solar panels back into the national grid.
    According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), it is estimated that homeowners could make as much as £94 per year extra from their solar system through this tariff (based on a 4kWp solar PV system and a 5.5p SEG tariff).

    Given that you can already expect to be saving around £200-250 per year on energy costs through solar systems, the SEG allows you to maximise your savings and ensure you are being fully rewarded for generating renewable energy.

    Just because it is a requirement that all major energy providers offer an SEG tariff, however, some will be much lower than others, and it is important to do just as much comparing to choose your supplier for SEG as you would for your gas or electric.

    In general, you should look for a supplier paying at least 5.5p/kWh for your surplus energy.

    Community and Renewable Energy Scheme

    The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) offers financial support to local energy projects across Scotland.
    Whilst not a solar panel grant that can be applied for by individuals, CARES works on behalf of Local Energy Scotland to provide funding for a range of community projects involving energy efficiency improvements such as heat decarbonisation, and developing renewable energy.

    This could involve the installation of solar panels on community buildings, funding partly through fundraising and partly through the Government.

    In general, CARES funding tends to come in the form of a low interest loan or grants when required.

    If you have a well developed community project involving a solar panel system and are looking for some extra money to take the next step, you should get in touch with CARES who may be able to help.

    Contact Greener Energy Group

    Greener Energy Group are one of the UK’s leading solar panel installers.

    Our solar PV panels offer fantastic energy efficiency and come with an industry leading 25 year performance guarantee.

    We also offer a FREE fully fitted EV charger with each of our highly efficient solar panel systems.

    For more information on solar panels grants, or any other renewable energy options from an expert solar panel installer call Greener Energy Group today on 03335 77 66 99 or fill out our home suitability survey today.

    Home Suitability Survey

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