If you have been considering investing in solar panels for some time, but have been put off by the initial cost or by the fact that you don’t fully understand how you can become solar-sufficient, you have come to the right place.

You may or may not be aware that back in 2012, the UK government pledged that within the next 8 years, 4 million homes would be powered by the sun.

Fast forward to 2020, and currently only 840,000 UK homes have solar electricity PV panels, with just over one million having either solar PV or solar thermal panels.

Why is this when the benefits of solar panels are so apparent?

Arguably, the main reason is that UK homeowners have been confused about what incentives and schemes are available to help them invest in solar energy for their home.

Let’s take a look at what incentives are available to you for solar panels in 2020, so that you can make an informed and capable decision about whether this effective way of generating power is right for you.

House in the UK with solar panels

The Grid Trade Incentive

If you have not heard of the Grid Trade Incentive, then you may be pleasantly surprised as this scheme can dramatically increase your return on investment when it comes to solar panel installation in 2020.

Available to all UK homeowners — with the only requirement being that your roof is able to sustain the panels — the Grid Trade Incentive offers a way to not only save on your bills by generating your own power, but also allows you to sell any excess energy that you have.

According to a recent study, homeowners that have installed solar panels only use an estimated 27% of the energy that they generate. However, with the Grid Trade Incentive, you can use battery technology to store your surplus energy and the Grid Trade company will sell your energy to other people who use the national grid, often at a much better price.

Not only can you make huge savings at an estimated £514 per year, but you are also part of a community that trades energy at fairer rates, meaning less reliance on the grid all round.

UK solar panels

The Smart Export Scheme

This scheme was launched in January 2020 to replace the Feed in Tariff. Its aim is to encourage UK homeowners to use renewable energy to power their homes.

You are eligible for this scheme if you have installed any of the below energy sources:

  • Wind
  • Hydro
  • Solar PV
  • Micro combined heat and power
  • Anaerobic digestion

The scheme works by letting homes with solar panels sell their energy back to the grid, rather than let it go to waste. It is advised to shop around for your SEG energy tariff to ensure you are getting the best possible rate for your surplus energy.

However, it is worth noting that most of these tariffs are not long-term contracts and due to limited competition, you could be left exposed to falling electricity wholesale markets.

Low Interest Loans

Another option is to take out a loan specifically for solar panels which can be found at very low interest rates and with low monthly payments. Solar panels are currently being sold for up to 60% cheaper than they were a mere 8 years ago, meaning that they are now a lot more affordable for homeowners across the UK.

If you do choose to buy your solar panels with a low-interest loan, you can use your monthly energy savings to help with your new loan repayments.

British loan money