The largest installer of solar panels in the UK, British Gas, has now joined the fray of free solar panel installers. Mush like the similar schemes they are offering to supply, fit, insure and maintain a solar PV system on your roof providing you meet the specifies requirements.
Much like other deals there is absolutely no cost to you. The contract lasts for 25 years over which time you get to benefit from the free solar power they generate. They have stated that they will continue to own the panels as they will be the ones responsible for keeping them operating. Some suppliers do however hand over ownership to you after the 25 years period. This means that you should still get years of free electricity and if the FITs tariff is still operational at that time the payments for generating electricity from renewable sources.
Like all providers British Gas will do a site survey to determine the suitability of your roof. They will also be able to determine the size of the solar array that will be installed. You can find out more about the siting survey on this page about solar panels for your home.
The biggest concern about the British Gas free solar panels offer is the 25 year contract where the panels have to stay on the roof. Many people move more frequently these days so if you sell your home the reminder of the contract has to be signed over to the new home owner. People are concerned that they may not be able to sell their home with the panels on the roof.
Obviously not everyone is going to warm to solar PV on their roof even if it does mean free electricity for them. There are however going to be many more people who are going to see this as a selling point. I think as the cost of utilities increases eco features such as solar, insulation, solar thermal and any other bill reducing features in a home will add value rather than detract from it. You only have to look at the energy survey that is now provided to potential home buyers showing the energy rating of a house to see the green sells.
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Grants & Schemes
According to DECC figures a 2.5kWh solar PV system can provide half of homes yearly electricity requirements.
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