Many people may now be aware that they can benefit from free electricity by taking up one of the many free solar offers going on in the UK at the moment. Many people are however under the impression that they get these free solar panels from the government but this is not the case.
Back in April 2010 the then Labour government launched the Feed in Tariff which meant that if you produced your own energy using renewable means then your electricity provider would pay you a tariff for doing so. For solar the tariff is particularly generous, so much so there are now several companies who can afford to give away solar panels to customers in order to get these generous tariffs for themselves.
The deal currently being offered for free solar panels is from private companies who offer to install a solar photovoltaic system on your south facing roof. You benefit from the free electricity which means lower overall electricity bills for you. The company that installs the panels claims the lucrative feed in tariff which adds up to around £20,000 over the 25 year period the tariffs are guaranteed to pay out for.
Getting the free panels installed is the easiest option for most people but there is nothing stopping you from buying a system yourself from one of the MCS certified installers. In order to qualify for the tariff you need to have solar panels and an installer certified under the independent microgeneration certification scheme. If you pay to have a system installed yourself up to 4KW you can claim the payments for yourself. A typical system costs around pound;15,000 but the cost is expected to fall as economies of scale make it cheaper to manufacture panels on a larger scale. The electronics company have already announced that they will be ramping up production in the UK.
The idea of the tariff is to help meet the governments carbon reduction target which it is currently woefully failing to do. This scheme has already seen the amount of systems installed far exceed previous years and is set to boom. If you want to lock in the current high tariff rates that may be cut in future you need to act now before the rates are reviewed.
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As many as 700,000 homes in the UK are expected to have solar panels installed by 2020.
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