If you have heard about solar and the free solar panel offers then you may be wondering exactly how the scheme works and why you can get photovoltaic solar panels for free. This guide will explain about the government's feed-in tariff scheme and how it has lead to the creation of the free solar panel offer. Here at Free Solar Panels UK I have been monitoring the progress of solar PV technologies and the free solar market and if you are seriously considering solar there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
Before we go any further it is important to understand what are photovoltaic solar panels and how they work. Solar panels come in 3 different type, ones that can generate electricity, ones that create hot water and hybrid solar panels that do both. The panels that are currently being offered for free are the photovoltaic panels that generate electricity, also called PV panels for short.
For most domestic properties these panels are installed on your roof as this provides clear exposure to the sun. The panels work by turning light into electricity; this means that it doesn't necessarily have to be sunny for solar PV to work just light. This does however mean that the panels do not generate electricity at night so at night time your electricity will continue to come from your current energy provider. At the moment a practical and cost effective solution does not exist to store electricity made during the day for use at night with a free solar system.
In 2010 the government introduced what is called the feed-in tariffs that were designed to encourage the take up and use of renewable technologies that generate green electricity. Rather than paying people a small up front grant to help with the cost of installing green technologies such as solar they now pay for every kilowatt of electricity your panels produce for a guaranteed 25 year period.
Some solar companies realised that they could offer to supply, install and maintain a photovoltaic system for free to customers that they would usually charge many thousands to sell. They realised that after working out how much solar panels cost to supply, fit and then monitor over a 25 year period that they could cover their costs through the feed-in tariff scheme and also make a profit. The first company to do this was A Shade Greener who is the leader in the free solar panel market, you can read my short A Shade Greener review to find out more about them.
The free solar schemes work where by a free installer will fit panels to your roof and install the necessary equipment so that it is fully integrated into your home. The panels will then generate electricity for you to use during daylight hours. This will save you money on your electricity bills as you do not have to buy as much electricity from the grid. In return the free installer will claim the feed-in tariff payments which will cover the cost of the company's initial investment and leave them with a profit.
At the time of writing there are more than 30 companies offering to install solar panels free of charge. You do however need to be aware of how the scheme works and what is involved and be aware of the solar panel scams and misleading claims. Certain installers will only cover certain areas and they will have different requirements that your home needs to meet in order to be suitable for solar.
I would advise anyone to be wary when receiving cold calls or when door to door canvassers approach you at home. In my experience the people you talk to are not able to provide accurate and reliable information when it comes to explaining solar. Often claims are inaccurate and misleading, you need to be in possession of all the facts before entering into an agreement for free solar or indeed if you decide to buy your own solar system.
There is plenty of information about free solar panels on this site in particular you can find that many of your questions may have already been answered in the readers solar questions section. If you cannot find the answer then you can always ask a question about solar and then if you think solar might be suitable for your home you can apply for free solar panels.
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According to DECC figures a 2.5kWh solar PV system can provide half of homes yearly electricity requirements.
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