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Grants for Solar Panels: What Are They and How Can You Apply in the UK?

Switching to green energy, the renewable energy system is more affordable and simple, thanks to solar panel grants in the UK.

Solar panels or heat pumps use solar energy to generate electricity that may be used to power your home.

They support renewable energy production, carbon dioxide reduction, and significant energy bill savings.

Solar panel grants can considerably reduce the cost of solar panel installation and help you to switch to a more environmentally friendly power source.

Continue reading to learn more about the UK's solar panel grants available in 2022 and the eligibility requirements.

How Do Solar Panel Grants Work in the UK?

Solar panels are devices that absorb sunlight and produce power. Each solar panel is made up of a cell sequence containing PV material.

The PV material produces an electric field across the panel when sunlight strikes the cells. Electricity is produced by the material's electrons moving through the electric field.

Because PV cells, sandwiched between layers of silicone, are used to create solar panels, the technology is known as solar PV.

Solar PV is the production of electricity utilising solar energy.

Even though it may seem senseless to install solar panels where the weather is not constantly sunny, current solar panels can generate power without direct sunshine.

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    Cells made of numerous layers of semiconducting material are used in solar PV systems to convert solar energy into electricity.

    Ordinarily, silicon is used, the second most common element in the universe after oxygen.

    An electric field is formed across the layers when light strikes the cells, forcing electrons to flow and generating electricity. Each cell yields a very small amount of electricity on its own.

    Solar panels connect to allow for the creation of greater amounts of electricity.

    The DC is changed into AC, or its mains equivalent, via an inverter, creating electricity fit for powering appliances.

    Grid-connected systems have the potential to import electricity from the grid when there is not enough sunlight while they can also export to the grid electricity they do not consume

    What Are the Different Solar Panel Grants in the UK?

    The UK government and some energy companies have long prioritised promoting renewable energy sources.

    All EU member nations are required to meet a 32% renewable energy target by 2030 under the EU's Renewable Energy Directive.

    The UK has been working toward that goal as the focus is on moving in this direction by implementing additional programmes and incentives in the renewable energy sector.

    There are ways to finance solar panels in the UK, even though there aren't any grants in the conventional sense.

    The main solar panel grants and funding sources available in the UK are summarised in this guide. We'll go over how to be eligible for assistance with solar panels.

    1) The ECO4 Scheme

    The most recent government initiative to assist low-income households by helping them to build more energy-efficient homes is called ECO4.

    ECO4, took the place of ECO3 on April 1, 2022, and will last until March 20, 2026.

    It helps low-income, vulnerable households and those experiencing fuel poverty with free or heavily reduced solutions.

    The UK government has earmarked £4 billion—£1 billion each year over four years—to increase UK households' energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

    The difference between ECO4 and ECO3 is that more people will be allowed to qualify, thanks to LA Flex or flexible eligibility.

    This government scheme went into effect on July 27, 2022. Suitable systems installed between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2026 are eligible for the ECO4 scheme.

    Who Should Get This Solar Panel Grant?

    Low-income, fuel-poor, and vulnerable households receiving benefits are welcome to participate in the ECO4 scheme.

    Your home must meet certain criteria to qualify for solar PV panels:

    • If you are using an inefficient heating system that falls within the D-G energy efficiency range.
    • If you own your home, reside there, or rent a private residence.
    • Residences that are entirely electric and are not connected to district heating or biomass boilers.
    • If you are obtaining government and energy companies’ assistance (e.g., child benefits or income support).

    If you are low-income but not already receiving solar panel grants, you can still be eligible for ECO4 under the ECO4 LA Flex.

    How Do You Qualify for This Solar Panel Grant?

    You must first authenticate your eligibility before submitting an ECO4 grant application.

    Checking the eligibility requirements on the government website will help you do this. If you meet the requirements, you must then look for recognised energy suppliers.

    Accredited vendors have a government registration and can offer energy efficiency upgrades.

    Once you've identified an energy supplier, they will inspect your house to see what energy-efficient home improvements could be made.

    If the price is acceptable, the work will be done, and you should start saving money on your energy expenses.

    It's crucial to note that selecting the right panels is the key to maximising savings through solar panel funding before going on to the other grants in the UK.

    Grants shouldn't be used for subpar panels or panels that are the wrong fit for your house.

    For best effectiveness, the right panels are created specifically for your home's energy-saving requirements and characteristics.

    Customised panels can reduce yearly energy bills in the UK by nearly 70%! Compare up to four locally offered custom solar panels to maximise grant savings.

    2) SEG

    The SEG programme offers homes a great way to reduce the cost of solar panel installation.

    Installing solar panels is an investment in the future, and the SEG offers a way to recover your money and minimise up-front expenditures.

    The programme mandates that providers with more than 150,000 clients compensate homeowners for unused solar-generated electricity.

    All licenced providers must now provide their clients with an export tariff, even though this is not a direct government grant.

    Your residence or place of business must have solar PV panels and set so that any excess energy can be fed into the National Grid.

    You are compensated under the SEG for each unit of electricity you return.

    Who Should Get This Solar Panel Grant?

    Under the SEG, all homes with standard solar PV panel installations are eligible.

     A smart meter must be installed in your home to track exports.

     It should be noted that some providers only provide energy exported from particular solar battery storage systems at specified rates.

    You'll need proof that the MCS has approved your installation and installer.

    You must apply to an SEG licensee or an electrical provider that provides an SEG tariff to receive payments.

    If you have installed eligible solar panels, SEG licensees must issue a rate. The licensee need not be the same as your present energy provider.

    The SEG tariff will always be above zero.

    Check your tariff frequently to make sure you're on a competitive one as they can vary over time.

    You can apply directly to SEG energy suppliers if solar panels are installed.

    How Do You Qualify for This Solar Panel Grant?

    To become an SEG generator, you must search for an SEG licensee (an electricity provider permitted to provide an SEG rate) and apply directly to them.

    All SEG licensees must provide all eligible generators with an SEG tariff. However, each one will have a distinct application procedure you must adhere to.

    Before beginning the SEG tariff application process, you must secure an energy-efficient, custom-made panel that is appropriate for your home's requirements.

    Since you don't want to apply grants to subpar or inappropriate panels for your home, doing this will guarantee you are saving from the beginning.

    You can use the time to get ready to apply solar panel grants to your recently installed solar PV system rather than spend it on calling various installers.

    3) 0% VAT

    Homes in the UK have enjoyed zero VAT on purchasing energy-saving materials and installation as of April 2022.

    The VAT-free period expires after five years, and the rate goes back to 5%.

    Thus, eliminating the VAT and the solar panel grants brings us closer to obtaining renewable power sources than ever before.

    Although this is not a grant for solar panels, it makes the transition to renewable energy sources for homeowners simpler and less expensive.

    The strategy encourages green housing investments to tackle high energy bills and lower carbon emissions.

    Because of this policy, you'll save an average of £800 when purchasing new solar panels for your home.

    Who Should Get This Solar Panel Grant?

    The new zero VAT regulations also welcomed the permanent removal of the precise eligibility requirements that previously applied to the 5% reduced rate.

    The complete information is available on the government website. Your property and new installation must satisfy certain standards to be eligible for 0% VAT:

    • It must include the installation and the product, which must be completed concurrently.
    • While other products or services (such as insulation) can be installed concurrently, the primary focus of the work must be on energy-saving materials.

    How Do You Qualify for This Solar Panel Grant?

    The energy supplier will automatically apply the 0% VAT if the installation and energy-saving component qualify. As a result, the energy supplier requires no application process.

    4) The LA Flex Scheme

    The government's ECO4 scheme has been expanded through the LA Flex programme.

    To broaden the eligibility window for households at risk of being unable to purchase fuel under the prior standards, the government launched LA Flex.

    The LA Flex eligibility allows local governments to widen the eligibility requirements.

    In other words, it is a different entry point for the same ECO4 financing, with comparable measurements but different requirements.

    You may be eligible for free money through LA Flex to help pay for energy-saving measures like solar panels for homes with electric heating systems.

    Who Should Get This Solar Panel Grant?

    LA Flex focuses on two demographics:

    • People who are in fuel poverty (those whose monthly heating costs account for at least 10% of their net income)
    • Individuals that are most at risk in cold weather

    Through the LA Flex programme, there are three ways to get money for solar panels:

    • Route 1 (low household income): having an income of less than £31,000 per year.
    • Route 2 (health): Experiencinghealth difficulties, including circulatory, respiratory, and mobility problems, or immune-suppressed illnesses made worse by residing in a cold environment.
    • Route 3 (multi-proxy eligibility): falling into energy bands E, F, or G and meets any of the following requirements:
      • The residence is in the LSOA 1-3 region.
      • The homeowner only qualifies for a council tax rebate if their income is low.
      • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) recommendations note that the householder is at risk of experiencing frigid living conditions.
      • The Local Authority Delivery (LAD) programme, which strives to serve vulnerable and low-income households, has referred the householder.
      • Free school lunches are provided to all household child members.
      • The mortgage lender, the energy provider, or Citizens Advice Bureau has urged the family to seek assistance from the local authority because the household struggles with ongoing debt from mortgage payments and energy bills.

    Local authorities determine the qualifications for the LA Flex scheme. Filling out an eligibility form is the easiest way to determine if you qualify for financing.

    How Do You Qualify for This Solar Panel Grant?

    When it comes to using LA Flex to get ECO funds, local governments are crucial.

    Even though partners like managing agents and installers can help with funding access in general, only the local government can complete some steps in the LA Flex process.

    A statement of intent describing the requirements for residents to be eligible for the ECO scheme through LA Flex must be issued by local authorities.

    A signed declaration by the local authority must be sent to the relevant energy company, which is required to provide funding for the ECO scheme.

    Along with documents confirming eligibility when customers express an interest in funding, proof of their eligibility must be gathered.

    The completed paperwork must include the customer's name, address, and special reference number before being given to qualified ECO installers for the funding to be issued.

    Is UK Solar Panel Funding Valid?

    The simple response is yes. The bulk of the cost of solar panel installation may be recovered via the ECO4 scheme.

    If you qualify as a homeowner, you may also be able to recover the cost of other energy-saving improvements like insulation.

    Additionally, thanks to the SEG, you may make money using your solar panels to produce excess energy.

    Keep up with grants if you want to maximise your savings. However, note that the majority of householders cannot get free solar panels.

    In the past, there were other free solar panel grants, but they have since ended.

    A few years ago, free solar panel programmes (rent-a-roof) were a popular way to install solar panels on your roof space without paying the up-front costs.

    It's crucial to make sure you submit grant applications for the appropriate panels. Obtaining funding for a subpar or inappropriate panel for your house serves no purpose.

    The ideal panel is created specifically to meet the needs of your home, and we make it simple for you to reach an informed decision by comparing up to four locally-made options.

    You can find more details about the various energy grants on the government's website, including all the information you need about grants for solar-related equipment.

    Is Applying for Solar Panel Grants Worth It?

    Are solar panels worth it? The immediate answer is yes. There are numerous benefits to installing solar panels, including the following:

    1) Reducing the Cost of Energy Bills

    Solar panels might help your household budget feel less squeezed as power rates climb. They rely on sunlight, a cost-free and abundant source of energy.

    The size of your solar panel system and how much electricity you use will determine how much the solar panel owners save money on electricity bills.

    Also, there is no need to be concerned about producing electricity in overcast conditions. Every day, regardless of the weather, you can gather solar energy.

    Even on overcast or cloudy days, solar panels produce electricity because they only require light to operate. However, the output increases with light brightness.

    2) Earn Money by Producing Extra Energy

    The electricity generated by your solar panels may provide more electricity than you need, and you may consider what to do with this excess.

    With the help of a solar battery, you can store the surplus energy for use after dark or export it to the National Grid and get paid by energy providers under the SEG programme.

    3) Simple to Maintain

    Solar panels require little to no maintenance and can last many years. They only require cleaning a few times a year.

    You don't have to worry about wear and tear or repair costs because there are no moving parts. The majority of solar panel manufacturers give 20 to 25-year warranties.

    4) Eco-Friendly and Renewable Solar Energy

    Using solar panels has many advantages, one of which is switching to green solar energy.

    Solar panels can reduce your carbon footprint and your environmental effect, unlike other energy sources that depend on fossil fuels.

    5) Being Free of the National Grid

    You can generate electricity with solar panels in places without access to the National Grid. Solar batteries' storage capacity can provide you with total energy independence.

    For this reason, you won't have to deal with energy suppliers or price rises.

    What Makes Solar Panels Stand Out Compared to Other Sources of Energy?

    Why pick solar energy over conventional sources? Solar energy may generate electricity and hot water for the home, making it a much cleaner solution.

    • Reduces fuel costs when energy bills are rising significantly.
    • Lasts over 25 years and requires little upkeep.
    • With no emissions, the energy produced is clean and sustainable.
    • Dependency on the National Grid is reduced.

    The price of fossil fuels is rising quickly, making them a more expensive alternative for the environment and your wallet.

    • Need expensive fuels like oil, gas, or electricity at a time when costs are rising quickly.
    • Regular upkeep and repairs can be expensive.
    • Using a fossil fuel that increases carbon emissions as a source of energy.
    • Extreme reliance on fossil fuels and the National Grid.

    You may have enquiries when researching grants for solar panels. We want to assist you in navigating this scenario so you can make an informed decision.

    If you have any additional enquiries, please read the FAQs provided below.


    Government grants are not available for solar panel purchases. Currently, there is no such thing as free solar panels.

    However, with the ECO4 scheme and the LA Flex programme, solar panels are more affordable than ever, and you can soon begin enjoying the benefits of pure solar power.

    By transferring extra energy to the National Grid through the SEG initiative, you can reduce energy bills and potentially get paid.

    We advise you to look into your financial options and learn more about the benefits of solar power.

    It could seem impossible to transition to solar power, but with different financial options and 0% VAT, installing solar panels may be simpler than you think.

    Did you know that Solar Panel Installation can match you with 3 local installers who will provide you with a free quote? Fill out our form today to get in touch with installers.

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    Mark McShane
    Content Writer
    Mark McShane is a seasoned professional in the solar industry and the owner of Skills Training Group, a leading provider of solar training and education. With years of experience in the field, Mark has developed a deep understanding of the latest trends, technologies and best practices in the industry. His expertise and passion for solar energy have helped countless professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-growing field of solar energy. Whether you’re an aspiring solar professional or an experienced industry veteran, Mark is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their skills and knowledge of the solar industry.
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