Solar energy – what financial help is available to you?

Homes nationwide are warming to sunshine power, so it’s useful to know what, if any, financial support is available. The appeal of solar photovoltaic panels (solar PV) lies in their ability to absorb free energy from the sun, which is then converted into warmth or power for your home.

The Government’s Green Deal has supported householders who are looking to apply for financial support, when harnessing renewable energy. It is a nationwide initiative to improve domestic energy efficiency and it services loans for solar panels. Grants and support to help install energy-saving technologies in your home is covered at the Energy Saving Trust website.

Green Deal: still open?

The construction press has reported news of a government loan to the tune of £34m, made to the Green Deal Finance Company to keep it trading into next year. Meanwhile, applications for Green Deal loans closed in July 2014 with more funding expected to become available in April 2015. All existing funding had been claimed and improvements carried out by postcode-specific approved assessors, providers and installers. Assessor Organisations visited homes to estimate energy savings, while installers erected solar panels.

Chief executive, Mark Bayley, said: “DECC money together with existing “funding from private investors” including British Gas, EDF and Scottish Power meant the scheme had “strong backing. We are glad that our Green Deal providers now have even more certainty that funding is in place.”

Terms and conditions

These green loans are repaid with any savings you make on your bills, as a direct result of the home improvements such as solar PV panels, cavity or loft insulation and new boilers. The recipients can start to benefit from energy savings once the loan amount is repaid in full. Via the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund householders could get up to £1,000 split across two energy saving improvements and £100 towards assessment fees.

£10m grants for panels

Solar panels for housing blocks and “district heating” could be the future of renewable energy funding, reported The Guardian. The government has launched a £10m Urban Community Energy Fund, making grants available to community groups seeking to launch renewable energy solutions for communal benefit.

Applications for funding are being welcomed from the following eligible groups: Registered Companies (including CICs); Charitable Incorporated Organisations; Registered Societies (formerly known as IPS); Parish and Town Councils.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey said: “I want to give more people the power to generate their own electricity and by supporting community energy projects we can – helping them drive down their energy bills at the same time. That’s why we’ve pledged £10m, so communities can play their part in generating renewable power at a local level.”

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