You may have already heard that you can get grants for solar panels in the UK but may not be exactly sure about the details or how you actually get these grants. In the UK these grants are known as the feed-in tariffs and they replace the old grant system in 2010 with a much more generous system of tax free payments is you uses solar.

What are the feed-in tariffs?

You used to get a small grant to put towards the cost of buying a solar photovoltaic system to put on your roof. The new feed-in tariff scheme has replaced this grant with a system of tax free payments based on the performance of your solar panels. This performance is measured by the amount of kilowatt hours your panels produce, the more they produce the more that you get paid.

This new scheme encourages more efficient solar investments as it actually encourages people to produce as much green electricity as possible. The more panels that you put on your roof the more kilowatt hours of electricity your photovoltaic system will produce and the more you will get paid.

The current rate is 43.3 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh). This may not sound that much on its own but if you compare that to the amount that you are paying your electricity company for a kilowatt of electricity then you can see how generous it is. By the way the current standard rate is 13 pence which means that you get paid 30 pence more than you buy electricity for.

How much can I get in grants?

For a domestic installation of about 4 kilowatts you can expect to generate about 3,400 kilowatt hours of electricity over the course of a year. This means that you would be paid 1,472.20 in feed-in tariff payments that will be paid directly to you and you will not have to pay any tax on this income.

This new solar panel grants scheme is guaranteed by the government for 25 years which means you will be paid this amount yearly for 25 years. So for a 4 kilowatt system you would earn a total of 36,805 pounds over the course of the 25 years that the scheme is set to run. Of course if you have smaller system the amount that you would earn would be less but even with one of the smallest sized systems at 1 kilowatt you would still earn a total of over nine thousand pounds.

How to claim your solar grants

In order to be able to claim these grants you need to invest in a solar photovoltaic system. The cost of such a system varies and the more panels that you add to the system the more expensive the system becomes but the more you earn in tariff payments. Small systems start at around four to five thousand pounds.

To be eligible for the grants you need to buy and install the system through a certified company, certification is managed under the microgeneration certification scheme. A properly certified installer will be able to register your system so that you can qualify for the payments.