Many people living in the UK are unaware that they can get free solar panel grants that will cover the cost of getting solar panels installed on your roof. This is a relatively new scheme that came into effect in 2010 and has proved very popular for those in the know. In fact so many people have already made their claim that the amount you can claim will be reduced very soon.

You may have heard about solar panels UK, there are two types, ones that produce hot water and the others that produce electricity. The type of panel where you can currently get the generous grants are for the type that generates electricity and are known as solar photovoltaic panels or solar PV for short. Solar PV works by turning daylight in to electricity, the technology has been in use since the 60's but has only really taken off in the UK in the last few years.

What is solar PV?

One of the first things people ask is if solar panels work in the UK, were not exactly famous for our sunny climate. You may have thought countries such as Spain would benefit from solar but not the UK. Germany who have a similar climate to us have been successfully using solar for a decade, it's the reason the government are trying to promote the technology over here. It is one way the government can help to reduce the amount of carbon we release into the atmosphere. Solar panels produce no carbon or pollution and it is a clean way of generating electricity.

Contrary to popular beliefs solar works even when the sun is not shining, solar PV works as long as there is daylight. Even on the cloudiest day your panels would still be producing electricity for you to use in your home. The only time they will not work is at night, during this time when the panels are not working you will continue to use the electricity supplied by your electricity company. It would be nice if they worked 24 hours a day but that's not how the technology works.

How to get solar grants

The government wants to encourage us to produce green non-polluting electricity rather than relying on imported coal, gas, oil and electricity from abroad which we are currently very reliant on. To encourage people to install solar on their rooftops they now pay people a 25 year grant for doing so. Rather than paying you upfront for installing the panels they pay you over a 25 year period and the payments are based on how much electricity you produce. The more electricity that you generate the more you will get paid.

This new grant system in the UK means that over a 25 year period you will more than cover the cost of the initial investment in buying a solar panel system. In fact the tax free payments can recoup your costs in as little as 7 years which means that you not only benefit from the free electricity that the panels generate but you also get paid a tax free sum which on average equates to about a thousand pounds.

To qualify for these grants you need to get a solar panel system installed by a certified company. You then get a certificate that proves you have a certified and registered system. Your electricity company will then start paying you for generating electricity.