What Grants Are Available For Solar Panels in 2023?

If you’re looking for ways to make your home greener, one of the best ways to do it in 2023 is through solar panels.

However, it’s hard to ignore that the initial installation cost can be pretty expensive. That’s why many look for grants that can help with the cost of solar panel installation.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the most common grant options available in 2023 for those looking to install solar panels in their homes.

1) 0% VAT

UK households looking to upgrade to renewable energy should utilise the limited drop in VAT on green energy measures – such as solar panels.

Under this limited tax measure, the government charges VAT at a significantly discounted rate of 0% VAT on green energy, making the installation of solar panels more affordable for homeowners.

Not only does this effectively reduce the upfront cost of going solar, enabling more households to switch to this environmentally-friendly energy source, but it could also allow UK homes to make tax savings of up to £1,000.

Moreover, with solar panels installed, households can expect a substantial decrease in their energy bills over time.

This, combined with the lower installation cost due to the 0% VAT, makes the transition to solar energy a financially feasible and beneficial decision for many homeowners.

Eligibility and how to apply for 0% VAT

The only piece of eligibility criteria is that the green energy measure must have been under the previous 5% VAT rate prior to the limited 0% tax period.

Every green measure can be found on the government’s website.

Extra criteria for the 0% VAT on solar panels include:

  • The eligibility requirement mandates that the installation and the energy-saving product must be included in the same project.
  • While additional installations or services, such as insulation, can be incorporated simultaneously, the primary focus of the project must be on the installation of energy-saving materials.

2) ECO4 Scheme

The ECO4 Scheme is one of the UK’s leading government grants for energy-efficient upgrades, ranging from improved insulation to solar panel installation.

The ECO4 Scheme, in particular, plays a vital role in assisting vulnerable UK households that may otherwise struggle with the cost of greening their energy source.

This grant is specifically designed to help those living in energy-inefficient homes on government benefits improve their energy efficiency through the means of green energy.

Whether it’s from upgraded insulation for installed solar panels, the ECO4 Scheme helps to lower their monthly energy bills all while reducing their carbon footprint.

Eligibility for the ECO4 Scheme

The ECO4 scheme is a beacon of hope for low-income households and those who are considered fuel-poor or vulnerable, particularly if they are benefit recipients.

However, there are specific requirements that your home must meet:

  • The property must currently have an inefficient heating system rated within the D-G energy efficiency band.
  • The applicant must either own and reside in the home or be a tenant in a privately rented property.
  • The scheme encompasses all-electric homes, inclusive of those on and off the gas network, provided biomass boilers or District Heat Network alternatives have been considered and ruled out.
  • The applicant needs to be receiving certain government benefits, such as child benefits or income support.

Take note that even if you are not currently on benefits but fall into the low-income bracket, there may still be a chance for you to qualify for the ECO4 scheme, thanks to the ECO4 Flex initiative.

ECO4 Flex is essentially a provision that grants local councils the autonomy to decide upon eligibility criteria that better cater to the specific circumstances of their respective regions.

This means that criteria are not solely based on benefit receipt or income level but can extend to accommodate factors such as age, the number of occupants, number of children, the state of the house, and more.

With this expanded eligibility, the ECO4 scheme is paving the way for a larger number of UK residents to access solar panel grants and switch to greener energy solutions.

How to apply for ECO4 Scheme

If you believe you’re eligible for a grant through the ECO4 scheme and you’re considering applying, the process is straightforward.

You simply need to reach out to an energy provider that participates in this scheme, or a verified installer – such as So Eco.

Upon your request, they will execute a telephonic assessment, where they’ll pose questions about your residence and your specific heating requirements.

Following the assessment, an appointment can be arranged for an installer to visit your property.

During this visit, they will evaluate whether your home qualifies for the ECO4 scheme and suggest the most suitable energy-efficient measures for your specific situation.

3) Smart Export Guarantee

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a key policy that empowers homeowners to earn money from their solar panel installations.

Launched by the UK government with the specific aim of supporting the generation of renewable energy, the SEG program mandates that licensed energy suppliers with at least 150,000 customers must provide an export tariff to small-scale low-carbon generators of electricity.

Homeowners with solar panels can sell the surplus energy they generate back to the National Grid, establishing a further incentive for adopting renewable energy and making solar installations an even more economically viable solution.

The rate you receive for each kilowatt-hour of energy exported to the grid varies between suppliers, but it certainly turns your solar panels into a source of income, offsetting the initial installation cost and contributing to longer-term savings.

Eligibility for the Smart Export Guarantee

To be eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee, you must have a solar battery and a smart meter installed in your property.

The solar battery is essential as it stores the surplus energy generated by the solar panels, which can then be sold back to the grid.

Meanwhile, the smart meter plays a crucial role by accurately measuring the amount of energy produced and exported, ensuring households are compensated correctly for the power they contribute to the grid.

Through both of these technologies, homes can accurately store and sell surplus energy back to the National Grid.

How to apply for the Smart Export Guarantee

To become an SEG Generator, it’s necessary to find an SEG Licensee, which is an electricity supplier authorised to offer an SEG tariff, and apply directly to them.

It’s important to understand that each SEG Licensee has its own unique application process that you must adhere to.

Before you start the application process for SEG tariffs, it’s crucial to first secure a panel that’s both energy-efficient and tailored to your home’s specific needs.

This initial step will ensure savings from the beginning as you wouldn’t want to apply grants to panels that are not suitable or below standard for your home.

Reduce your energy bills for less

Thank you for reading our blog post on what grants are available for solar panels in 2023.

If you want to learn more about solar panels, such as how solar panels work in the home or the best position for solar panels – be sure to check out our blog.

If you’re looking to upgrade your property through the ECO4 scheme, be sure to contact a member of our experienced team today or complete our free online eligibility checker.

We can provide tailored advice and solutions that are both cost-effective and energy-efficient, helping you to reduce your energy bills for less.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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