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Save money with solar panel grants and schemes

Explore UK grants and financing options to help you harness the power of  solar panels

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What's In This Guide

The ultimate guide to solar panel grants in the UK

Thinking about switching to solar power? You're making a smart move — solar panels not only help the environment but can also help to trim down your energy bills. Understanding the cost involved is key, and here's some good news: the UK government offers various grants and financial schemes to make solar panels more accessible and affordable for both homeowners and businesses.


Why consider solar panels? Beyond the environmental benefits, they're a savvy investment in the long run, reducing your energy costs. The UK government recognises this and supports your switch to solar energy with helpful schemes.


But there's more — besides government grants, there are other financing options available to help you embark on your solar journey. These include local initiatives, private grants, and flexible financing plans offered by solar providers. It's always smart to explore all your options.


Remember, grants and schemes are dynamic — they change and evolve. New solar panel funding opportunities can emerge even as current ones close, which is why it’s crucial to stay informed and up-to-date. Read on to discover some key grants and initiatives to help UK homeowners and businesses install solar panels, whether you’re in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

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And how about finding the right provider? SpotDif is here to assist. We make it straightforward for you to search and compare top-quality solar panel providers and installation companies. Our goal is to help you navigate these options, ensuring you find the best fit for your needs and budget. With us, you're just a few clicks away from making a well-informed solar energy decision. 


Ready to explore your solar options? Turn to SpotDif for guidance towards your ideal solar solution.

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UK solar panel grants for homeowners and businesses

With the help of solar panel grants, harnessing solar power and reducing your carbon footprint is more accessible than ever. These grants are designed to make the switch to solar energy both affordable and straightforward for homeowners and businesses. Each grant has its unique features, eligibility criteria, and savings potential so you’re sure to find a solar grant to help you make the most of renewable energy.

Green Deal

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The government’s Green Deal covers an array of home improvements to boost your property’s energy efficiency. It offers a unique approach to financing energy improvements — including solar panels. The Green Deal is essentially a loan — you pay the money back each month through an additional fee on your energy bills.


This grant is open to homeowners, landlords, and businesses in the UK. Your property will need to be assessed to see if it's eligible, and you’ll only be able to go ahead if the repayments are less than the savings you’ll make on your energy bills.

ECO4

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The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, in its fourth phase (ECO4), focuses on reducing carbon emissions and tackling fuel poverty. It includes funding for solar panel installations.


ECO4 is primarily aimed at low-income households and those in fuel poverty. Eligibility often depends on factors like your income, property type, and whether you receive certain benefits.


Those eligible could receive significant subsidies on the installation of solar panels and even get them for free. 

Solar Together

There is also Solar Together, a group-buying scheme which offers homeowners the chance to purchase solar panels at a reduced rate. It works by gathering a large number of interested parties and using collective buying power to negotiate better prices.


Homeowners within participating regions can sign up. The scheme periodically opens for new registrations, so keeping an eye on announcements is key.


The savings can be considerable due to the lower prices negotiated through the group-buying scheme, making solar panels more affordable.

Nest 

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The Warm Homes Nest Scheme is the Welsh Government's scheme offering a range of energy-saving improvements, including solar panels, particularly to those on lower incomes or living in hard-to-heat homes.


You need to be a homeowner or rent from a private landlord in Wales, and either receive a means-tested benefit or live in a property with a poor energy efficiency rating.


Qualified households can receive free or heavily subsidised solar panel installations, leading to significant reductions in energy costs.

Home Upgrade Grant (HUG 2)

Set to run until March 2025, this scheme focuses on increasing the energy efficiency of low-income households through improvements like solar panel installations.


The Home Upgrade Grant targets low-income households living in the least energy-efficient homes. Qualification often depends on income levels and the existing energy efficiency rating of your home.


The scheme can cover a substantial part, if not all, of the cost of installing solar panels, leading to significant energy bill reductions.

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Previous solar panel funding options


Above are just a handful of available grants for solar panels, and there are always new incentives popping up. It can also be helpful to know what grants and schemes have been available in the past. Not only does this show the evolution of solar panel funding but it can also give an idea of what’s been successful and the types of initiatives that may come to light in the future.


Feed-in Tariff


One notable scheme was the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). Launched in 2010, this was a game-changer. It offered homeowners and businesses payments for generating their own electricity using solar panels. 


The FIT scheme not only helped with the initial cost but also paid for the electricity produced, making it a highly attractive option. It was a cornerstone in the UK's solar schemes history but closed to new applicants in April 2019.


Renewable Heat Incentive


Another significant program was the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This focused more broadly on renewable heating technologies, including solar thermal panels. Participants received payments over several years, based on the amount of renewable heat produced. 


This scheme was pivotal in promoting the use of renewable energy sources in heating systems, but applications closed in March 2021.


Green Homes Grant


Although it was short-lived, the Green Homes Grant was another ambitious initiative in the realm of solar panel grants. Launched in 2020, it offered vouchers to homeowners and landlords to cover part of the cost of energy-efficient improvements, including solar thermal panels. 


Despite its potential, the scheme faced challenges and closed in March 2021.

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How to find and apply for solar panel grants

Finding and applying for solar panel grants might seem daunting, but it's simpler than you think. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process.


Finding solar panel grants and funding options


First, discover what grants are available. The grants we’ve discussed above are a great starting point, and you can also explore the UK government’s own website. It’s packed with the latest information on solar panel grants and schemes. Another helpful resource is Grants Online. This tool lets you search for various funding options, tailored to your specific needs.


If you’re looking for solar panels for a commercial space, you can also take a look at the Ofgem website (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets).


Checking if you’re eligible 


Once you've identified potential grants, the next step is checking your eligibility. Each grant has its own criteria. This could include the type of property you own, its location, and your personal or business energy needs. It's crucial to read these requirements carefully to ensure you qualify.


The application form


After confirming your eligibility, the application process begins. This typically involves filling out an application form, either online or in a paper format. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your property, energy usage, and why you're a good candidate for the grant. Some grants may require additional documentation, like energy bills or plans for the solar panel installation.


Remember, applying for a grant is a competitive process. Make your application stand out by being thorough and clear. Explain how the grant will help you achieve your solar energy goals and contribute to a greener future.


Don’t miss the deadline!


Lastly, keep an eye on deadlines. Grant applications often have strict timelines, and missing a deadline could mean waiting for the next round of funding.


With these steps in mind, you're well on your way to securing a grant for your solar panels. And remember, SpotDif is here to help you compare and choose the best solar panel provider for your project, making your journey to solar energy smooth and successful.

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Will the government's new planning rules make installing solar panels easier?

In November 2023, the UK government announced an update to planning permission in relation to solar panels


Previously, both homeowners and businesses faced lengthy and complex permission processes, but the government is now simplifying the installation process with new planning permission rules designed to ease and speed up installations. 


For businesses, the requirement for planning permission for over one-megawatt installations will be eliminated, and homeowners can install solar panels without as much red tape and complication.

This shift is vital for the UK's transition to renewable energy, aiming to achieve 70GW of solar power by 2035 and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, leading to more affordable energy and a lower carbon footprint.

Search and compare solar panel providers with SpotDif

As you can see, there are plenty of grants and schemes available to help make solar panel installation more affordable and accessible. If you’re ready to get started on your solar power journey, SpotDif has just what you need. 


Compare trusted solar panel providers and installation companies near you and get ready to embrace renewable energy.

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Anna Dearden
Home sector specialist
I'm driven by curiosity, and constantly seeking to unravel and explore the ever-evolving trends in the realms of lifestyle, finance, and well-being.
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