Buyer's Guide: Why fit free solar panels?

Ok, so it's hard to miss the numerous adverts for free solar panel fitting these days, but what are the real benefits of fitting free solar panelled power into your home? Is it completely free? Do people actually save money? Well, let's find out. We will be delving into the world of free solar panels to find out how you can benefit from having them fitted and the best deals around right now.

 

Eligibility


Unfortunately, the government scheme to provide free solar panels has come to an end in 2015 and the Feed-in-tariffs or FITS has ended in April 2019. But there a new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) you can benefit from in long term. Based on what amount of heat your solar panels produce you can get payments from the government each quarter and are changed each year.
In order to be eligible to these payments you need to register your solar panels within a year after the installation.


The Perks


Fitting solar panels is a great way to be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, but the big sell is the financial advantages. The idea of solar panels is to allow your house to generate its own electricity for you to use and sell back to the main grid. 
Most free solar panel installers allow you to use the electricity generated for free during the day, whilst they sell the rest back to the grid. This is a great saving for those who are at home during the day, allowing you to take full advantage of free electricity and reduce your overall bills, but isn't going to make a huge impact if you aren't at home to utilise it. However, changes in your lifestyle, such as putting appliances like the washing machine on during the day whilst you're out, will still mean you make some savings and most people with solar panels fitted report a noticeable reduction in their energy bills. 


The Downside


Naturally, for any free offer there is going to be a sticking point.  With free solar panels, this is the feed-in-tariffs or Fits. This is where the companies who offer free installation make the money back on their investment. As the homeowner, you will not be able to take advantage of these Fits until you have completed the term of the contract, and even then it isn't always agreed that you can take these on. Be sure to fully check your contract before signing and check if there is the possibility to buy out the system early. 
Also, consider how fitting solar panels will affect selling your home in the future, as they drastically alter the look of a property and may put some potential buyers off.

Overall, free solar panels have advantages for homeowners, but you may want to consider purchasing them yourselves to reap the full benefits on Fits. For more information on the latest deals for installation look at A Shade Greener or The Solar Funding Scheme to see if you're eligible. 

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