David Artiss

Can you really get free solar panels for your home?

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Having recently moved home and being the environmentally conscience chap I am, I looked into solar panels.

What I think a lot of people don’t realise is the fact that you can now get them very cheaply or even free.

For instance, E.ON will install them for £99 (if you’re a customer – £199 if you’re not).

How is this possible? The government introduced a scheme last year named Feed In Tariffs (FITs) which provides the following…

  • A payment for every unit of electricity generated by your system. This is paid regardless of whether your home is using the electricity or not, and this year the payment is 43.3 pence per unit
  • An additional payment for any electricity that isn’t used (e.g. when you’re on holiday). This is exported to the national grid, and the payment this year is 3p per unit

The payments are guaranteed by law for 25 years and will rise with inflation.

The nub of this is that it pays to install solar panels – hence many companies can fit them for free and take the money from FITs. Of course you still get free electricity from it and can typical save at least a third of your bills.

Of course, you can pay the full amount and take the FIT amount yourself.

I looked at a company named HomeSun who will fit and maintain them for free. There are a number of conditions – such as your house facing the right way, living south of Hull (sorry Hull) and being able to provide enough roof space – and, sadly, my home wasn’t suitable. In this case they have a 2nd option where you pay up to £500 towards the installation (when it’s free they need to make sure they can make the money back).

If you’re interested in the service from HomeSun – and there certainly seems to be lots of positive feedback (in their interest – they only make their money back if it’s a decent installation!) – then visit their website. If you use the referall code of HOMESUN_11604B522 then you’ll also earn yourself £50 in M&S vouchers.

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1 Comment

  1. I know my uncle installed some a while ago but i haven’t actually asked him about the imapact they’ve had and i’m not sure if he has had enough time to be able to work it out yet. my feeling on the situation at the moment is that solar panels just aren’t efficient enough to justify right now, unless you have a massive collection of them.

    If you have the money to do it then by all means go for it, but bare in mind they wont pay for themselves for a long time. it has become more accesible in recent years with the price of solar panels dropping.

    I think if i was in the position to buy some i would possibly wait a few years first, they have been trying to create a more efficient panel coating for years and are on the cusp of being able to manufacture panels that are 5 to 10 times more efficient then the ones we have now. when things reach that stage it will be well worth it, probably expensive at first too. but if you buy now and then the next generation panels hit the market you’ll have to buy all over again.

    p.s. you never mentioned where you are from……… daylight hours are a big factor in the scheme of things. with the mention of m&s vouchers though i imagine its england, which can be a bit touch and go for clear days. do a little research and you should find more information to help you decide

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