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Solar Panel Grants 2024

Free solar panel grants in 2024 and how to qualify

The green revolution is in full swing, and solar panels are at the forefront as a fantastic way to take back control of your bills through an eco-friendly energy solution. In the UK, more homes and businesses are making the switch to solar power, but we know that the upfront costs can be a bit daunting. 

The good news? There’s a bunch of grants and schemes in the UK that are here to help! Let’s dive into the sunny side of 2024 and explore the solar panel grants that could brighten up your home.

Understanding Solar Panel Grants

If you’re thinking about getting solar panels for your home in the UK, there are some great grants and incentives up for grabs.

These grants exist as the Government try to encourage us to use renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. About a 5th of the UK’s carbon emissions come from home heating so by encouraging people to make the switch, we can drastically reduce unnecessary emissions.

It’s not just the government offering these grants, local authorities, energy companies, and some non-profit groups are in on it, offering grants like the Energy Company Obligation scheme, Solar TogetherHome Energy Scotland Grantthe Smart Export Guarantee, and Zero VAT on solar panels.

If you’re not grant-eligible, no worries! There are still some tricks up the sleeve for cheaper solar panels, like no VAT on specific energy upgrades and a little cashback for sharing your extra energy with the grid. It really is a perfect time to make the switch.

Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO4)

Ever heard of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme? The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes have been ongoing for a number of years, with the latest phase being ECO4. This scheme replaced ECO3 on 1st April 2022 and is set to run until March 2026. Its main objective is to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in homes across the UK, with a particular focus on helping low-income and vulnerable households.

The ECO4 Scheme is funded by the energy companies and aims to assist around 450,000 homes in upgrading their energy systems. This includes providing fully free solar panel installations for eligible households. The scheme is part of the government’s effort to meet its climate change targets and tackle fuel poverty.

To be eligible for this grant, you must meet certain criteria, including receiving certain benefits or having a low-income household. Curious if you qualify? Check in with Warma UK – we’ve got the deets.

See if you're eligible for Free Solar Panel Grant

See if you're eligible for Free Solar Panel Grant

Local Authority Flexible Eligibility (LA Flex)

Local authorities flex their muscles with LA Flex, setting their own criteria for ECO funding. Even if your household doesn’t tick all the boxes for standard ECO4 eligibility, your local authority might still sprinkle some funding magic your way.

Qualifying for solar panel grants through LA Flex? Here’s the lowdown:

You can qualify for solar panel grants through LA Flex if the following applies:

  • You are a homeowner or private tenant
  • Your property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F, or G
  • You receive certain benefits, such as Income Support or Universal Credit
  • You have a low-income and high energy bill compared to your income.

Warm Homes Nest Scheme

The Welsh government’s Warm Homes Nest Scheme offers a range of free, impartial advice and, if you’re eligible, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements.

This includes solar panel installations to eligible Welsh households. If you claim certain benefits and have an income below a certain threshold, you might qualify for Nest.

To qualify for Nest funding, 

  • You own or privately rent your home (not from a local authority or housing association)
  • Your home is energy inefficient and expensive to heat
  • You or someone you live with receives a means tested benefit OR has a chronic respiratory, circulatory or mental health condition and an income below the defined thresholds.

Warma UK works with households to claim under the NEST scheme, so get in touch if you think you might be eligible.

Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Scheme

Calling Scotland home? Lucky you! The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme are waving the flag for solar panels. If you’re a homeowner or a private sector tenant with an energy-inefficient property, this one’s for you.

Eligibility checklist:

  • Must be a homeowner or a private sector tenant in Scotland
  • Property must be built before 2008
  • The property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of band E or lower
  • Household income must not exceed £40,000 per year

Now, here’s the cool part – you get to choose between grants and loans. Grants cover 100% of the cost for those with an income under £20,000, while loans, with a sweet 0% interest rate, cover 75% for those with incomes between £20,000 and £40,000.

Solar Together

Solar Together is a group-buying program that allows homeowners to purchase solar panels at a discounted price. This initiative is run by local authorities and community groups, with the aim of making solar energy more accessible and affordable for everyone.

To participate in Solar Together, you simply need to register your interest on their website and wait for the group purchase auction. The more people who sign up, the lower the cost of installation will be for everyone involved.

Smart Export Guarantee

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a government scheme that requires energy suppliers to pay households and businesses for any excess electricity generated by their solar panels and exported to the grid. This can help offset the cost of installation and make solar panels a more financially viable option.

Under the SEG, energy suppliers must offer tariffs for small-scale low-carbon generators, such as solar panels. The rates of payment vary between suppliers, so it is important to shop around for the best deal.

Zero VAT on Solar Panels

Hold on, it gets better. Solar panels are still eligible for a zero VAT rate in the UK. This means that you can save 20% on the cost of installation and equipment compared to other home improvements that are subject to VAT.

However, this zero VAT rate is set to expire in 2027, so it is best to take advantage of it while it lasts. It is important to note that this only applies to residential properties and not commercial or rental properties.

Solar Panel Grants in The UK That Have Now Expired

While numerous solar panel grants are active, some schemes have expired. The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which encouraged the switch to renewable heating systems, closed in March 2021. 

The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme, offering incentives for generating electricity using renewable sources, closed to new applicants in March 2019.

Apply for Your Grant with Warma UK

Ready to take the next step? Start your solar journey by applying for a solar panel grant with Warma UK today.

Navigating the grant application process can be tricky, so Warma UK’s expert guidance makes it streamlined, accessible and most importantly, easy.

Our expert team is focused on turning sustainable living into a reality for everyone, offering not just solar solutions but also free grants for insulation, heat pumps, and more. Join us on the path to a brighter, cleaner future. 

Apply for your grant with Warma UK to enjoy the full benefits of an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly home. Light up your living space with the sun’s power and let Warma UK be your trusted partner as you cut your bills, take control of your energy spending and reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

See if you're eligible for Free Solar Panel Grant

See if you're eligible for Free Solar Panel Grant

Athira Harish

Athira Harish