Carbon emissions are causing climate change, such as increased global temperatures and pollution. To encourage the citizens of Scotland to adopt renewable energy-solar systems, the government has come up with two main measures. The first is to lower taxes on renewable technologies, and the second is to offer solar panel grants. This guide looks at some Scotland solar panel grants and how you can use them to install energy-efficient systems.
What is the cost of a solar panel in Scotland?
Image of how solar panel works
Five main factors affect the solar panel systems’ price.
The first is the cost of hiring a qualified solar panel installer. The second is the type of property that the panels are being installed. Commercial property owners pay more when compared to residential property owners.
The third factor is the type of panel. Efficient panels cost more because they are of better quality. Examples of more efficient panels include hybrid panels and thermal panels.
The fourth factor is the design of the roof. Installing solar heat pumps on a sloping roof is more expensive than installing them on a flat roof.
Lastly, the final price will depend on how many kW of power you need. The more power you need, the higher the initial costs.
Available solar panel grants in Scotland
The Scottish government uses grants as financial incentives to encourage its citizens to adopt solar. Some of the available solar panel grants are
Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)
A smart export guarantee (SEG) is a government policy that mandates select electricity suppliers to buy excess electricity from small-scale power producers. If a small-scale consumer has excess electricity, they can apply to sell it to the national grid. The eligibility criteria for being an energy supplier is to use green energy such as wind, hydro, solar, and anaerobic digestion.
The amount of money you will make selling electricity will depend on the buyer. Some will buy it at 5.0p/kWh, while others will buy it at 5.5p/kWh.
Home Energy Scotland Loan
This loan is available to permanent residents who want to lower their annual energy bills. It is important to note that this loan is for making other home improvements, such as installing wind turbines, heat pumps, and renewable technologies. Property owners can use the loan to purchase more efficient boilers or add double-glazing windows to increase insulation.
Besides, these are interest-free loans with a repayment period of five to ten years, depending on the amount. The maximum amount you can get under this category is £5,000 before applying for the loan, factoring in the processing fee, which currently stands at 1.5%.
The loan amount will depend on your credit rating. In addition, once the application is successful, the applicant must lay the required infrastructure within six months.
Houses with solar panels
The feed-in-tariff grant is no longer operational. This is because it was operational from 2010 – 2019. Though it is no longer operational, citizens who enrolled between 2010 – 2019 still receive their payments. Around the world, governments use feed-in tariffs to promote the uptake of renewable energy technologies.
For this policy to work, there must be two groups. The first is the electrical licensees, while the second comprises electricity generators. The generators receive quarterly payments after sending their electricity meter readings to the licensees. Though the program does not exist, producers can make money if they join the Smart Export Guarantee program.
Scotland Solar Panel Grants: Community and Renewable Energy Scheme
The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme encourage local communities to invest and own renewable energy project in Scotland. The main purpose is to help achieve the target of producing two Gigawatts of renewable electricity by 2030. In addition, the Scottish government implements the project through its partner, Local Energy Scotland.
The work of Local Energy Scotland is to provide free impartial advice on how charities and community groups can utilize this grant. Local Energy Scotland only finances projects that use renewable energy technologies or energy improvements.
Scotland Solar Panel Grants: SME Loan Scheme
SME loans are available to Scottish businesses that qualify as small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the loans are also available to non-profit organizations and charities interested in installing energy-efficient equipment. Some of the projects that qualify for an SME loan include:
- Air conditioning upgrades
- LED installation
- Installational of renewable heat technologies such as an air heat pump
- Secondary glazing or draught-proofing installation
SME Loans are collateral-free and range from one thousand to a hundred thousand pounds. The good thing is that they attract a 75% cashback grant for installing efficient heating systems. If there are energy efficiency measures, the cashback can be up to 30% of ten thousand pounds.
In conclusion, Scottland provides numerous grants encouraging its citizens to adopt green energy. The type of grant applied will depend on the circumstances. For example, charities and small and medium enterprises should apply for SME loans. Community groups should apply for the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme.