Solar panel scheme looking decidedly shady?

Homeowners looking to subsidise their household expenses such as energy costs and household insurance bills by installing solar panels may well have to get a move on if they want to get the most benefit from Government grants.

It is no secret that the Government has been keen to launch a comprehensive alternative fuel programme and that solar heating via solar panels is viewed as the star attraction. Homeowners across the UK have been invited to enquire about their home’s suitability for a matching set of solar panels on their roof. The big incentive is the 40+ pence per unit generated that the Government is prepared to pay any generator of alternative energy.

Who can benefit from the subsidies?

Of course the incentive has alerted entrepreneurs looking to make a fast buck on any scheme that offers subsidies especially as Government subsidies are known to be lucrative the world over. Suffice it to say many solar energy companies quickly realised the subsidies on offer can be enormous if a full field of solar panels is switched on and the energy generated attracts the feed-in tariff. Cornwall Council has been inundated by companies asking for planning permission to cover fields with solar panels and have already granted five.

Why Cornwall?

The county is the most westerly and southerly county in the UK and has more hours of sunlight than any other county, thus making it ideal for solar energy generation. Many independent homeowners have also enquired about situating the panels on their own homes but are finding the initial outlay prohibitive. With firms quoting in excess of £20,000 to install the systems plus the possibility of having to find cash to pay for roof strengthening and extra home insurance on their buildings cover many households are now thinking twice about investing in the panels.

This has left the way clear for the bigger players to set up their solar farms and get ready to clean up on the profit front. The Government are now getting worried that the original idea for small and medium projects to benefit from the subsidies is going to be shunted to one side by the bigger companies. They have announced a review of the feed-in tariff already and experts think that by midsummer the rates may well be lowered, leaving some investors out of pocket.


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