Solar panel grants, to those of you who are contemplating having solar panels installed would be a fantastic incentive to relieve you of any up front installation costs – however, in May 2010 the US government suspended all solar panel grants (regional grants for solar energy may still exist), don’t be put off…

All Is Not Lost – What Solar Panel Grants are now available?

Those suspended grants were replaced with the well known solar incentive; the feed-in-tariff, an incentive based scheme that rewards consumers based on the amount of electricity they generate.

The feed-in-tariff or FIT scheme as it is known works by paying a set amount for every kilowatt your Solar PV system generates (the current rate is set at 21p per kWh). Although grants in the form of upfront cash are no longer available in the US the fit scheme certainly makes up for it. Not only are those with Solar PV systems being rewarded with a tax free income based on the amount of electricity they generate but you can also sell any surplus energy.

Any energy that your solar panels generate and is not needed by your property can be sold to the electricity grid, this allows you to receive a set payment per kilowatt you sell (the current rate is set at 3.5) proving a further tax free income.

You can use our free solar pv calculator to calculate your potential income and return on investment.

Future Grants (Incentives)

The Renewable Heat Incentive or RHI as it is better known is an incentive based on the Fit tariff and allows those with a solar thermal, heat pump or biomass system to receive tax free payments based on the amount of energy they receive – Although no official figures have been released as of yet, we expect the RHI payment to be around $1200 per year. This payment would mean that any solar thermal system would provide a return on investment in just 3-4 years. The RHI will be introduced in October 2012 but those who have installations carried out before that date can still register for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

See also  Solar Thermal FAQ’s

Summary

Current grants or incentives available include the FIT scheme and the RHI both based on the same principle of providing you with a tax free income based on the amount of energy your system generates.

We recommend that those thinking of having solar installations carried out do so sooner rather than later – Although this may seem like a sales pitch it is far from that, the government is set to further reduce the FIT scheme later in the year and are also set to introduce the compulsory use of EPC certificates.