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Top 5 Grants and Incentives for Solar Panel Installation in Kent

Solar panels on a house in kent - Evolve Renewables

Solar Panel Installation in Kent

 

Kent, known for its commitment to sustainability, offers various grants and incentives to help homeowners transition to solar energy. Solar panels offer a sustainable way to reduce energy bills and carbon footprint. In Kent, various grants and incentives are available to support homeowners in making this green transition. This guide will explore the top five options and answer common questions to help you navigate the process.

By understanding these opportunities, homeowners can make informed decisions that not only benefit their finances but also contribute to the broader goal of environmental conservation. Solar energy adoption is a key component in reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating the impact of climate change.

0% VAT on Solar Panels and Batteries

 

Since April 2022, the UK government introduced a 0% VAT rate on solar panels, batteries, and other renewable energy products. This reduction provides significant savings on the purchase and installation costs. The VAT-free period will last until March 2027, offering a window for homeowners to benefit from this incentive.

This policy aims to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable, encouraging a wider adoption of green technologies across the country. By reducing the financial burden, more households are likely to invest in solar power, which can lead to a substantial decrease in national carbon emissions over time.

Benefits of 0% VAT

The 0% VAT can save a typical household more than £2,300 on a 4kW system, compared to the original 20% VAT. This can significantly reduce the break-even point, potentially from 17 years down to 9-12 years, depending on the system size and energy savings.

Additionally, this incentive encourages more households to adopt renewable energy, contributing to broader environmental goals and helping the UK meet its carbon reduction targets.

The financial savings and the reduction in environmental impact create a compelling case for homeowners to take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. By lowering the upfront costs, the government is also helping to accelerate the return on investment, making solar panels a more attractive option for many households.

System SizeSystem CostSavings from 0% VATAnnual Energy Savings
3kW£7,000 – £8,000£1,400 – £1,600£440
4kW£9,000 – £10,000£1,800 – £2,000£660
6kW£12,000 – £13,000£2,400 – £2,600£1,005

Eligibility and Application

To qualify, installations must include both the product and its installation. The 0% VAT rate is automatically applied by the installer, eliminating the need for a separate application.

This streamlined process not only simplifies the financial aspects but also ensures that homeowners receive expert installation services without additional administrative burdens.

By partnering with certified installers, homeowners can rest assured that their systems will be installed correctly and efficiently, maximising the benefits of their solar investment. This hands-off approach to the application process reduces stress and encourages more people to take the plunge into renewable energy.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) allows homeowners to earn money by exporting surplus electricity generated by their solar panels back to the grid. Implemented in January 2020, the SEG requires licensed energy suppliers to offer an export tariff to their customers.

This scheme is part of the UK’s broader strategy to increase the uptake of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on non-renewable energy. By incentivising the export of surplus electricity, the SEG not only helps homeowners financially but also supports the stability of the national grid by contributing additional renewable energy during peak times.

Benefits of the Smart Export Guarantee

Under the SEG, homeowners can earn between 1p and 20p per kWh exported, depending on the energy supplier. For a medium-sized home, this can mean additional earnings of £45 to £80 annually on top of energy savings.

These earnings can provide a steady income stream, further offsetting the initial installation costs and enhancing the overall return on investment for solar panel installations.

Beyond the direct financial benefits, the SEG encourages homeowners to optimise their energy usage and storage, ensuring that their systems are as efficient and productive as possible. This proactive approach to energy management can lead to long-term savings and increased energy independence. Below is a list of suppliers, their rates and available tariff’s.

SupplierTariff NameRate per kWh (p/kWh)
OctopusIntelligent Octopus Flux20.31p – 22.73p
OVOOVO SEG Tariff20p
Good EnergySolar Savings Exclusive20p
So EnergySo Bright20p
E.ONNext Export Exclusive16.5p

Eligibility and Application

All homeowners with solar panels up to 5MW capacity are eligible for the SEG. A smart meter is required to measure exports. To apply, homeowners must shop around for an SEG licensee and apply directly to them. Each licensee has its application process.

This competitive market environment ensures that homeowners can choose the best rates and terms that suit their specific needs and consumption patterns.

The availability of multiple licensees provides flexibility and options, encouraging homeowners to engage in a bit of market research to find the best possible deal for their surplus energy. This not only maximises financial returns but also empowers consumers to make informed decisions about their energy usage.

Solar panels on roof of house in Kent

Local Authority Grants

Local authorities in Kent may offer specific grants or low-interest loans to support solar panel installations. These initiatives can vary significantly by council, so it’s essential to check with your local authority for the most current options available.

By tapping into these localised programs, homeowners can access financial support tailored to the specific needs and goals of their community. Local grants often reflect regional priorities and environmental targets, making them a valuable resource for those looking to contribute to their area’s sustainability efforts.

Benefits of Local Authority Grants

Local grants can provide substantial financial assistance, sometimes covering a significant portion of the installation costs. By leveraging these local resources, homeowners can make solar power more accessible and affordable.

Additionally, these grants often come with added benefits such as energy efficiency assessments and personalised advice, helping homeowners maximise the effectiveness of their solar installations. These additional services can provide valuable insights into further reducing energy consumption and improving overall home efficiency, leading to greater long-term savings and environmental benefits.

Engaging with local authority programs also fosters a sense of community involvement and support, reinforcing the collective effort towards a greener future.

Eligibility and Application

Eligibility criteria and application processes vary by council. Homeowners should contact their local authority to find out about available grants and how to apply. Staying informed about these local programs can provide timely opportunities to access additional funding and support that may not be widely advertised.

Proactively seeking out information and applying for these grants can make a significant difference in the affordability and feasibility of solar panel installations. Additionally, local councils often provide guidance and support throughout the application process, helping to navigate any complexities and ensuring that homeowners can successfully secure the funding they need.

Solar Together Kent

Solar Together Kent is a group-purchasing scheme that enables homeowners and small businesses to install solar panels at a competitive price.

This initiative helps reduce the costs through bulk purchasing and ensures quality installations. By participating in a collective purchasing program, individuals can benefit from economies of scale, achieving cost savings that would be difficult to attain on their own.

This approach not only makes solar energy more affordable but also simplifies the purchasing process by providing a structured framework for installation and support.

Benefits of Solar Together Kent

Participants can benefit from reduced installation costs and access to vetted, reliable installers. The scheme also includes options for battery storage, which allows homeowners to store excess energy generated by their solar panels. This can significantly enhance energy independence and resilience, especially during peak usage times or energy outages. Additionally, by joining a group-purchasing scheme, homeowners gain access to a network of support and resources, ensuring that they receive the best possible advice and service throughout their solar journey.

The collective aspect of the program fosters a sense of community and shared commitment to sustainability, encouraging more people to take action towards renewable energy adoption.

Eligibility and Application

Any homeowner, landlord, or small business in Kent can register. The application process involves a free and non-obligatory registration, followed by an auction where pre-vetted installers bid to offer the best deal.

This collaborative approach not only reduces costs but also fosters a community of like-minded individuals committed to renewable energy. The auction system ensures transparency and competitiveness, allowing participants to secure high-quality installations at the best possible prices.

The program provides ongoing support and resources, helping participants maximise the benefits of their solar installations and maintain optimal performance over time.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) primarily supports heat-generating technologies but also benefits those with solar thermal panels. This scheme offers quarterly payments over seven years, based on the renewable heat produced.

The RHI is designed to encourage the adoption of renewable heating systems, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy efficiency.

By providing financial incentives, the program makes it more attractive for homeowners to invest in technologies that contribute to a sustainable future.

Benefits of the Renewable Heat Incentive

Homeowners can receive payments for both solar thermal and other renewable heating systems, making this an attractive option for those looking to integrate multiple green technologies.

By participating in the RHI, you can offset the installation costs and benefit from a steady income stream. Moreover, integrating solar thermal with other renewable systems can enhance overall energy efficiency and sustainability for your home.

The regular payments provide financial stability and help to make the initial investment in renewable heating systems more manageable. Additionally, the RHI supports a broader range of technologies, giving homeowners the flexibility to choose the systems that best meet their needs and preferences.

Eligibility and Application

Homeowners must ensure their system meets specific standards to qualify. The application process involves registering the system and providing necessary documentation.

Keeping up with the latest standards and regulations can help ensure that your system remains eligible for these benefits throughout the program duration. Staying informed about changes in the program and maintaining compliance with its requirements can maximize the financial returns and environmental benefits of your investment.

The support and guidance provided by the RHI can help homeowners navigate the complexities of renewable heating systems, ensuring that they achieve optimal performance and efficiency.

Kent Solar Panel Installation: Case Studies

Recently Evolve Renewables had the pleasure of helping home owners in Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Beckenham, Bromley, and Tondbridge wells with making the switch to renewable energy, with the use of Solar PV, Air Source Heat Pumps, Battery Storage and EV chargers.

Check out our Solar Installation Case Study in Bromley, or our Maidstone Project that consisted of a full renewable package.

At Evolve Renewables we are committed to helping the Kent communities with making savings on their energy bills while making their homes more eco-friendly.

FAQs About Solar Panel Installation in Kent

Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, often emphasises the financial and environmental benefits of solar panels. He highlights how they can significantly reduce energy bills and provide long-term savings, especially with the current grants and incentives available.

Under the SEG, you can earn between 1p and 20p per kWh for the electricity you export back to the grid. The exact amount depends on your energy supplier’s tariff. For an average household, this can add up to substantial savings over time.

Yes, initiatives like Solar Together Kent offer group purchasing schemes that allow homeowners to install solar panels at competitive prices. These programs often include vetted installers and options for battery storage, making the process easier and more affordable.

To choose the best solar panel installer in Kent, look for certified and experienced professionals. Check reviews, compare quotes, and consider companies like Evolve Renewables, known for their reliable installations, comprehensive customer service, and their selection of the highest quality renewable energy products for your home.

Conclusion

 

Installing solar panels in Kent can be a financially sound and environmentally friendly decision. By taking advantage of the available grants and incentives, homeowners can significantly reduce their upfront costs and enjoy long-term savings.

For more detailed information on these incentives, check the links provided and consult your local council for specific opportunities. With careful planning and the right support, you can make a positive impact on your energy bills and the environment.

The combination of financial savings, environmental benefits, and increased energy independence makes solar panels a worthwhile investment for many households. As the UK continues to prioritise renewable energy, these incentives play a crucial role in driving widespread adoption and supporting the transition to a more sustainable future.

Still in need of more information?

Speak to an energy savings expert at Evolve Renewables today and get all the clarity you need for making the decision to switch to renewable energy. We host renewable energy workshops at our Bromley showroom where you can see and learn about each product and how they can provide energy independence to protect you and your family in the future.

Contact Number: 02037723233
Showroom: 63 Homesdale Road, Bromley BR2 9LB

Evolve Renewables - 63 Homesdale Rd, Bromley BR2 9LB

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Government Grants

If you live in England or Wales, your installer can apply for a £7,500 grant through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to cut the cost of installing your air source heat pump. We will apply for the grant on your behalf! The scheme covers heat pump installations that take place before the end of March 2028

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