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Solar energy grants: Enjoy hot water for less all year round

September 24, 2020

Solar energy grantsThe Government’s Green Homes Grant, (also colloquially named ‘solar energy grants’) came into effect in September 2020. However, as expected, there’s been some confusion over who is eligible and what, exactly, is covered under the scheme.

One of the most popular and confusing improvements is in regard to the funding for solar panels. That’s why this blog is going to take a deep dive into everything you need to know about what to expect from this exciting development.

The Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant covers a range of primary insulation or low carbon heating improvements. As a result, if you install one of these primary measures, you’re eligible for a secondary measure, such as double or secondary glazing.

Although these improvements are a fantastic contribution to the Government’s energy-saving commitments, your personal sustainability efforts don’t need to stop there. Check out our tips and tricks for a greener way to live.

Government Solar Grant

There are two types of solar energy panel available on the market, both of which utilise different technologies for different purposes.

These are:

  • Solar Thermal: Primarily installed on your roof, these panels heat up your water by collecting sunlight that heats liquid stored in tubes. Once hot enough, it’s transported to your water cylinder, ready for your next bath or shower.
  • Solar PV: Panels that absorb sunlight and transform it into electricity for your house using silicon-based technology.

These are both excellent, green-fingered options. However, the Government Green Homes Grant only covers solar thermal panels. This is due to solar PV panels being a relatively new technology with fewer options available on the market.

For the best results, install your solar thermal panels on south-facing roofs or on the ground in direct sunlight.

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Benefits of the solar panel grant

How much does solar panel cleaning costThere are various benefits associated with the solar panel grant. If you’re wondering why it’s worth applying for solar thermal panels, then let us try to convince you.

  • You reduce your environmental impact, with a saving of up to 600kg of carbon dioxide emissions every year
  • You benefit from a warmer house and a 10% reduction (on average) in heating bills per year
  • Solar thermal is more efficient than solar PV due to heat waves carrying more energy than sunlight. It also cuts out the transformation of thermal energy into electricity
  • Solar thermal panels are cheaper than PV panels and work in cold climates due to their energy storage capacity
  • Solar panels last up to 25 years with minimal maintenance

Note: If the Green Homes Grant doesn’t cover your thermal panel costs, then the Renewable Heat Incentive will pay you back the cost of installation every quarter over a period of 7 years.

Average cost of green grant solar panels

The Green Homes Grant will cover the cost of thermal solar panels up to the amount of £10k. On average, 3–10 solar panels will cost you anywhere between £4,370 and £14,570. We recommend you opt for the higher-end panels for greater longevity and effectiveness.

Check out our solar panel installation cost guide for a comprehensive look into all the costs involved in both types of solar panels.


  • How do I find out if I’m eligible for solar panels?

Head over to the GOV.UK website for a comprehensive overview of your eligibility, the latest guidance, how much your voucher is worth and where to apply for funding.

  • Is it worth getting solar panels in UK?

The UK isn’t known for its sunshine. However, as long as your thermal solar panels are installed on your roof or in a spot that gets direct sunlight, they’re incredibly effective at drawing and storing heat from the sun, meaning they work all year round.

  • Can I install solar panels myself?

No. Due to their complexity and specific installation requirements, we recommend you hire a professional to install your solar panels so you can reap the most benefits.

  • What are the best solar panels?

According to Solar Guide, the best solar panels for the UK are those produced by LG or Panasonic.

  • Are all types of solar panels available under the Green Homes Grant?

No, only solar thermal panels are available, which heat up your water and reduce your heating bills by up to 10% per year.

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