HomeSun led the transformation in the UK of solar for homes with the launch of Free Solar in 2010 using the Feed-in Tariff subsidy.
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) are a form of government subsidy. Basically, legislation introduced in 2010 means that electricity companies have to pay for every unit of renewable electricity produced by homes. That made buying solar much more attractive for homeowners, but they would still have had to find between £10,000 and £15,000 to buy the system in the first place. HomeSun turned that 'problem' completely on its head. Instead of the homeowner buying and installing the system, we did - and we recieved the Feed in Tariff. What did the homeowner get? As much as they could use of the free solar power generated by their free solar PV system.
Sadly, Government has cut the Feed-in Tariffs - affecting the whole industry just as it was showing healthy growth. Over the last couple of years over 200,000 homes have been installed with solar PV compared to around 5,000 in all the years prior to the introduction of FITs. The UK has seen the first 'solar streets', communities joining together to get a 'mass' installation, and social networking sites with positive conversation about energy! All firsts.
There is on-going media coverage about energy price rises. Solar is a fantastic way to make the most of natural resources, cut your electricity bill and - if you have bought panels - to generate an income through the Feed-in Tariff.
Our Customer Services Team called a sample of our customers who'd had solar installed for a year. On average, they reported savings of a third. Dean from Buckinghamshire went one stage further and recorded a Solar Savings Diary which he sent to us on the anniversary of his installation. It makes very interesting reading.
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Solar PV was given a big boost with the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme which the Government introduced in April 2010. Prior to that grants were available for those homeowners who wanted to buy solar panel systems. These grants tended to be relatively small and lengthy to access.
FITs provide a benefit for those who own a solar panel system. First, a payment is made for every unit of electricity generated by the solar PV sytem. This 'generation tariff' is paid regardless of whether a home is using the electricity or not. For any electricity that isn't used, but exported to the national grid there is an 'export tariff'. Each of these payments is made tax free, and they rise with RPI (so they go up with inflation), and they are payments for 20 years. These earnings are in addition to savings that are to be made on electricity bills - because you use free solar energy, you are importing less from the national grid and so your bills will come down. A well sited large system, could save you around a third on your electricity bill, and you could be earning £100s on top of that from the FIT. Not bad!