Solar Panel Grants UK

Solar panels have increased in popularity as people seek to save money on electricity bills while lowering carbon footprints. Over 220,500 installations were recorded in 2023 across the UK.

With soaring energy bills, generating free, low-carbon, renewable electricity through solar panels can give you more significant savings now than ever before.

However, the initial installation cost can be daunting to many homeowners, especially as the cost of living rises.

Fortunately, there are grants available for solar panel installation in England and Scotland, as well as incentives to encourage the adoption of solar panel installations and other renewable energy sources.

This guide explores the grants available for solar panel installation in England and Scotland in 2024 and their eligibility requirements to ensure you make an informed decision regarding your home’s energy needs and find the best fit for your budget and goals.

Grants available for solar panel installation quick takeaways:

  • You can get up to £10,000 through the Home Upgrade Grant
  • ECO4 has set aside 4 billion to help households install energy-efficient systems like solar panels in England, Scotland, and Wales
  • Scotland residents can get up to £6,000 to install solar PV systems through the Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Scheme.

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The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2)

The Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) is a government-backed scheme that aims to provide low-carbon heating and energy efficiency measures for low-income households.

HUG2 allows landlords and homeowners to access funding from local authorities across England for home improvements such as solar PV panels, heat pumps, double glazing, insulation, and solar thermal.

You can get grants of up to £10,000 for energy efficiency upgrades like solar panels if you qualify. HUG will run until March 2025 and is available through 45 local authorities across England.

Eligibility for Home Upgrade Grant

The grant is open to private renters and owner-occupiers living in off-gas grid, worst-performing homes.

You can qualify for the Home Upgrade Grant if:

  • You own or live in a property with an energy rating of D, E, F, or G.
  • You don’t have a mains gas supply or don’t use gas as your central heating source.

And either:

  • You have a household annual income of £31,000 or less

Or

  • You receive means-tested benefits like housing, child tax credits, income-based job-seekers allowances, working tax credits, income support, universal credit, pension savings credits, or pension guarantee credits.

Private renters who qualify for HUG must get permission from their landlords. The landlord must also contribute one-third of the overall cost of the energy-efficient upgrades and should not own more than four properties.

You can apply for HUG through your local authority. Fill in your postal code at www.gov.uk/find-local-council to determine if they offer the grant and contact them to start the process.

Some areas don’t consider household income as part of the qualification, so consult your local authority if you earn more than £31,000.

Check out our video on selecting solar panels in the UK:  

Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) Scheme

The Energy Compliance Obligation (ECO4) scheme is a UK-wide government scheme that requires energy supplies to help households with energy-efficient measures, including installing solar panels.

The scheme has set aside £4 billion of funding to help eligible households meet the cost of installing energy-efficient and environmentally friendly systems like solar panels. 

It’s open to households in England, Scotland, and Wales and targets the least energy-efficient homes and low-income and vulnerable families receiving government benefits.

ECO4 is delivered through local authority referrals and allows you to apply for solar panel grants and get fully funded or discounted solar panels for home installation.

The scheme will run until 2026, and the funding or support you receive will depend on your energy supplier or individual circumstances.

Eligibility for Solar Panels through ECO4

According to Ofgem, the scheme administrator, you may be eligible for solar panels through ECO4 if:

  • You’re a homeowner, landlord, or tenant living in a privately rented accommodation
  • You receive government benefits like income support or child benefits
  • Your property currently uses inefficient electric heating

You can apply through your energy supplier directly or assess your eligibility by completing the questionnaire at eco4.org.uk.

Eligibility through ECO4 LA Flex

If you don’t receive benefits but are low-income, you can still qualify for ECO4 through LA Flex, which is short for Local Authority Flexible Eligibility.

LA Flex allows local authorities and councils to widen the eligibility. It makes qualifying for financing that covers installing solar panels for homes running on electrical heating systems easier.

The scheme targets two groups of people:

  • Those who are in fuel poverty, which involves households spending at least 10% of their net income heating their home
  • The more vulnerable and at risk during the cold weather

The LA Flex modalities are not similar in all local authorities since they each set their own rules. The best way to determine whether you’re eligible for funding is to fill out a form at eco4.org.uk.

Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Scheme

The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan Scheme is a government-backed initiative aimed at helping Scotland households become more energy-efficient.

The scheme offers grant funding, interest-free loans, or a combination of both to help homeowners and self-builders implement energy-saving improvements, including renewable technologies like solar panels.

Funding for solar PV systems is only available if applied as part of a package that includes a heat pump, solar PV, and an energy storage system.

You can get a maximum funding amount of up to £6,000 to install solar panels, which includes a grant of £1,250 plus an optional loan of £4,750.

If you live in a rural area, an island home, or an off-gas accessible area, you can claim increased grants and loans of up to £9,000 each.

Eligibility for Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan:

  • Be a homeowner or private tenant in Scotland
  • Use an advisor recommended by Home Energy Scotland
  • Meet eligibility criteria set by the Energy Saving Trust or the Scottish Government.

Related solar guides:

Final Thoughts on Grants Available for Solar Panel Installation in England and Scotland

Although there are no direct grants for solar panels in England and Scotland, you can still take advantage of grants and loans aimed at helping improve energy efficiency to install solar panels in your home if you qualify.

Installing solar panels is a wise choice for your home, wallet, and the environment, and thanks to grants for solar panel installation, you don’t have to be scared of the upfront costs.

Sources

  • https://mcscertified.com/2023-a-record-breaking-year-for-mcs-and-small-scale-renewables/
  • https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes/energy-company-obligation-eco/homeowners-and-tenants/faqs-domestic-consumers-and-landlords
  • https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/funding/grants-loans/overview/