You may have heard about companies in the UK offering free solar panels. Companies such as Isis Solar, A Shade Greener, and Home Sun just to name three have advertised free solar panels that might save potential customers a considerable amount of money on their electricity bills.
However, are these companies really offering free solar panels? Doesn’t this sound a little too good to be true? We will take a look at their offers and what they really mean so that you can make the best informed decision.
Are the Solar Panels Really Free?
In a technical sense, yes they are. These companies and those who are making similar offers will install free solar panels that allow your home to generate electricity. There is at least one condition, that one slope of your roof must face south in a general way, but otherwise all home-owners can take advantage of having free solar panels.
What is the Catch?
The catch is that home-owners are not paying for the panels because they don’t own them. The company that is offering them to your home still owns them. However, the electricity they generate is still free for you to use. So in essence, the promise they make is true and accurate, but it can be a little misleading because the implication is that you will own the solar panels which is not the case.
If the Electricity is Free, then How do the Companies Make Money?
These companies make money through payments from the governments “Feed in Tariffs” which is paid to companies that generate electricity using solar panel. Such payments are guaranteed for 25 years. After 25 years, the company may relinquish the solar panels to the home owner, but at that point the government is not paying for the generation of solar power. It’s also possible that the solar panels will be obsolete and may even need to be disposed of which becomes the home-owners responsibility.
So is it Real or a Scam?
The truth is that home-owners are not paying for the panels nor are they paying for the electricity that they generate. A typical installation of a 2kW solar panel system that generates 1600kW over the course of a year would save a home-owner an average of £96 per year. Even if electricity prices go up, the solar panels can offset those increases because the home itself is pulling less power from the main lines.
The advantages of using solar power will rest in part on how much you are in your home during the day when the solar power is being generated. If you are out all day, then you will not get much from the solar panels. There are also other concerns such as selling your home to those who may not want your solar panels as they may want to install their own to save money.
So in the end, free solar panels are not a scam, but they are not necessarily for everyone. If you can afford to install solar panels on your own, then you should do so. However, if you do not have the money to do so, then you may want to investigate having free solar panels for your home.