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British Gas introduces solar PV panel scheme

The utility firm takes advantage of the UK Government’s recent feed-in-tariff (FITs) to encourage people to generate their own low-carbon energy including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

British Gas is the latest company in a host of firms offering to install electricity-generating systems on homes in order to take advantage of a UK Government scheme that will pay the owners of solar PV panels for the electricity they generate.

The feed-in-tariff for every unit of ‘renewable’ electricity generated currently stands at £0.413/kWh, irrespective of whether you consume the power at the time or not. British Gas predicts that 12 million homeowners could save £1000 a year.

British Gas’s Clean Energy Cashback project has devised two schemes to correspond with feed-in tariffs. Firstly under the 'rent-a-roof' scheme, British Gas will install solar PV panels on customers roofs for free allowing them to benefit from the electricity they have generated throughout the day. The installation is free but customers will not own the panels and so British Gas will pocket the feed-in tariff cash for the length of the scheme, which is 25 years.

The second option requires customers to install their own solar PV panels resulting in the act that the customer would receive the Feed-in tariffs as well as benefit from the generation of cheaper power.

The cost of installing solar PV panels ranges from £10,000 to £15,000 depending on the size of the roof. As part of Clean Energy Cashback British Gas offers customers a two-year interest free loan, supplied by Hitachi Capital, in order to cover the installation costs.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity