It has been a tough year to date for the solar industry with feed-in tariff cuts affecting uptake, but as solar panels cost fall, the DECC has reported a surge in popularity.

It was early in 2012 that the Department of Energy and Climate Change cut the lucrative feed-in tariff scheme in half to 21p/kWh forcing many homeowners away from investing. But as the solar panels cost drops, return rates once again equal those of 2011 making PV investable.

At the end of May and beginning of June, the Solar Power Portal revealed that installation figures for solar PV beat numbers from the same time last year, despite a reduced tariff rate.

Of course, a lot of this is because of the looming deadline to receive the higher 21p rate. From August 1, the tariff will be slashed again nearly 25% to just 16p/kWh. Installing before this date would ensure a better return of investment of a 25-year period.

From August 1:

  • Solar PV tariff rates will drop from 21p/kWh to 16p/kWh, slashing the return rates to just 6% annually
  • The length of the tariff will be cut, from 25 to 20 years, reducing the return rates achievable even more

This means that homeowners and businesses have just over a month to install solar panels and register them with the scheme. The latest installation figures are in line with this deadline, up 5% from April.

Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers of REC Solar said: “We are pleased to see that the UK market is slowly stabilising after the sharp drop in installations in March 2012 when the new support scheme took effect. We believe that the DECC degression model supports sustainable growth for the UK solar market as it delays cuts in FiTs if demand is lagging.

“To meet the 22GW solar target in the UK by 2020, current levels of PV deployment will have to increase. We believe market growth could be stimulated through net metering in addition to longer-term visibility for solar customers and suppliers. We will continue to work with distribution partners and installers to make solar more sustainable in the UK.”

This rise in installations can also be attributed to the reduced solar panels cost and systems are now at their lowest price in years. The residential sector in particular has been extremely prominent, seeing 1,833 systems installed in the week ending June 17.

Remember, with solar panels:

  • Reduce your energy bills by up to £300 a year with a free, environmentally friendly source
  • Earn a guaranteed, tax-free income for 25 years and see an annual return of investment between 10% and 15%
  • Add value to your home with the energy saving potential attractive to potential future buyers
  • Slash your home’s carbon footprint and help the Government reduce global warming fears and meet EU targets

There are plenty of benefits for solar panels and financially they make perfect sense. With the solar panels cost currently the lowest they’ve ever been, now’s the chance to cut your bills.

For up to four FREE solar panel quotes, simply complete our quick form and speak to vetted, reputable suppliers in your area.