£7bn “rooftop bonanza” for British homes

By cutting their electricity bill and earning money through the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme – a scheme that pays owners of solar panels for the ‘renewable’ electricity they generate – the average household would be better off by around £600 a year and those with bigger systems could benefit by up to £1000. Collectively, British homes could be £7bn a year better off.

The market for solar installations and other microgeneration technology in the UK is expected to grow rapidly with the new Government support scheme. British Gas predicts that within a decade, one quarter of households will have small-scale microgeneration technology in their homes.

Solar energy will also enable millions of consumers to benefit from carbon savings. An average rooftop could save up to 692 kg of CO2 each per yeariv. As a nation, this means we could make a saving of over 8.5 million tonnes of CO2.

Having been piloting the technology for some time, British Gas is announcing a major ramp up of its solar offering for British homes. Through, mySolar Energy, British Gas will provide an end-to-end solar installation service, carrying out a thorough energy assessment of the home, installing the panels, providing all customers with a CEPP (Certificate of Expected Panel Performance) to demonstrate the expected value of the panel if customers were to sell the property, and helping its customers apply for the Feed-in-Tariff. The performance of the solar PV panels are guaranteed for 25 years and all work will be carried out by fully trained British Gas staff.

British Gas is ramping up its activity in two ways. Firstly, customers can choose to have the panels installed at no upfront cost under its innovative "rent a roof" scheme. Under this scheme the householders will benefit from the electricity they generate although they will not own the panels and so British Gas will claim the Feed-In Tariff. The deal will only be open to British Gas customers and be limited to 1500 installs to begin with. Alternatively, customers can also buy the solar panels outright and keep the Feed-In Tariff income themselves. To help our customers buy the panels, a two year 0% APR finance deal is being provided.

Financial expert, Jasmine Birtles, has joined forces with British Gas to help consumers maximise their investment in solar energy:

"Installing solar panels will create a regular, tax-free income for homeowners. Not only that but the income is index-linked and guaranteed by the Government for the next 25 years. As it typically gives returns of 5-8% it’s potentially far better than most current bond or gilt investments. It is also a great way to keep your electricity bills down. It seems like a win-win situation to me!"

Jon Kimber, Managing Director of British Gas New Energy, said:

"Solar power will revolutionise the way British homes generate and use energy. British Gas, the largest energy supplier in the UK, is leading the way, helping our customers reap the benefits of this technology to cut their electricity bills, reduce their carbon footprint and earn a yearly income. British Gas is already one of the largest installers of solar panels in the UK, and we intend to be the leading player in this sector."

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