Breakthrough ‘green energy package’ removes financial hurdle, so south west households can:
- Own their own PV systems (no leasing roofs to companies for ‘free PV’ schemes)
- Generate free electricity
- Pay nothing up front
- Generate Feed-in Tariff cash and electricity savings that will meet the equivalent of all finance repayments1
- Earn an additional £18,000 1
South west householders who want to install solar panels on their roof, but don’t have the cash up front to pay for them, can now access ‘green energy’ finance that enables them to not only purchase a system, but also keep all of the energy saving and Feed-in Tariff (FiT) benefits.
The scheme, which is being launched by Exeter-based SunGift Solar, means that not only will Feed-in Tariff cash and electricity savings meet householders’ finance repayments, but also the measures will earn them an additional £18,000 over 20 years.
“These loans are a breakthrough for homeowners in the south west who are interested in solar PV but don’t have the initial capital to buy a system,” said Gabriel Wondrausch, managing director at SunGift Solar, the only company to be voted South West Green Energy Installer of the Year twice.
“We believe that renewable energy should be affordable for everyone, and this scheme will ensure that green electricity is not only accessible for homeowners, but also that it generates them a substantial additional income without the capital investment. As a result, householders will fully own the systems on their roofs and receive all of the associated Feed-in Tariff payments.
“One of the biggest worries for many people is rising energy costs,” added Gabriel, “They have risen by 140 per cent in the past eight years to an average of £1,225 per year and expected to increase to more than £2,200 per year by 2020.3 Installing solar PV will help householders protect themselves from these price rises and be in control of their own energy future.”
The unsecured finance, which SunGift will provide through Shawbrook Bank, is available at a rate of 9.9%2 for between three and 15 years and for amounts between £1,000 and £50,000. SunGift partnered with Shawbrook after spending more than a year looking for a finance partner that shared its ethos and ethical approach to customer service.
The number of Solar PV installations in the south west has grown hugely over the past two years, with the number in the south west rising a hundred-fold from 2.38 MW since the Feed in-Tariff was launched in April 2010 to 237 MW in April 2012 (Source: South West Renewable Energy Progress Report and Annual Survey 2010 and 2012).
“The number of solar PV installations has dropped recently,” said Gabriel, “as there is a general perception that returns are not as impressive as they were 12 months ago. However, this is not the case. Despite recent cuts to the FiT, returns on investment for our typical domestic systems are still in excess of 10 per cent per annum, as the price has dropped from around £20,000 when the FiT was launched to between £6,000 and £7,000 today.”