The UK Government has confirmed that from April 2019 it will axe payments for generating electricity from solar panels.
Homeowners considering switching to solar panel systems should do it now - before a cut-off point next year that could strip the opportunity for large financial incentives.
For a long time, the solar technology available to the public for turning sunlight into electricity was beyond the financial reach of many households.
A survey conducted by energy efficiency experts YES Energy Solutions found that 55 percent of homeowners had not invested in solar panels because they believed it was too expensive.
However due to falling costs, improved technology, Government incentives and greater competition between manufacturers, solar panels have become more affordable.
Currently, under the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme, you receive payment for any electricity you produce as well as any surplus electricity that you transfer back to the grid.
The latest figures from Ofgem state that as of October 2018, for each kWh you generate you get 3.86p, while for each kWh you export you receive 5.24p.
The total amount you earn depends on your location and how much electricity you use. According to the MoneySavingExpert, in London, the estimated average savings per year came to £340. In Manchester the figure was £305.
However, the Government has confirmed that from April 2019 it will axe the payments for generating electricity. It has also proposed ending payments for exporting electricity.
This means that after the cut-off point, the only benefit to having solar panels will be the electricity savings, as the opportunity to make additional payments through the scheme will be missed.
Without the large financial incentives, it would take an estimated 70 years to recoup the initial investment, which is nearly three times the lifespan of some solar panels.
Crucially, those who have purchased their solar panels before this point will not be affected and can still earn back their investment within 20 years.
In 2007, the average home was billed £415 for its yearly electricity and ten years later, this figure had risen by almost £200 and stood at £619.
Throughout 2018, all of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy providers - npower, E.ON, Scottish Power, SSE, EDF and British Gas - implemented price hikes after Ofgem increased the prepayment price cap.
This will mean millions of customers face average additional payments of around £100 a year on their energy bills.