Free Solar Panel Grant Scotland

Free solar panel grant

Free solar panels Scotland

Grants for solar panels in Scotland are now available through the government-backed ECO4 scheme

Free solar panels in Scotland are now available through the ECO4 grant scheme. Many households on benefits are eligible from 2024 for 100% grant funding to cover the cost of solar panels in Scotland.

A government grant for solar panels and heat pumps has been introduced to help reduce energy bills for households on benefits and lower income families who claim a means-tested benefit. The new solar grants were introduced in 2022 and are part of the drive to reach net zero in Scotland by 2050.

Apply for free solar panels in Scotland

ECO4 Scheme Eligibility Check

ECO4 Scheme Eligibility Check

Does a member of your household claim any of the following benefits? (select all that apply)

"If you or a member of your household claim child benefit your TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME must be below a certain threshold.

If you do not claim any other benefits please visit the following link to find out more about child income thresholds.

ECO4 Child Benefit Grants>>

What type of home improvement grant interests you? (All measures are free of charge)

Type of grant you are interested in (check all that apply)

About your property

Your Contact Details

Solar panels – a popular renewable energy choice
Due to the current energy price rises and the worldwide concern regarding climate change, creating your own cheap, green electricity is becoming more popular for many homeowners throughout Scotland and the UK.

When you have solar PV installed on your roof, you can use renewable energy to meet a large portion of your daily electricity needs. This means you rely less on the grid for power, and it is cheaper to run your appliances and lighting.

Free Solar panel grant Scotland

Can I get a grant for solar panels in Scotland in 2024?

The short answer is yes. The latest version of the Energy Company Obligation runs from April 2022 until 2026. This is the government-backed energy efficiency scheme which has provided grant funding for home improvements including free insulation and replacement boilers over the last 10 years or so.

ECO is part of the government’s strategy to promote the use of renewable energy sources in Scottish homes. £4 billion of funding has been set aside to help eligible households meet the cost of installing new technologies, including solar panels and heat pumps. The long term aim is to steer away from fossil fuel boilers, including gas, LPG, and oil. The scheme also provides funding to replace electric storage heaters and electric central heating . Free solar panels are a major part of this strategy, as they enable lower income families in Scotland to generate a substantial percentage of their own electricity.

100% heating grants
If your household meets the benefit criteria and you are off the gas grid, you may be eligible for a completely free solar PV panel and heating system, which can mean savings of £2000 per year or more. The cost would be met with a 100% grant, which you would not have to pay back.

Who is eligible for a solar panel grant in Scotland?

The ECO grant scheme is open to families where a member of the household claims one of the benefits below. To claim a grant for solar PV panels in Scotland, your home must also have an existing EPC rating of E, F or G. This means that your home is not already energy efficient. This type of property would benefit most from a new solar installation.

ECO4 Grant Eligibility

ECO4 grants cover the supply and installation of solar panels in Scotland. They also provide funding for heating upgrades and insulation. The scheme is aimed at inefficient properties where the EPC rating is an E or below.

To be eligible, a member of your household must claim one of the following benefits: –

  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Income Support
  • Income-based ESA
  • Income-based JSA
  • Pension Savings Credit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Warm Homes Discount
  • Universal Credit

If you claim regular child benefit and are on a lower income, you are entitled to apply, providing your total household income is below the earnings threshold listed below.

Number of childrenSingle claimantMember of a couple
4 +£34,500£42,000
Child benefit income thresholds for solar panel grants in Scotland

Making homes sustainable and energy efficient
In an ideal world, you would be able to generate your own electricity through the power of the sun. You can use this cheaper, green electricity to power your appliances, including an air source heat pump. Your energy costs would be reduced even further as your house would be completely insulated.

This is now a reality, as the latest scheme is aimed at properties that have a lower energy rating, so that substantial carbon savings can be made. The ECO grant scheme covers the following measures –

  • solar panels
  • heat pumps
  • modern heating controls
  • solid wall insulation
  • cavity wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • room in roof insulation
  • under floor insulation

Why are there grants for free solar panels in Scotland?

Solar panels (solar photovoltaics, or PV) enable you to generate free, green energy by converting sunlight into electricity. This electricity can then be used to power the appliances in your home. This is good for the planet, and it also means a reduction in your energy bills. Grants for solar panels have been introduced so that Scottish homeowners and tenants can lower their carbon footprint and reduce their heating bills.

Solar PV panel grant scotland
Grants for free solar panels are now available in Scotland

How do solar panels work?

Solar PV panels are made up of semi-conductor cells. When light is shone on these cells a direct electric current (DC) is generated. A solar invertor converts this into alternating current (AC) electricity. This is the type that is used to power your domestic appliances.

Do solar panels work in Scotland?

Yes. Solar panels do not need direct sunlight. They even work on cloudy days, so the Scottish weather is suitable for a solar panel installation. Solar PV works better on a south-facing roof, but if your roof faces east or west, you can still benefit from cheaper electricity.

If your roof faces east or west, there may be a 15% reduction in the energy you generate, but as long as the installation is not on a north-facing roof, the panels will be viable.

Are there other grants for solar panels in Scotland?

If a member of your household does not claim an eligible benefit, you may still be able to secure funding from the Scottish government. Home improvement loans are available through Home Energy Scotland, with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable products, including solar PV.

What about the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Domestic RHI was a government financial incentive designed to encourage homeowners to generate renewable energy to help meet carbon emissions reduction targets. Any surplus energy could be sold back to the grid for a profit. Unfortunately, this incentive ended on 31st March 2022.

Do I need planning permission?

In general, you do not need planning permission to install a solar system in Scotland. However, if you have a flat roof or live in a conservation area, you may need to get permission from your local authority.

What does the solar panel grant cover?

Under the ECO scheme, solar panels are completely free, so you do not pay for the PV panels or the cost of installation. Grants for free solar energy storage batteries are not provided under the scheme, however, but they can be added at a later date if desired. Although you would have to cover the cost of this yourself.

What are the advantages of solar panels?

Solar panels are a popular renewable energy source with many advantages, including:

  • A renewable energy source: Solar panels generate electricity using the energy from the sun.
  • Cost-effective with little maintenance required
  • Substantially reduced energy bills
  • Help to lower carbon emissions and so help the environment
  • A solar PV installation increases the value of your home as it is seen as a long term investment
  • Government grants: The UK and Scottish governments both offer grants and funding to help with the initial cost of a generating solar electricity
  • Energy independence: you generate your own electricity, so you are less reliant on the grid. Therefore, you are less vulnerable to fluctuating energy prices

Can I still earn money from the solar electricity I generate?

Although the FIT(Solar Feed in Tariff) Scheme closed to new applicants in March 2019 the government has recognised that people should still receive some form of payment for the solar electricity they generate and export back to the grid. Therefore, on 1st January 2020 the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) introduced the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

The scheme dictates that all licenced energy companies with a customer base of over 150,000 must provide a tariff that enables properties with solar panels installed, to benefit financially from selling surplus energy back to the grid.

Are there any other grants for solar panels in Scotland?

If no one in your home claims benefits, there is still financial help available for solar panels through the Home Energy Scotland Grant & Loan Scheme. This government funded scheme provides a partial non-repayable grant of up to £7500 (£9000 if your property is in a designated rural area and is off the gas grid) to help install an energy saving measure. This also includes air source heat pumps and home insulation. This can also help reduce your heating & electricity bills substantially.

Government funding can cover up to 75% of the total cost of a solar PV electricity system. An interest-free loan can pay for the remaining balance.

However, some households may not be able to afford to pay back a Home Energy Scotland loan, so the grant scheme may be the best option.

If a member of your household receives a means-tested benefit, and your property meets the eligibility criteria, you can still have solar power installed on your roof with no charge.If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for a solar panel grant in Scotland, find out more at the link below.

Apply for free solar panels in Scotland

If you live in Scotland and a member of your household is eligible for the ECO4 scheme, you can get a 100% grant for solar panels. The grant is non-repayable and covers the full cost of solar PV installation. In addition, you can upgrade your heating to an air-source heat pump if you live off the gas grid. ECO4 grants also cover the cost of any insulation upgrades deemed necessary to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Apply for a solar panel grant in Scotland via our eco eligibility form.