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Renewable energy gets a boost

Renewable energy gets a boost

An energy revolution could soon be under-way which leads to tens of thousands more homes having solar panels fitted. But householders should be careful they don’t fall foul of their home insurance if they decide to go for it.

Solar pay boost for households

New Government rules mean that the UK’s energy companies will be forced to buy the excess energy that households with solar panels produce but do not use.

It means there is now the potential for a solar panel stampede by those hoping to lower their energy bills and become energy self-sufficient.

Currently, the panels are only useful to householders when they are home and using electricity, as it’s difficult to store any excess produced.

The new legislation, which comes into effect from the 1st of January 2020, means that any excess must be bought and fed into the national grid by their supplier.

Clean energy game changer?

The Government minister for energy and clean growth, Chris Skidmore, said of the rule-change “The future of energy is local and the new smart export guarantee will ensure households that choose to become green energy generators will be guaranteed a payment for electricity supplied to the grid”.

He added that the Government will also add incentives that encourage households that have solar power to install batteries which will help them further harness the energy-generating effects of the sun.

And it doesn’t appear that Skidmore is simply blowing the Government’s own trumpet as independent industry figures are also getting excited. Greg Jackson, the founder of electricity supplier Octupus Energy, told the Guardian newspaper “These smart export tariffs are game-changing when it comes to harnessing the power of citizens to tackle climate change… replacing old dirty power stations and pumping more renewable energy into the grid. This will help bring down prices for everyone”.

Recent subsidy cut

The Government recently cut the subsidy paid to those with solar panels already installed, hitting the solar industry hard. After the subsidy was scrapped in April, new installations fell by 94% in May, rocking the industry.

However, the new legislation could now lead to something of a green revolution in energy production.

Don’t breach your home insurance rules

With the prospect of covering the cost of the panels more quickly, and possibly having net-zero electricity bills, or even making money, there could be an installation rush by tens of thousands of householders.

But if they choose to do so, they should make sure they get in touch with their home insurance provider to discuss the changes to their home.

Most home cover includes provision for solar panels under the ‘buildings insurance’ element of a policy. But not all do, so it’s certainly something you should check.


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Published 26 June 2019