Energy giant E.On is set to invest up to £150 million in a new solar initiative that could provide to 15,000 customers with solar power installations costing as little as £99. The SolarExchange plan could save E.On’s UK customers as much as £180 on their annual energy bill.

Although solar panels cost, on average, around £12,000, the SolarExchange scheme will enable E.On customers to benefit from the savings generated by solar power without incurring the up-front investment cost. E.On will install and maintain the solar panels under the ‘rent-a-roof’ system, with the costs covered through government solar subsidy payments.

“Solar panels are just one way people can cut their bills and reduce carbon emissions but for many the up-front costs can be too much,” said Graham Bartlett, managing director of E.On’s Energy Solutions business. “The key is to provide the right solution in the right way for the customer. With this scheme, people can not only feel safe in the knowledge their homes are helping to power their lives, but also that they’ll have a leading energy company backing them up along the way.

“Solar panels may not be the best option for every customer – for one thing your home has to be mostly south-facing – but they can generate renewable electricity year-round, even when it’s cloudy. Most households can save more than a third off their electricity bills and over time they could save thousands of pounds.”