UK homeowners unable to find the upfront capital required for a solar PV installation may now be able to own a system while also reaping the reward offered by the feed-in tariff scheme. This is the premise behind Engensa’s SolarLoan, available to customers from June this year.
Unlike rent-a-roof schemes, SolarLoan is the first dedicated loan that enables householders to own their system, paying for it as they save money – both from the feed-in tariff and through reduced energy bills.
Once the SolarLoan is paid off the homeowner will benefit from both the FiT payments and energy bills savings over 25 years. According to Engensa’s calculations, most households will see savings immediately and should continue to save money, even during the loan repayment period.
“This is the next big step in UK solar,” explained Toby Darbyshire, Engensa’s Chief Executive Officer. “Not only can SolarLoan offer homeowners all the benefits of a highly attractive financial investment without any upfront cost, it reduces the impact of inevitably rising energy costs and boosts the home’s value.”
For a well-sited south-facing 4kW system, Engensa estimates that once the loan is paid off, the system owners can expect to save ~£1,500 a year, increasing to £2,200 in year 25 as electricity prices continue to rise. Over 25 years this installation could generate returns of up to £30,000 all for an initial outlay of £0. A graph example of how this works can be seen to the right. This graphic demonstrates how the system is paid off in 10 years; however, a system closer to south-facing would expect to be slightly quicker to pay off.
Homeowners will also have the option of paying for their system up front, or over a timeframe that suits their individual circumstances.
“We are thrilled to offer a finance product that can benefit millions of UK homes, drive mass adoption of renewables, invigorate the solar industry and create jobs,” added Darbyshire. “SolarLoan financing underscores our commitment to innovation in both solar technology and business, to make solar energy easy and attainable for homeowners, independent of changing government policies.”
Toby Ferenczi, the company's Chief Technology Officer, commented: “Engensa's SolarLoan is a great product that helps families take action to reduce their bills over the long term. Because solar energy requires significant upfront costs but has very low ongoing costs, it really makes sense to provide finance so that as many families as possible can benefit.”
SolarLoan is available from June 2012 to homeowners initially south of Birmingham with homeowners nationwide able to get a SolarLoan from October.