Over 495,000 homes across the UK are now solar powered, according to the latest statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The week ending 15 December saw 10.88MW of capacity added to the grid, lifting the total number of <50kW installs under the feed-in tariff to 495,459. Almost 96% of those installs are in the sub 4kW domestic sector.

Commenting on the news, Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, told Solar Power Portal: “It's fantastic to think that, as the year ends, we'll have achieved half a million UK solar-powered homes in the UK.

“STA staff will be contemplating that extraordinary milestone as they celebrate the New Year. Half a million homes have been achieved in three years. We want to achieve the next half a million homes in less than two years so that we can hit the big million in 2015.

“We'd like to see the whole industry pull together in 2014 to help us get the clear benefits of investment out to the public.”

The latest statistics show that the industry sustained the momentum it built from last week, repeating more than 10MW of installs in a week despite no imminent cut to the feed-in tariff.

DECC will suspend publishing the weekly solar install figures over the Christmas period for three weeks, however, based on previous installation levels it is likely that the solar industry will break the 500,000 barrier before the new year.