Bristol-based SunShare has launched a new solar scheme on January 17th which allows UK homeowners to invest in solar panels for their home for only a part of the upfront installation costs. Qualifying UK homes that install solar panels with SunShare will benefit from free electricity while also earning more than £1,000 a year from the Government-backed feed-in tariff.

Mark Wynn, Managing Director of Avonline, the company that launched SunShare said, “Any household that's looking for a guaranteed long-term investment will struggle to find a better option. Qualifying UK homes can get a fully-installed solar PV system for as little as £3,999. The homeowners who make this investment will subsequently reduce their electricity bills by up to 40%. They will be able to earn over £1,000 a year from feed-in tariff payments, add value to their home, protect themselves against escalating energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint, just to mention a few of the benefits.”    

This scheme therefore differs from the ‘free’ solar offers, which install the system for free, allowing the customer to benefit from the solar energy produced while the company reaps the reward of the feed-in tariff payments.

SunShare works by not only offering free solar energy to the homeowner, but also by ‘sharing’ the feed-in tariff payments so that the customer benefits from the subsidy as well as the electricity. The company predicts that up to 5,000 homes will benefit from its unique scheme in 2011, with a subsequent reduction of 10,000 tonnes of CO2 in the same year.

“Trying to take on the whole responsibility and costs for a solar installation for your home can be a daunting task and this may have put off quite a few households who considered benefiting from the feed-in tariff scheme last year. However, with a unique scheme like Sunshare, upfront installation costs for homeowners will be significantly reduced and a professional partner will take away all the hassle of the installation, ongoing maintenance and the continuous paperwork associated with the feed-in tariff throughout the duration of the scheme,” continued Wynn.

“In fact we see SunShare as more of a partnership with our customers, where we simplify the whole process and lower the barriers of entry for UK consumers and subsequently share the benefits of this great government backed scheme.”

The SunShare team, which currently works in all areas of the UK except Northern Ireland, installs the system and then maintains it over the 25 years free of charge. The company will also carry out all liaisons with the electricity company including the submission of quarterly claims and collection and distribution of the FiT.

SunShare utilizes solar panels from Kyocera, Sharp and Sanyo and inverters from both Fronius and Stecagrid. In order to hold it all together, SunShareuses Mounting Systems for its roof mounting solutions, as the highly flexible system allows precision fitting on many different types of roof. Each system is fitted SunShare’s parent company Avonline, whose team of MCS certified installers has 30 years of experience in installations and over 400 staff in the UK.

Mr. Thatcher, from Somerset, who is already benefitting from a SunShare system said, “Following two years of renovations on our home we recently had a new fully insulated roof put on our property. We decided that the timing was perfect to have solar PV panels installed at the same time to take advantage of the free day time electricity and the feed-in tariff payment, guaranteed by the UK Government for the next 25 years.”

“We were delighted with the installation. Having had a number of building contractors in our home over the last two years we were expecting the worse, so were very impressed with the Avonline installation team who were polite and friendly and most importantly, respected our home. The disruption was kept to a minimum and they explained clearly what they were doing and how it would impact us at each stage over the two day installation.”