For those looking into solar energy, some companies are actually offering to instal solar panels on your roof for free via the Rent-A-Roof scheme. But is this deal right for you?
Rising energy bills are a growing problem for many homeowners, so much that more and more people are looking into solar energy. Granted, solar panel installation can be quite expensive, which can be a deterrent for anyone interested in renewable energy. Enter the Rent-A-Roof Scheme – where companies actually offer to instal solar panels on your roof ‘for free’. Sound good?
Granted, anything labeled as ‘free’ isn’t technically free, because basic economics teaches us that it always costs something to produce something. So yes, these companies are able to benefit too from renting out your roof for solar panel installation, otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing.
To find out if rent-a-roof is right for you, here are some facts you need to know about:
What is “rent-a-roof”
There are a growing number of companies in the UK which offer free installation of solar panels on your roof- this is the “rent-a-roof” scheme.
Installation of solar panels in the UK can cost up to £15,000, so joining this service can give you a ton of savings from up-front costs. The savings don’t end there. Maintaining solar panels at home can also help your family save around £150-£200 in electricity bills every month.
While the offer is tempting, there are a few setbacks with the current system.
Standard contracts for “rent-a-roof” scheme last for around 25 years and home owners have no option but to stick with the panels for the entire period. This means that even if you sold your house before the period ends, the solar panels will continue on with the next owner/s of the house.
Here’s another big surprise! It’s the companies who actually get the most benefits from supplying you with free solar panels. The government currently runs a program called “feed-in-tariff” which requires electric companies to pay people who generate power from renewable sources. Thus, the service companies earns when you receive or rent the solar panels from them.
As a bonus, here are some questions you need to ask your solar panel providers before you sign a contract with them:
1. Who pays for the maintenance and repairs of the solar kits?
You’ll have to clarify with the company who pays for the cost of maintenance and repair of these kits. While solar PV panels are known to be low maintenance, this doesn’t mean that keeping one attached to your roof will cost you no money at all. For example, if a component of the solar panel fall from the roof who will be charged with the cost of the replacement part? It’s better to get these details cleared out before you sign a contract, since these costs can be pretty expensive.
2. Should you notify authorities about the improvement you will introduce into your house?
Attaching a solar panel on the roof of your house is considered a significant change in your property. As a result, you’ll have to notify your mortgage lender and your property insurance provider in advance – even if some service providers tell homeowners that making these notification requirements aren’t necessary anymore. It’s better to play it safe by asking your potential service provider the legal basis of their advice. You can also ask them if the rule is the same with mortgages for self-employed or 100 percent mortgages.
Hope these tips helped you out. Watch out for my next post soon!