British Gas has launched a new ‘rent-a-roof’ solar panel deal that will give more people access to free solar panels.
The new scheme has been set up with the National Housing Federation and will give its members access to solar panels supplied by British Gas. The National Housing Federation represents 1,200 independent, not-for-profit housing associations in England and bills itself as ‘the voice of affordable housing’.
British Gas will rent roofs of housing association properties, install solar panels and maintain them for 25 years. The energy company pays landlords £30 ayear to rent the roof, and the tenant’s electricity bills should reduce by £100 a year or more as the property benefits from energy generated through the solar panels.
British Gas makes money from the scheme by collecting money paid through the feed-in tariff.
Sylvia Baron, energy expert at consumer watchdog Which?, said: “If you’re renting and your landlord takes part in this scheme, this could be really good news for you as you will save money on your electricity bill. However, if you own your property and want to have solar panels, you should consider buying them yourself.”
When Which? looked at the savings involved in rent-a-roof schemes, it found that even if you were living in the UK’s sunniest region, the maximum you’d save is £412 a year off your electricity bill, compared with the £1,313 that free solar panel companies such as British Gas will collect from the feed-in-tariff.