Rent-A-Roof Or Self-Funding?
Author: Amy Catlow
Published: Friday, 16 September 2011
With typical solar installations offering annual returns of around 10 percent and lending costs being at around 4-5 percent, borrowing the sums required to finance a solar panel installation is still an attractive option. However, the best option has to be for the property owner to fund the installation in total. Interest rates on savings and other low risk investments are so low right now there are a lot worse ways to use disposable income than cashing in on the FIT payments.
For those without the upfront cash or the means to borrow the sums required, all is not lost. Rent-A Roof schemes provide a third party investor who may be willing to undertake the installation. The homeowner rents their roof to the third party and they install the panels for free or a small fee.
Each company will offer different deal but none of them are operating as a charity. They’re in it to make a profit and if they’re offering to install solar panels worth thousands of pounds for free or for a small charge you do have to ask what’s in it for them.
Usually they will take the majority of the FITs proceeds, probably the whole of the Generation and Export tariffs, and leave the owner to benefit from cheaper electricity bills. Of course, this is nowhere near as profitable as self-funding for the home owner, but might be worth considering for some.
Not all homeowners looking to solar power their homes in this way will be eligible. The companies involved want to see the best profit they can make on the deal as fast as possible, so the property being considered will have to meet some strict criteria to be accepted.