A Guide To Solar Panel Grants in the UK 2024

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✅ Grants include the ECO4 and the Home Upgrade Grant

✅ There’s a community-led solar panel group-buying scheme available

✅ Solar Together can cut the upfront cost of buying a solar panel system

Solar panels cost around £7,000 on average, but this can go up to £11,000 or thereabouts depending on your needs. That’s a lot of money to spend in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis in which people are having to be more conscious of where their money is going.  Solar panels, though, can be great tools in shrinking your monthly energy bill by up to 70%, so if you can’t quite afford the upfront cost, you might be wondering if there’s any help available. 

We’re here to tell you there is, and this article is designed to give you all the information you’ll need to know about the grants currently offered by the UK government. If you’re ready to outright buy a solar panel system, we can help you compare prices. Just enter a few details about your home and we’ll connect you with our trusted installers. They’ll get in touch with obligation-free quotes for you to compare.

What Government Grants for Solar Panels Are There?

The UK government offers three grants to help homeowners buy solar panels. These are:

  • ECO4 — this scheme offers funding for low-income and fuel-poor households, or homes with occupants on certain benefits
  • ECO4 Flex — this is part of the ECO4 scheme and it is designed to extend eligibility to households referred to the scheme by local authorities, or an energy supplier
  • The Home Upgrade Grant — homes that aren’t connected to the gas grid can receive funding of up to £10,000 towards solar panels, and other home improvements

Two other initiatives that are well worth mentioning are:

  • Solar Together — this is a group-buying initiative that allows communities to buy solar panels for their households at a reduce price
  • VAT Exemption — UK homeowners pay 0% VAT on solar panels and other energy-saving materials/technologies until April 2027. It used to be 5-20%.

All of these grants have different eligibility criteria, which we’ll explain in more detail below. Also, be aware that the benefits they provide can be different, and how you apply for them can be tricky. 


ECO4 is the fourth and final iteration of the UK government[‘s Energy Company Obligation scheme. It was created to help households who are fuel poor, and to reduce carbon emissions. With ECO4, households could save up to 100% of the cost of solar panels.

The scheme requires most gas and electricity suppliers to help provide homes with energy saving measures, including solar panels. It’s administered by Ofgem, and also helps cover boiler repairs, heat pump installation, and improved insulation.

There isn’t a cap on how much funding ECO4 can provide you, as it’s depending on your home’s unique needs. However, the funding (and any retrofit projects) does depend on your energy company.

The government's ECO4 scheme will be around until the 31st of March 2026. 

ECO4 Eligibility Requirements for Solar Panels

You could be eligible for solar panel funding via ECO4 if you meet some of the following requirements:

  • Your home has a low EPC rating — if your home has an EPC rating of D or below (all the way down to G), you could qualify
  • Your rented property has a low EPC rating — all rented properties require an EPC rating of E or above to meet the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (2020)
  • Your home has an electric heating system
  • You are living in a private domestic property and are a member of the Help to Heat Group (HTHG) — if you rent your home, you must get permission from your landlord or from your social housing provider or management company

According to Ofgem, HTHG membership requires at least one of the following benefits:

  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (PCGC)
  • Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (these have no been replaced by Universal Credit, so these are only available as tax credits if you’re still receiving them)
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit (PCSC)

Be aware that getting solar panels with ECO4 isn’t guaranteed — your energy provider might decide that installing a heat pump, or a biomass boiler, or connecting your property to a District Heating Network is the best option.

How Do I Apply for ECO4?

There are a few options you can take to apply for ECO4. First off, contact your energy supplier and check if they’re an obligated supplier. Alternatively, you can apply via the government website.

Here’s a complete list of suppliers that can provide support through ECO4:

The bulk of companies above have an application form you can fill in to confirm your eligibility and once you’ve done this, it’s typically a case of waiting for an email response, which’ll contain a unique reference number and a document. They’ll also ask for permission to contact the Department of Work and Pensions to confirm any benefits.

Within a week or so they’ll contact you to arrange a free survey of your home’s energy efficiency measures, which’ll usually take no longer than 15 or 20 minutes.

After this is done, your application should be accepted and then it’s a case of waiting around eight weeks for your solar panels (if approved) to be installed.

ECO4 Flex

You might not meet the criteria for ECO4, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely unable to get funding via the scheme. You could still be eligible via the Local Authority and Supplier Flex mechanism, which is commonly referred to as ECO4 Flex.

ECO4 Flex is designed to allow local authorities the ability to widen the criteria for eligibility, meaning more households could gain access to funding towards home improvements. 

According to Ofgem, the flexible approach of ECO4 helps identify eligible households who would otherwise not qualify for the scheme. This means less UK households will be left behind in the drive to reach net-zero emissions.

What’s great about ECO4 Flex is that it gives local authorities the ability to refer homes they believe could be fuel poor, on low income, or vulnerable to the effects of a cold property. 

ECO4 Flex Eligibility Requirements

To get referred to ECO4 Flex by your local authority, you must meet some of the following requirements:

  • Have a combined household income below £31,000
  • Be or live with a person with a health condition that makes them vulnerable to cold conditions. Examples include respiratory diseases, cardiovascular conditions, limited mobility, or immunosuppression

Getting a referral from your energy supplier requires falling into one of the following criterias:

  • Live in an energy inefficient house 
  • Have a non prepayment meter and be in fuel debt for 13 weeks or more
  • Have received supplier discretionary/friendly credit within the last 13 weeks 
  • Be on a debt repayment plan from your energy supplier
  • Be repaying a fuel debt via third party deductions
  • Have self-disconnected 

If you live in Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland could refer your household to the ECO4 scheme.

Additionally, as with ECO4, the ECO4 Flex scheme is not a guarantee that you’ll get solar panels — or indeed any energy-saving measures. What gets installed and which measures are taken is determined by the energy supplier. 

If you believe your household is vulnerable to cold, it’s a good idea to contact your GP, where they’ll be able to use an NHS template to refer you. Your other option is to get in touch with Citizens Advice, or your local authority.

The Home Upgrade Grant

Homeowners and landlords can get up to £10,000 in funding towards energy efficiency improvements with the Home Upgrade Grant. It’s available in 45 select local authorities across England and to find out if you can get it, you’ll only need your postcode.

You’ll be able to apply for the grant until it ends in March 2025, and it’s a great option to fund measures including solar panels, but also heat pumps, double glazing, and various insulation techniques.

Home Upgrade Grant Eligibility Requirements for Solar Panels

In order to qualify for the Home Upgrade Grant you must meet some of the following requirements:

  • Live in and own a property located in one of the 45 local authorities currently offering the grant
  • Not use a gas boiler as a heating system
  • Have an EPC rating of D or lower (all the way down to G)
  • Have a combined household income of £31,000 a year or less (however, some local authorities might accept if you earn more, so it’s worth checking)

How Do I Apply for the Home Upgrade Grant?

You’ll first need to check if your local authority offers the Home Upgrade Grant, which you can do by searching using your postcode. If they do offer the grant, contact them to get the ball rolling. You’ll typically find all of their contact information on the government website, but if not a quick search online will help.

Your other option is to check your eligibility via the government website. With this route, you’ll be asked whether you use a gas boiler, if the property is yours, what the building’s EPC rating is, and your household income.


That’s about all there is to know about the three main government grants available for UK citizens looking for help funding solar panels. With solar panels, you’ll be benefiting from lower energy bills, smaller carbon emissions, and less reliance on the grid. 

There might be other grants available, depending on where you live, so it’s always worth searching online for your location and checking if there are any grants/loans/financing options for your specific area. 

If you’re looking to buy a solar panel system, we can help you compare prices. Fill in a few quick details about your home and we’ll put you in touch with our expert solar panel installers. They’ll provide you with obligation-free quotes for you to compare.

How Much Money Can You Save With Solar?

Save up to 90% on your electricity bill
Sell excess energy back to the grid
Increase the value of your home