Scottish Government urged to reverse decision on solar panel funding

The move has been criticised as 'mind-boggling' while energy bills remain high.

Scottish Government urged to reverse decision on solar panel funding iStock

The Scottish Government has been urged to backtrack on a decision to limit funding for residential solar panels.

The Home Energy Scotland Grant and Loan scheme provides cash to eligible households looking to create more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes.

Scots were able to apply for loans and grants worth thousands of pounds to help instal solar panel systems.

But that part of the scheme has been limited and now funding for solar panels will only be given out as part of a package including other energy systems.

A post on Home Energy Scotland’s website reads: “From Tuesday, June 27 funding for solar PV and energy storage systems will only be available as part of a package together with a heat pump or high heat retention storage heaters.

“As a result, applications for solar PV and/or energy storage systems only will no longer be eligible.

“This change is necessary to ensure that the scheme stays within its allocated budget and that available funding is targeted at installations which will maximise decarbonisation of heat or reduce heat demand.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat communities spokesperson Willie Rennie MSP criticised the move.

He said: “The SNP-Green Government should be doing everything possible to reduce sky-rocketing energy bills and tackle the climate emergency, so this decision is mind-bogglingly counterproductive and has been done without notice.

“The government has just missed a key target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but a week later and they are adopting policies that will only make it worse.

“The Scottish Government should urgently reverse this decision.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Solar has an important role to play in making sure our energy system tackles climate change, particularly when combined with other renewables.

“So the scheme is not closing down. Instead funding is being targeted at measures which will have the biggest impact on reducing emissions from heating homes.

“Grant and loan funding is still available for solar PV and battery storage where installed alongside a certified renewable heating system – which is also funded through the scheme.

“This substantial support offer has a greater impact on emissions than Solar PV and Battery Storage installed in isolation.”

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