M&S and British Gas join UK solar gold rush

High street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) and big six utility British Gas have joined the UK solar gold rush offering customers packages to cash in on feed-in tariffs (FITs).

M&S announced earlier this week that it will offer two solar energy packages – solar PV and solar thermal – though its partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

Both packages will include the installation of roof-mounted solar panels by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme approved installer. The PV option will offer panels from 10 m2 to 30 m2 generating free electricity and earning up to £1000 a year in FITs, while three different solar thermal panel systems will be on available that can meet up to 50% of a typical household’s hot water needs.

Prices will start from £7999 for a solar PV system and £3999 for a solar thermal system and the offer includes a free assessment.

“This is the latest example of M&S offering our customers efficient solutions to their home energy needs,” says Richard Gillies, director of Plan A and sustainable business at M&S.

Earlier this year, M&S launched energy services in partnership with SSE and now has over 300,000 customers signed up. The retailer also offers a home insulation service.

British Gas, meanwhile, is expanding its mySolarEnergy pilot scheme, which allows customers to either pay upfront for solar panels or have the panels installed for free in return for passing on the FIT to the company. The ‘rent-a-roof’ free panel scheme will only be open to existing customers and is initially limited to 1500 installations.

The company is also offering a 0% APR finance deal for customers to pay for their own panels and installation over two years, so that they can take full benefit of FITs.

For further information:

Related stories:
HomeSun offers free solar panels to UK homes (6-Aug)
Feed-in tariff will increase UK solar PV market five-fold, says PricewaterhouseCoopers (8-Jun)

03 September 2010