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Boom in solar panel installation

Latest figures have shown that more solar panels have been installed this month than ever before as record numbers of homeowners in the UK take advantage of the Government’s renewable energy scheme.

According to energy regulator Ofgem, 2,257 homes in the country have had solar panels fitted so far in August.

The figure represents a significant increase from the 1,700 seen in July, and the 1,400 homes fitted in June.

Ofgem said 6,688 properties had been fitted with solar panels since April. The panels are capable of generating more that 16MW of power.

The Government’s scheme to reward people who generate their own energy is believed to have prompted the boom in solar panels being installed.

The feed-in tariff system was introduced on April 1, and enables homeowners to currently receive 41.3p for every unit of energy they generate, regardless of whether they use the energy themselves or sell it back to the National Grid.

The tariff is paid for 25 years after the panels are installed and is increased in line with inflation.

It replaces the previous system under which people could obtain grants to help cover the cost of installing the green technology.

But the change to the scheme has led to a growing number of companies looking to cash in on the generous feed-in tariff.

These firms are offering to install solar panels for homeowners free of charge and let them use the energy generated for free.

But the company retains ownership of the panels and keeps all of the money generated from the feed-in tariff.

The Energy Saving Trust said solar panels typically cost between £6,000 and £12,000 to buy.