This is shocking stuff and goes to show that no-one ever gets something for nothing. It is part of the crazy world of renewable subsidies that from windfarms to solar panels are well intentioned but have these sort of consequences if not well implemented. This story tells us:

The government introduced the generous incentives in 2010. The FITs, funded by a levy on all energy bills, have encouraged 800,000 households to go solar, but they have also spawned a multitude of startups that have exploited homeowners.

Homeowners who wanted to do their bit for the environment but could not afford the outlay were promised up to 50% off their bills if they signed over the airspace above their roof for 25 years. For the startups it was a bonanza.

Payouts would earn them an average of £23,000, more than triple their investment. But unscrupulous contracts obliged owners to seek permission if they wanted to extend or sell their home, or compensate them if the panels were temporarily removed for roof repairs.

Since 2012, as installation costs have plummeted, the feed-in rates have been slashed for new installations by 90%, and they will be abolished for those who install solar panels after 31 March next year. The profiteering startups have all but disappeared, but their legacy will blight the lives of homeowners and unwitting buyers for two more decades.


Many are discovering the high price of their “free” deal as they try to sell. The 25-year leases apply to the property regardless of who owns it, and they have to find a buyer willing to take on the remaining years. And even if a buyer is happy, mortgage lenders may not be. The deal is treated as a leasehold, and contracts skewed in favour of the company are deemed risky by banks and building societies.

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