Free Solar Panels Using the Feed-in tariff?

Can you get free solar panels by using the feed-in tariff?

Well, kind of!

Though not completely free, you will be receiving sizable discounts by using the tariff. 

Plus, the entire time you have the solar cells on your roof, you will be getting paid for it! Another huge plus is that you will be getting paid to participate in sustainable living.

What is the Feed-in Tariff?

A feed-in tariff (or FiT) is a government policy that pays you money for the electricity you create with your alternative energy system.

The FiT is for commercial producers, home owners, private farmers, and so on.

Many companies will include installation for free, if you choose to sign up for the feed-in tariff through them.

But, if you have the money and skill for the installation, you can join the ranks of many of the more independent types and do some diy solar energy, and you will get paid directly.

If you can’t afford the upfront cost, then going through a good solar energy company is still a great option.  You get the panels installed for free, and you save a great deal of money on your utility bill.

How the Feed-in Tariff Works

Step One

Install the solar panels yourself, or have a company do it for free (or at a reduced cost)

Step Two:

Begin producing electricity via your free solar panels (if you choose to use a solar company)

What Happens After That?

  •      Most of that electricity you will use yourself
  •      Any electricity you do not use goes back to the grid, and you are paid for it
  •     Since the panels are paying for themselves you are getting free solar panels
  • ·    Any extra electricity you may need (at night when the panels are not producing energy) will automatically be taken back from the grid, and transferred to your home

How Do The Payments Work?

  •          You get paid for all the electricity that you generate
  •          You get paid for any surplus electricity that you sent back to the grid
  •          You pay your energy supplier for the additional electricity you need
  •        And if you add a solar backup generator, you may be able to avoid using the grid completely

Who Actually Sends Me the Check?

Even though you are generating your own electricity, under the Feed-in Tariff you still have a contract with an energy supplier. 

So, it will be your energy supplier who will pay you, normally once a quarter for:

  •          The electricity you generated and used yourself
  •          And the surplus electricity you sent back to the grid

Information on Feed-in Tariffs by Country

Regardless of where you live in the world, there is probably a form of the feed-in tariff that will help you get cheap or free solar panels in your country. 

Here is a list of countries and information on the solar tariffs offered:


  •          Ontario first started using the feed-in tariff in 2006, and revised it in 2010. 
  •          The revision increased the payout from 42 cents/kWh to 80.2 cents/kWh for applications received after July, 2 2010.
  •          Thousands of projects have been approved
  •          184 large scale projects worth 8 billion dollars

  •          As of April 2012, 12,000 systems had been installed
  •        Most Canadian companies offer free solar panels installation when used with the tariff


  •          As of August 2011 a national feed-in tariff for solar projects was issued
  •          Payout is 15 cents per kWh
  •          Four categories of onshore wind projects that are eligible for  feed-in tariffs
  •          Areas with better wind resources will have lower payouts
  •          Areas with little wind resources will receive higher payouts
  •          The payouts for the four wind categories are .51 Yuan, .54 Yuan, .58 Yuan, and .61 Yuan

United States


  •          The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a free solar power feed-in tariff on January, 31 2008
  •         In 2010, Marin Energy Authority launched the first Community Choice Aggregate Feed-in Tariff program.
  • The program was updated in November 2012, and now offers 20-year fixed-price contracts
  •          Municipal utility companies have enacted feed in tariff pilot programs in Palo Alto and Los Angeles: Palo Alto CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) is a program to purchase up to 4MW of electricity generated by solar electric systems located in CPAU's service area
  •          Payout rates are between 12 cents per kWh and 14 cents per kWh
  •          In 2012, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved a 10MW Feed-in-Tariff Demonstration Program. The program's goal is to encourage renewable energy development within the Los Angeles Basin and help meet the 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard Mandate by 2020


  •          In 2009 Gainesville, Florida approved the nation’s first solar feed-in tariff
  •          The program is open to small, medium, and large projects
  •          It has a cap of 4 MW per year
  •          Solar energy makes up 1.2 percent of Gainesville’s peak load energy

United Kingdom

  •          First introduced in 2008
  •          In 2011 DECC announced dramatic cuts of around 55% to feed in tariff rates
  •          However, the decision was overturned in a court battle

  •          Many consider that court battle a huge victory for the solar energy industry
  •          The court victory guaranteed higher payouts
  •        Most UK solar power companies offer free solar panels installation

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