Final details are being hashed out

The government’s ‘Photovoltaics for All’ plan is set to be implemented at the end of February, with the final details now being hashed out.

The plan is set to allow solar panels to be installed on the roofs of households which do not have the means to pay for them outright. Payment for the panels will subsequently be made via consumers’ electricity bills.

Payments will be made over a period of four or five years in bimonthly instalments of €150, while it is believed the presence of solar panels can reduce the cost of a bimonthly electricity bill by as much as €260, thus allowing consumers to immediately begin making savings.

In addition, the government is offering grants of up to €1,000 for the installation of the solar panels, at the rate of €250 per kilowatt.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, energy ministry spokeswoman Rona Hadjipapa explained that while the exact date of the plan’s implementation has not yet been decided, the government is aiming at having it up and running by the end of February.

She said there will be a platform on the energy ministry’s website on which people can find relevant information, a guide to the plan and how to apply for it, and the relevant forms with which they can apply. All applications will be submitted online.

It appears the government is thus far being vague regarding eligibility criteria for the scheme and waiting to gauge interest from the public.

Hadjipapa said priority in the first instance will be given to owners of small and medium-sized houses, allowing them to take advantage of the scheme and begin saving money, though she did not mention dimensions of the houses in question.

Apartment blocks will also be eligible for the scheme, provided that an agreement can be reached between all the owners of the apartments in a block.

Applications will only be able to be made by property owners.

The government has allocated a total budget of €30 million for the first year of the scheme, which, at the current prices for solar panels, is estimated to be enough to fund the installation of solar panels on between 5,000 and 6,000 houses.

The Photovoltaics for All plan is part of a five-pronged government scheme to encourage the installation of solar panels on and greater energy efficiency for buildings across the island.

The other related plans include grants for people living in mountainous areas, people in vulnerable households, and subsidies for roof insulation.

Under the scheme, if a household installs solar panels and roof insulation, they will be eligible for a €750 one-off bonus.

All potential beneficiaries for all schemes will receive pre-approval prior to the implementation of the investment, a process which the government says, “ensures for the applicant the possibility of a grant and for the implementing body a greater possibility of control.”