Why are there grants for electric cars but not solar panels in Jersey?

  • Rory O'Regan has been looking at the role solar technology will play in Jersey as it tries to become more sustainable.

Jersey's government should support islanders who want to install solar panels in their homes, according to an architect.

Tom Bull from the Construction Council says the States could consider policies, such as removing Goods and Services Tax (GST) on purchases involving the renewable, to make it more affordable.

This is the case in the UK where Value Added Tax (VAT) - the country's version of GST - is 0% for anyone installing solar.

  • Rory O'Regan explains why conditions set out by the States can sometimes be difficult for the building sector to meet.

However, Jersey's Environment Minister says his department is focusing elsewhere to help the island become more sustainable.

The Bailiwick currently imports the bulk of its energy from France, the vast majority of which is clean power coming from hydro and nuclear sources.

Therefore, the States is prioritising the electrification of Jersey's transport, and homes that still use fossil fuels.

Those areas make up more than two thirds of emissions - reducing them is imperative if the island is to reach net zero by 2050.

That is why the government is helping people interested in switching to an electric car and low-carbon heating systems.

Currently, drivers in Jersey can get up to £3,500 to help them change vehicles and, depending on their income, money to help with installing environmentally-friendly appliances, such as electric storage heaters and air source heat pumps.

Nevertheless, solar will still play a key role as the island tries to become more sustainable.

Jersey Electricity is aiming for 5% of power to be produced by ground-mounted panels within a few years.

Meanwhile, for those that install their own panels, they should last for 25 years and lead to savings in the long-run.

According to SunWorks, a Jersey solar installation company, it would cost around £6,000 for a three-bedroom house to install 6 panels.

That would generate savings of around £600 a year - this means after approximately 10 years, islanders would make their money back, and then continue to have cheaper bills going forward.

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