If you are unsure about installing solar panels read this article for more information, as well as the difference between solar PV and solar thermal.
There have been very substantial changes that have impacted the options on financing your solar PV installation.
On the 31 March 2019 the Feed-in Tariff scheme was stopped and as a result installers stopped offering Rent A Roof type funding. The reasons were simply the considerable decrease in the cost of the technology.
As of the 31 January 2020, the government imposed an obligation on licenced electricity suppliers to purchase electricity from micro generators (households) including that produced from Solar PV. This allows you to sell the excess electricity you produce, and are unable to store, back to the grid.
The Smart Export Guarantee
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) does not set a price that must be paid, simply stating it must be more than zero. Since its inception, however, market forces appear to be working and some licensed suppliers are already offering more than the 5.24 pence per KWh offered by the Feed-in Tariff scheme just prior to closure.
You will need to sign up with one of the licensed suppliers (all large suppliers), although it does not have to be the same company that sells you electricity.
It is a pre-requisite for participating in all tariffs offered that an export meter is in place. It is possible that your current meter is capable of this but if not, you will need another meter installed.
Alternatively, with the current government drive to get smart meters installed (through your energy provider), this could allow you to achieve this at no extra cost and remove the requirement for manual readings. Your Smart Meter must be SMETS2 to be compatible with Solar PV.
It is worth talking with your preferred electricity purchaser to see what they can offer in terms of a purchase tariff, export meter and potentially sales tariff.
Further details and the application process can be found here.