£15 million fund for green heating

22nd July 2011


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Renewable ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation

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IEMA

Homeowners in the UK will be able to apply for up to £1,250 of government grants to install renewable heating systems from 1 August, climate change minister Greg Barker has announced.

As a precursor to the introduction of the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI), expected next year, DECC is to provide £15 million of funding to encourage the domestic uptake of renewable heat technologies such as solar thermal, biomass boilers and ground-source pumps.

Generating heat in the UK accounts for 46% of the country’s total carbon emissions and the scheme is aimed at helping the government to meet its target of saving 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 annually and aid in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Today starts a new era in home heating because we’re making it more economical for people to go green by providing discounts off the cost of eco heaters,” said Barker, announcing the scheme, called the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

“[The RHPP] will not just cut carbon emissions, it will also help create a market in developing, selling and installing kit like solar thermal panels or heat pumps.”

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) will manage the scheme, which will run from 1 August – 12 March 2012 and allocate vouchers to homeowners that apply for support.

The scheme is open to homeowners in England, Wales and Scotland, with larger payments available only to those not supplied with gas from the national grid. Vouchers for £300 will be available towards solar thermal systems, £950 for biomass boilers, £850 for air-source heat pump and £1,250 for ground-source or water-source heat pump.

To be valid for the vouchers homes must have energy efficiency measures already in place, including loft and cavity wall insulation, and the product must also be listed under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

Both EST and DECC are encouraging homeowners to apply for the vouchers as soon as possible, as they will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis and neither the budget nor the final deadline to use the vouchers (12 March 2012) will be extended.

DECC is to also use the scheme as an opportunity to gain feedback on consumers’ experiences of the new technologies and will be installing monitoring devices to ensure products are performing in line with manufacturers promises.

Liz Laine, energy expert at consumer rights organisation Consumer Focus, welcomed the announcement but warned: “Consumers who take up this scheme early aren’t assured of on-going support and may feel they are taking a gamble on this emerging market.

“Uncertainty about whether the level of subsidy will continue, could undermine consumer confidence in what is a very important initiative.”

However, DECC has confirmed that any installations that meet the criteria for the full RHI scheme, will receive payments under the incentive when the domestic scheme is launched.

For more information or to register your interest in applying for vouchers under the scheme visit the EST website or call 0800 512 012.

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