Almost half the UK's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from the energy used to heat, light and run buildings. Government policy across the domestic and commercial sectors now exist to reduce long term energy and carbon impact of our buildings on the environment.
The UK has committed to sourcing 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, rapid growth is needed amongst the supply, manufacture and installation of renewable technologies. Below is information on the technologies and the funding/grants available that will help you on your way to installing renewables in your home!
Feed in Tariff
On the 1st April 2010 the Government introduced the Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) to reward homeowners, businesses, landlords and the community for installing small scale (under 50kw) low carbon electricity generation. The aims of the FiT was to:
- Encourage people to switch to renewable technologies
- Reduce the carbon footprint
The scheme will pay for every unit of electricity generated with MCS (microgeneration certification scheme) approved renewable technologies, whether it is used at home or exported back to the grid. The scheme is guaranteed for 25yrs resulting in short payback periods. Once the capital costs of the system is paid for, everything generated from that point on is a tax free income.
Systems registered with the scheme before March 3 2012 will receive a greater payback per kw produced as it thought the Government will reduce the current 43p/kw to 21p/kw.
Renewable Heat Initiative
On the 10th March 2011, details were announced about the RHI policy. This is the first financial support scheme for renewable heat of its kind. Renewable heat means to generate heat using a renewable technology or source. An example is the sun, ground, water or sustainably harvested wood/plants and biogas. Example of technologies associated with the RHI are:
- Biomass boilers
- Solar Thermal
- Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Air to Water Heat Pumps
- On-Site Biogas combustion
- Deep Geothermal
- Energy form Municipal solid waste
- Injection of Biomethane into the grid
The RHI will begin for the non-domestic phase sometime in 2012 and for domestic October 2012. In the meantime the Government has introduced the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme which will be aimed mainly at those 'off gas' and rely on more expensive fossil fuels for heating but a voucher for solar thermal can be applied for for house on regular heating. The scheme works similarly to the boiler scrappage scheme whereby customers will get a fixed payment voucher for installing a renewable heating device such as:
- Solar Thermal
- Air to Water Heat pumps
- Ground Source Heat pumps
- Biomass Boilers
What is it Worth?
- £300 - solar thermal - voucher valid for three months
Houses not heated by gas from the grid:
- £850 - Air Source Heat Pump - voucher valid for 5 months
- £950 - Biomass Boiler - voucher valid for 6 months
- £1250 - Ground Source Heat Pump - voucher valid for 6 months
Householders can apply from 1st Aug to the Energy Savings Trust to see if they meet conditions to receive a voucher.
For further information go the the Department of Energy and Climate Change
Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
The MCS has been developed in order to provide consumers with an assurance that microgeneration products and installers meet a particular set of standards. FiT's for example cannot be claimed if the product and installer do not have a MCS Certificate.
Air to Air Heat Pump System
A low cost space heating, this type of system can efficiently supply heating during the winter and cooling in the summer. It is more environmentally friendly than many conventional heating systems and offers a low cost option for space heating in all electric properties, for example maisonettes.