£15 million in grants for renewable energy heating
The coalition government has set aside £15 million in grants to help fund the cost of installing a renewable energy heating system into residential properties.
The scheme is aimed a the estimated 4 million UK homes who do not use natural gas to heat their homes. Heating a home using oil or electrical heaters is particularly costly and the government hopes that the new grants will provide an incentive for people to switch to a better and cheaper source of heating. At the same time, the grants should help to stimulate the market for the renewable technologies.
The following grants are available for the following renewable energy systems;
● £1,250 to install a ground source heat pump for homes without a mains gas supply.
● £950 to install a biomass boiler in a home without mains gas.
● £850 for an air source heat pump in homes without mains gas.
● £300 available to all homes to install solar thermal hot water panels.
These grants are expected to cover roughly 10% of the total cost of the equipment and its installation. The grants should prove to be an attractive opportunity for people looking to lower their heating costs, particularly in light of the recently announced increases to the gas and electricity utilities.
The scheme opens up in August and will be run by the Energy Savings Trust. The fund is expected to be able to support approximately 25,000 grants to help pay for the systems to be installed.
The grants are also to be made available to any landlord wanting to take advantage and make improvements to their property. Approximately £3 million of the fund has been set aside to support landlord grants.
Greg Barker, the minister for Climate Change, believes that the new scheme is the beginning of a new era for home heating. He added that the grants will help to make it more economical to switch to greener heating technologies.
Mr Barker added: “This should be great news for people who are reliant on expensive oil or electric heating as the premium payment scheme is really aimed at them. Getting money off an eco heater 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 Department of Energy and Climate Change also plan to use additional meters and some surveys to help monitor the energy use and the performance of the systems.
Some experts have suggested that the scheme doesn’t go far enough. Alan Simpson, an adviser on sustainable energy, has suggested that the scheme has the potential to put the UK amongst the world leaders in renewable energy technologies, but he believes it is disappointing and lacking in ambition. Mr Simpson has criticized the government for failing to include annual subsidies for people who take up the scheme, and says the £300 grant for solar panels is too small and will have little impact on the market. Furthermore, he has called for the scheme to be opened up to all homes – not just those without mains gas heating.