renewable heat: you too can get that warm glow

If you’ve been reading the news of energy price hikes with mounting despair, wondering how you were ever going to be able to generate your own energy and help to rid us of this madness, let us give you some good news.

As of August 1st, there is a government pot of £15 million to help people install biomass boilers, solar thermal panels and ground or air source heat pumps. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme will contribute towards as many as 25,000 energy efficiency installations over the next year.

This is an important step towards the long-term aim to make residential heating that doesn’t rely on fossil fuel as commonplace as the kinds we use now. Half the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy we use to generate heat – and with the carbon emission reduction target just increased, it’s more important than ever to cut that figure right back.

On a household-by-household basis, this scheme is also a great way to prepare for next winter’s fuel bills – by slashing yours.

The RHPP is a warming-up exercise (sorry, we couldn’t resist) towards the eagerly anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive for householders. The RHI kicks in in October 2012, alongside the Green Deal programme, which will revolutionise the way home energy efficiency is financed. People who have installed kit under the Premium Payments are likely to be eligible for  ongoing support through the RHI, as will anybody who has installed eligible equipment since 15th July 2009.

But enough pre-amble, you want to know the numbers don’t you? Fair enough. From 1st August, the following grants will be available:

  • Ground Source Heat Pump – £1250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Biomass boiler – £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Air source heat pump – £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Solar thermal hot water panels – £300 grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used)

And here’s some more good news. None other than yours truly, the Energy Saving Trust, is delivering the scheme. We’re very happy about that. You can pre-register your interest on our website, so if you’ve already got an idea of what technology would work best for you, you don’t even need to leave your screen.  Just register with us. It’s a finite pot of money, so it will be first come, first served – so we’d recommend those interested should stop knitting those preparatory winter mittens immediately and get in touch.