After making your home as energy efficient as possible, consider using renewable energy sources to further improve the energy efficiency of your property. Renewable energy plays an important role in reducing CO2 emissions and avoiding depletion of finite resources. Renewable energy comes from inexhaustible resources such as wind, flowing water, sun and the heat of the earth.
Why Use Renewable Energy?
There are many good reasons to use renewables. You will be:
- making use of secure, local resources
- reducing your dependence on non-renewable energy
- helping to keep the air clean
- helping to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
- creating new jobs in renewable energy industries
- saving and even earning money
What Technologies Are Available?
- Air source heat pumps
- Biomass heating
- Ground source heat pumps
- Solar photovoltaic panels
- Solar thermal water heating
- Wind turbines
What Financial Incentives Are Available?
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) aims to encourage the use of heating generated by renewable means, such as air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass (not all types of these technologies qualify). It provides long-term financial incentives to mitigate the initial cost of installation, as well as encourage the uptake of renewable heat. RHI replaced the previous Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme.
To apply, first check that the system to be installed qualifies, the product and installer are MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accredited, and you may need to install metering for some systems. You will have to provide an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for your property to be considered. For more information, see the links below, and you can apply through Ofgem.
Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariffs
Since 2020, energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers are offering tariff(s) that provide payments for electricity exported to the grid from their customers’ solar panels. Customers generating up to 5MW of renewable electricity (which would include the average household system) are eligible for these tariffs. The exported electricity is tracked by a smart meter in the home. You can find a a price comparison of SEG tariffs here.
To be eligible for these tariffs, customers must use equipment and installers that are certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme or equivalent (in the same way as for the Feed-in Tariffs).
Due to a change in government policy, feed-in-tariffs are no longer available from 1st April 2019.
Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) are available for small-scale (less than 5 megawatt) renewable or low-carbon electricity-generating technologies, such as solar PV or wind turbines. Payments are made by energy companies for both the electricity generated and used, and electricity that is not used can be exported to the national grid. Owners of such systems also save money on electricity bills, by taking advantage of generating and using their own energy on-site.
To apply, first check that the size of system to be installed qualifies, and the product and installer are MCS-FIT or ROO-FIT certified. For PV you will need to provide an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for your property that is D rated or above. For more information, see the links below, and you can apply through the Energy Saving Trust.