A new government initiative to encourage households to switch to renewable forms of heating has been described as a ‘golden opportunity’ by Cornish energy experts Community Energy Plus.
The Renewable Heat Incentive was launched on 9th April and is the first scheme of its kind in the world, offering financial incentives worth thousands of pounds for green heating technologies. The incentive is intended to encourage households to make the switch to heating systems that use renewable energy sources.
Community Energy Plus, a Cornish charity and social enterprise who have been providing independent energy advice and services to householders for over 15 years, welcomed the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive: “This new scheme is a golden opportunity for householders to embrace renewable technologies while enjoying a more efficient and sustainable home,” explained Chief Executive Dr Tim Jones.
“The challenge of rising energy prices, especially for those without mains gas, is increasing every year. For those who can afford the initial purchase costs, installing these kinds of renewable technologies makes financial as well as environmental sense.”
Renewable Heat Incentive payments will be available to householders using renewable sources such as ground and air source heat pumps, solar thermal panels, biomass-fuelled boilers and wood pellet stoves.
Dr Jones continued: “Many householders are not familiar with renewable heat technologies and the process to assess what’s suitable for a particular home is complicated, so it’s vital that they seek independent advice. Community Energy Plus wants to help householders access this new opportunity and give them the right advice to ensure they invest in a renewable heating system which is suitable for their property and heating needs.”
Incentives are available to homeowners, social and private landlords and people embarking on self-build projects. Homes which are not connected to the mains gas network will find the scheme particularly beneficial for reducing costs from existing oil or electrical heating systems. There are different tariffs for each technology, and the quarterly payments are guaranteed for seven years.
In order to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive, householders will need to will need to meet minimum loft and cavity wall insulation requirements and install a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited heating system by an MCS accredited installer.
Householders will also need to complete a Green Deal assessment before applying, unless their property qualifies as a new self-build. This must be provided by a registered Green Deal Assessor Organisation such as Community Energy Plus, which has invested in training and nationally recognised accreditation for two Green Deal Assessors in preparation for the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive.