Fund your Off-grid dreams with OPM (other people’s money)

Wouldn’t it be lovely if someone offered you between 400 to 5000 to cut your bills, help the environment and get off-grid?

Following the success of the Clear Skies scheme, aimed to provide householders and communities with grants and advice to help reduce the amount of fossil fuels used and realize the benefits of renewable energy, the Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) has announced additional funding of  2.5m, and extended the scheme until March 2006.

4147 household grants were awarded up to the end of August 2004, worth 2.44m.
Grants are available for renewable sources such as Solar thermal, Wind turbines Micro hydro turbines, ground source heat pumps, room heaters/stoves with automated wood pellet feed and wood fueled boiler systems. Friendship Farm, the first domestic scheme to be implemented, was completed in 2003. George and Anne Douglas, who run a furniture making business from their 300 year old Exmoor home, received 500 towards a solar heating system, which will produce 50-70% of their hot water requirements.

To qualify for consideration under the scheme, you must live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Visit, or the call the helpline – 08702 430 9309am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Scottish applicants should contact the Scottish Community and Household Renewable Initiative or telephone 0800 138 88 58. One caveat; Clear Skies vets installers to ensure good quality of service. Applicants need to use registered installers and products; DIY not allowed; so put that drill down.

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