Off-gridders to get government subsidy

UK householders could get hundreds of pounds a year for heating their homes from renewable technologies, the Government said today.

The payments under the renewable heat incentive are designed to drive forward the uptake of the clean technologies for heating rooms and water, particularly in off-grid houses which often rely on  wood fires and polluting oil boilers.

Levels of subsidies have been unveiled for homes which install solar thermal panels, biomass boilers which burn wood or plant material instead of gas or oil, and heat pumps which generate heat from the outside air or ground.

The Government hopes the technologies will help cut carbon emissions from homes and save money on bills. More than two-fifths of UK greenhouse gases come from powering and heating buildings.

Under the tariffs, an off-grid semi-detached rural home could expect somewhere in the region of £500 a year for an air source heat pump and £1,300 for a biomass boiler. A ground source heat pump could generate £1,400 a year in payments.

The Government also estimates that a household could get around £300 a year for solar thermal panels which use heat from the sun.

The technologies are expensive to install, but it is hoped the payments will encourage more widespread use of renewable heating, and householders may be able to get help with the upfront costs through the Government’s green deal scheme.

The green deal aims to meet the costs of installing energy-saving and green measures in the home, with the money paid back by householders through savings on their energy bills.

In order to qualify for the renewable heat incentive, people must have a green deal assessment done on their home and meet minimum loft and cavity wall insulation requirements, to ensure their house is energy efficient. The payments will be made quarterly for seven years.

The renewable heat incentive for non-domestic users has been running since November 2011.

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