- Government grants for Solar Thermal end, to be replaced in April 2011 by the Renewable Heat Incentive.
The Government needs to demonstrate that they are hitting environmental targets to reduce carbon emissions. Energy saving measures are now a priority and, to demonstrate this, the government set up the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) in 2008.
Therefore the Feed in Tariffs and the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive are available to individuals, businesses and public bodies to reduce carbon emissions and promote energy saving.
Here at Eco2Solar, we believe the Renewable Heat Incentive will provide a much better financial incentive for customers because they will provide a guaranteed income for the heat generated at an extremely attractive rate for 20 years
Eco2Solar are accredited under the UK Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for Feed in Tariffs and to install approved technology that will be eligible for the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive. This is a difficult qualification to obtain and, when we received this certificate in April 2008, we were one of an elite group of only 12 solar installation companies to be accredited. This a demonstration of the quality of our solar heating installations and our customer service.
If a solar installer is not accredited to the MCS, then you cannot claim the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive or the Feed in Tariffs
What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?
Due to the success of the old grants scheme, that gave residents access to ₤400 to help with the cost of a Solar Thermal installation, the money that was set aside for this has run out. The grants were intended to be available until April 2011, but due to the success of the scheme, run under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, the money has ran out sooner than expected.
In place of the Grants, a much more financially attractive alternative has been proposed. This is called the Renewable Heat Incentive. This is still to be passed through government, but with the carbon reduction targets the government is tied to, they need to do something to ensure these targets are met.
The Renewable Heat Incentive is not tied to just Solar Thermal energy. You can benefit from it if you install any of the following types of renewable technology:
- Biomass (wood burning) Boiler
- Air source and Ground source Heat Pumps
- Solar Thermal panels
How does the Renewable Heat Incentive work?
It works in a similar way to the Feed in Tariff in that you, the customer, receive a premium rate for every unit of heating that is generated by the system.
Depending on the type of technology you choose to install, the tariff levels are variable in payment rate, and lifespan. For a solar thermal installation, the proposed rate of payment is as follows:
|Size of system||Rate per kWh||Lifespan of Tariff|
|Up to 45kWp||18p||20 years|
|45kWp to 500kWp||17p||20 years|
For the other types of technology, please refer to http://www.rhincentive.co.uk/eligible/levels/
How much am I owed for the energy I’ve generated?
The government is proposing two ways of measuring the generation levels of the systems. These are metered and deemed. The metering method measures how much energy has been generated, and then calculates the payment owed when aligned with the relevant Renewable Heat Incentive rate.
The deemed method calculates the potential of the system, and pays you accordingly. This is a much easier method, but may not be accurate.
Back payments from July 2009
The government has also proposed to back pay installers of solar thermal panels from July 2009. If you have had a solar thermal installation completed after July 2009, and up to the Renewable Heat Incentives introduction in April 2011, you are still eligible for payments.
Please be reminded that this scheme is still only in proposal stage, and has not yet passed legislation.
For more information on the Renewable Heat Incentive, please visit http://www.rhincentive.co.uk/