The coalition government gave details of its subsidies for solar heating panels this morning, as part of a series of environmental announcements aimed at boosting the government’s green credentials.
The awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) aimed at increasing the amount of heat that homes and business can generate from low-carbon sources such as solar heating panels and evacuated tubes. Only a tiny proportion of the UK’s housing stocks have renewable heat technology.
Up to 25,000 installations will now support from July, to help people cover the installation price of greener heating systems and will ensure there is a fair spread of such technologies across all regions of the UK.
Chris Huhne, Secretary of State, said “The incentive is the first of its kind in the world. It will help the UK shift away from fossil fuels, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in green technologies. Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future”.
solar heating panels and other technologies
Other eligible technologies include biomass boilers air source and ground source heat pumps with boilers that generate electricity at the same time as heating included too.
This technology can be challenging to use as a domestic application. Biomass boilers need more attention and refuelling than standard fossil fuel boilers.
Ground source heat pumps need to be installed underground and cover a wide area, which makes them impractical in urban areas and hard to retrofit, so installing solar panels and solar tubes are the most practical of these technologies in an urban and domestic setting.
The subsidy will be paid for from government coffers, and from July, up to 25,000 installations will be supported by RHI Payments, to help people cover the purchase price of green heating systems if they are willing to agree to give feedback on how the equipment performs.
A full system of RHI payments will be available to households from October 2012, as will anyone else who has had available MCS equipment installed since July 2009.
Stuart Lovatt from Power My Home adds, “This is fantastic news for homeowners who can now feel confident in solar technologies with the government’s endorsement and support.
The demand for solar technologies has increased tenfold over the last two years, and now with the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, demand will be high, so being an early adopter is recommended.”
The principal focus of this early phase will be on people living off the gas grid, where fossil fuels like heating oil are both more expensive and have higher carbon contents.