Householders across the UK will be able to get even more cash for renewable heating products, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) recently announced.
The money-off vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems.
The RHPP scheme, first launched in July 2011, is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems by offering money off the cost of equipment. The scheme is targeted at those living off the gas grid, where most money on bills and carbon can be saved.
Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "Over 10,000 householders have already taken advantage of money off renewable heating kit and we want to see even more consumers stepping up to the plate and getting on board. But I want to go even further. I want to kick-start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies.
“This time-limited, big increase in the value of vouchers, for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money-saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector.”
The scheme was extended earlier this year until the end of March 2014 ahead of the launch of a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for householders, with around £12m up for grabs.
There has been a positive response from industry. Tim Minett, chief executive of biomass supplier CPL Distribution, said: “The decision to increase the value of money-off vouchers under the RHPP will be welcomed by householders looking to switch to renewable heating systems.
“Nearly a fifth of the UK’s housing stock is not connected to the gas grid and householders in these rural areas are often reliant on heating oil which is expensive and has high carbon emissions. For people seeking a more sustainable alternative for their heating, biomass boilers are a logical choice as they are extremely simple to retrofit to properties.
“The news that householders can now receive £2,000 towards the cost of a biomass boiler - more than double what was available previously - is positive, but the real value for homeowners will lie in the annual tariff available when the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) kicks in next spring.
“We are pleased that the Government has recognised the need for increased financial support for biomass and look forward to seeing a similar approach taken to the non-domestic RHI tariff rates to breathe much-needed life into the renewable heating market.”
Alongside changes to the voucher values, householders will now be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher. DECC hopes this will help householders think about how renewable heat could fit with energy efficiency improvements for their home and ensure they are advised on choosing the right technology.
The additional voucher values are intended to reflect the cost of a Green Deal assessment, as well as the cost of getting these technologies installed in homes.