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£3m Social Housing Renewable Heat Fund Launched

By Katie Anderson on August 15, 2011

As a means of boosting the uptake of renewable heating technologies, social housing landlords will have the opportunity to enter a competition to install solar thermal panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers.

Launched by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the £3 million social housing element is part of the Premium Payment, the first phase of Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which will enable the likes of local authorities and social housing associations to bid for up to £175,000 to help them fund the installation of renewable heat technologies.

Solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers, and air source heat pumps are all eligible and if successful, landlords will have to ensure the technologies are installed by next March, after which DECC will reimburse them.

Responding to the news, David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the competition will “assist social housing providers, such as housing associations, to increase their use of renewable heating technologies and so reduce emissions”.

Tim Minett, the Chief Executive of CPL Distribution – a leading provider of wood pellets for biomass boilers – agreed that the decision to ring-fence £3m of the RHPP pot for social housing providers was a good move, highlighting that renewable heating sources can considerably reduce energy bills amongst those suffering from or at risk of fuel poverty.

“The other impact of this decision is that individual homeowners who are also looking to lower their bills by going green are now competing for a reduced Premium Payments pot of £12m,” said Mr Minett.

With money being allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, anyone interested in applying should do so as soon as possible, by visiting the Energy Saving Trust website. Applications are open from today, and will close on 15 September, so landlords have a limited time frame in which to bid.