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Grants Available for Renewable Heating Systems

By Katie Anderson on August 1, 2011

s of today, the Government began accepting applications for renewable heating grants worth up to £1,250.

The scheme applies to around four million eligible households in the UK – predominantly those that are not connected to the mains gas or those relying on heating sources that are considered high-carbon.

Households applying for solar thermal panels or biomass boilers might be able to avail of the Premium Payment Fund, which is valued at £15 million and should support up to 25,000 installations.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) grants made available on the 1st August include a £1,250 grant for the installation of a ground source heat pump, £950 for a biomass boiler and £850 for an air source heat pump. A £300 grant for solar thermal hot water panels is also available to all households.

Philip Sellwood, the Chief Executive of Energy Saving Trust, believes the grants will make a difference to thousands of homes throughout the UK. Mr Sellwood said: “When people have the kit installed in their homes they really see the benefit.

“Of course, there is still more to be learnt about how to get the most out of the technologies, but the more they’re out there in people’s homes, the more they become part of daily life.

“Without a doubt, the main barrier that prevents people from taking the plunge is the up-front capital cost. This is a great start in overcoming this obstacle”.

Friends of the Earth, however, is not altogether impressed by the grants, which apparently include ‘disappointing caveats’. Alan Simpson, a Sustainable Energy Advisor at the environmental group, said: “Potentially this is an internationally ground-changing initiative that could put the UK amongst world leaders, but it is driven by a towering lack of ambition”.

Mr Simpson added that the £300 paid for solar thermal hot water panels was not enough to influence the market, meaning that uptake of the technology is likely to be relatively low.