Increased grant for solar thermal systems

May 2013: DECC announced earlier this week that they were going to increase the level of grants given to householders to purchase renewable heat technologies. The Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP) vouchers scheme was supposed to be an interim measure before the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), however the life of the RHPP has been extended as a result of delays to the introduction of the RHI. Government announced earlier this year that they expect the scheme to be in place now in Spring 2014 instead of Autumn 2013.

Technologies that qualify for the RHPP include Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP), biomass boilers and solar thermal systems. However – Londoners only qualify for solar thermal – this is because priority for the other technologies is given to households off the gas-grid.  As a result, the number of renewable heat installations installed in London under the RHPP is very low (see Table 2.2 of the latest RHPP deployment data here).

RHPP solar thermal vouchers have been increased from £300 to £600. Households claiming vouchers will however now need to undertake a Green Deal assessment. DECC state that ” 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 for them. 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. Householders can also use the Green Deal to pay for some of the cost through savings on their energy bill.”
Various companies online suggest a solar thermal system costs start from around £4,000.
Further information and details on how to apply to the RHPP on the Energy Saving Trust website here.

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