Grants are available to UK property owners to help save energy and make their homes more eco-friendly. Cash is available for installing solar voltaic energy; Courtesy of DemeesterThe UK government aims to meet stringent renewable energy targets, and as a result there are a number of grants available to improve the energy efficiency of private homes. Here is a summary of the grants available, and who can benefit from them.
Clean Energy Cashback Scheme
The Clean Energy Cashback Scheme was introduced in 2010, to compensate individuals and companies generating their own electricity. Participants are paid a feed-in tariff (FIT) to correspond to the amount of electricity they generate, whether they use it themselves or it is fed into the National Grid. This scheme is available for a range of forms of renewable energy generation, but private householders are most likely to receive it for installing solar electricity, or a wind turbine.
In order to qualify for this grant; householders must first arrange for the installation of a suitable product. The installation must be carried out by a technician registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). The cost of installation must be paid by the householder, but it is suggested that a re-mortgage could be used to finance the work. The energy savings and the FIT payments should more than compensate for the extra monthly mortgage payments, according to the Government Grants website.
This scheme is only really appropriate for householders who are in the position to be able to re-mortgage, or otherwise raise the funds needed to install the necessary equipment. The large upfront payment may put many people off, but participants will benefit from substantial energy cost savings immediately.
Insulation grants for installing cavity wall insulation or loft installation, are available to all home-owners and private landlords. Those claiming certain benefits are eligible for 100% grants, covering the full cost of the installation. Other individuals can claim grants representing between 50% and 75% of the cost, depending on individual circumstances.
Gas Central Heating Grant
Grants of up to £3500 are available for the installation of new gas fired central heating systems, with significantly larger grants available for properties requiring oil-fired systems. Householders claiming certain benefits, including housing benefit or council tax benefit, are eligible to apply for these Warm Front Grants. For a full list of eligibility criteria, see the Government Grant website.
Following the introduction of the Clean Energy Cashback Scheme; grants for the installation of household energy efficiency equipment, such as air source pumps, ground pumps, solar thermal hot water, and wood-burning stoves, are no longer available. However, the purchase of such equipment through re-mortgage is still encouraged, as energy savings may compensate for the increase in loan repayments.
Grants for Low Emission Vehicles
In December 2010, the Government announced a new incentive scheme consisting of grants to aid in the purchase of new energy efficient vehicles. Nine electric and low-emission petrol cars are included in the scheme, which effectively reduces the retail price of these vehicles by up to 25%.