Funding Eco Refurbishments

In recent years there have been a string of grants and subsidies that have made it attractive to invest in energy efficiency and install renewable energy. Unfortunately, in 2015/6 there have been quite a few changes, mostly to reduce these incentives.

Green Deal

This got off to a very slow start and has now been abandoned by the government. Qutie what its replacement will be is not yet clear.

 ECO grants

Under the Green Deal, the big six energy suppliers have an obligation to give away money each year under ECO funding, to promote energy saving measures. In particular, householders in receipt of benefits or in areas judged to be deprived, may be able to receive full funding for measures such as replacement boilers.

ECO has been very successful, particularly in boiler replacement and cavity wall and loft insulation. Unfortunately, with the demise of the Green Deal, its operation has slowed down drastically and needs to be rethought. There is no clear direction yet.

Feed in Tariff (FIT)

FITs have been running for several years now and have had a huge success in promoting solar PV panels. However, from the beginning of 2016 the government sharply cut this subsidy and imposed stricter eligibility conditions which have reduced the incentive. In the first half of 2016, it has been estimated that half the jobs in the solar industry, around 18,000, have so far disappeared as a result and installations have slowed almost to a halt.

Nevertheless, the main beneficiary of FIT, Solar PV panels, is still one of the best ways of reducing carbon emissions and with competitive quotes available can have a tax free return of around 4%. It is still well worth investigating.

See our Local Professionals page for installers.

Renewable heat incentive (RHI)

This subsidy has been running for two years and aims to fund heat generating technology such as solar hot water, heat pumps and biomass boilers. Subsidies run for 7 years and go a long way to match the installation costs, whilst delivering cheaper heat for homes, particularly those reliant on oil or electricity.

As with the Feed in Tariff, this is due to change next year, with solar thermal ceasing to receive any grant and biomass boiler tariffs being sharply cut. On the positive side though, subsidies for Air source heat pumps are set to rise by around 30% in 2017, which makes this technology far more cost effective and worth investigating. Even if you install now, it looks as if you will automatically receive the higher tariffs when they go up next year.

Local installers can guide you through the RHI process.

Low Interest Mortgages

We live in a time of historically low mortgages, with rates that can often be fixed long into the future. This is a golden opportunity for funding energy saving measures and home refurbishment. Act now before rates rise!

Local loans and initiatives

It is always worth checking with Ovesco, who are experts in local and national grants. http://www.ovesco.co.uk/index.html