Energy saving: grab a grant while you can

Looking at ways to offset the cost of energy-saving solutions for the home? Jennifer Newton investigates the latest grants

What’s the latest scheme??

Known as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), this long awaited government programme was launched in April this year, paying homeowners for heat produced through renewable measures. Payments are made for seven years based on the estimated energy required to keep a property warm and with hot water derived from solar thermal, air source or ground source heat pumps or a biomass boiler.

??Should I act now??

From April to July 2014, more than 7,400 homeowners applied for the RHI with 35,000 in total expected to join in the first year. But having seen how quickly the tariff was reduced for solar PV (making electricity from your home), it would make sense to apply sooner rather than later to lock in at the current high tariff on offer.

What about the Green Deal?

?Introduced in January 2013, as an affordable loan with nothing to pay upfront to install energy improvements, this way of financing can be used along with claiming RHI, but so far, only 3,898 residents have applied for Green Deal finance, as the process is complicated. However, there has been a noticeable success from the Green Deal assessment scheme, which surveys your home for energy efficiency and how to improve your rating.  Getting assessed is necessary not only for Green Deal finance but also when claiming other subsidies like RHI. More than 300,250 residents have so far been assessed, to receive a report detailing the energy efficiency of their home, and what advising can be done to improve this – be it a new boiler, double-glazing, renewable technology or insulation. Costing around £150, the Green Deal Assessment helps homeowners to discover the best course of action and the costs involved to upgrade.

What should I do now?

?With on-going energy hikes, saving money on utility bills and introducing energy-saving measures is something we all want to be on top of, which is why in the October issue of Real Homes magazine (out now) I’ve looked at the latest ways to update a heating system and how these schemes can help. Get your copy today.

*All figures according to DECC – Department of Energy and Climate change.

In the gallery: Image: Energy Saving Advice Service