It comes as no surprise that most people are unaware of the grants that are available both directly and indirectly that can help reduce your household and business energy costs. Most people assume grants are only available to you if you are already receiving some type of state benefit. Even when people and especially business realise there are grants available to them that will actually save them money they still fail to claim them. Maybe they just don't have the time to look into it or understand how to make a claim.
The reason these grants are being made available is to reduce the UK's carbon emissions. We are being encouraged to produce and use green energy and reduce the amount of energy we need to use in the first place without affecting our current lifestyles. People are unlikely to change if it means it will affect their quality of lifestyle even if it means saving money. However if their quality of life remains the same and they can save money then things start to happen, albeit very slowly as we are an apathetic lot in the UK. Usually when we want to get things done we want other people to do it for us.
There are a number of grants available in the UK that are available to everyone regardless of circumstances. These grants come under different scheme names and cover different energy efficiency and green energy schemes. At Free Solar Panels UK we have covered the grants available for solar but there are many more.
These schemes provide either up front cash or long term cash payments to encourage you to reduce your energy consumption through energy savings and green energy generation. The idea is to reduce the carbon emissions generated through using fossil fuels, help reduce fuel poverty and reduce the need for building more fossil fuelled power stations and relying on foreign energy imports.
This scheme covers a range of grants including some that are available to everyone for loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. You may also qualify for grants of up to £3,500 (£6,000 under some circumstances) for energy efficiency improvements and installing heating systems. Getting your loft and walls insulated is a prerequisite for getting some grants although you can get a grant to cover up to 100% of the cost, I have written in more detail on this and show you how you can apply for these grants.
I have written extensively about the feed-in tariffs and how these solar panel grants can earn you a guaranteed 25 year tax free income just for generating your own electricity. If you install photovoltaic solar panels you will receive payments based on the amount of electricity the panels produce. Generally the payback period on your initial investment is 7 to 11 years and depending on how many panels you install you can earn tens of thousands tax free over the 25 year period that you will be paid.
The renewable heat incentive is a similar scheme to the feed-in tariff scheme except it is for green technologies that generate heat rather than electricity. If you install a renewable heating technology such as heat pumps or solar thermal panels then you will receive payments for the amount of heat energy that your installed system produces. Just like the FIT scheme for solar photovoltaic panels you can apply for the grants through the company that installs the heat generating technology.
The green deal is not a system of grants as such but rather a loan system that you have to repay. The loans are available for home improvements that will reduce your energy usage which means cutting your gas or electricity bills. The idea is that the green loan is only paid back through the savings that you make. This means that if you got a loan to install solar then the loan repayments would be covered by the feed-in tariff or for solar hot water from the renewable heat incentive.
These grants are designed to reduce the running costs of homes and businesses and reduce the amount of carbon we produce as a country. The best way to benefit from these schemes is to do the most cost effective things first. There is no point in investing in a new heating system if your home is not properly insulated first. Insulating is usually the lowest cost method of saving the most amount of money on your heating bills.
For the RHI and FIT the payments will come after the system is installed and so you can apply through the company that installs your system. For insulation grants you can apply through this form. For the warm front grant for heating systems and boiler scrappage you can find out more on the Directgov energy grants page.
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Grants & Schemes
For every kWp of solar panels you install you could be earning up to £500 a year. That means a 3kWp system could earn you up to £1,500 a year for 25 years.
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