Solar is not just about the feed-in tariffs
Posted by Paul Hutchens on 9 December 2011 at 9:57 am
However, there is another game in town and it is potentially far larger than solar PV. Space and water heating in buildings accounts for nearly 70% of the energy consumed by them - so maybe we should pay some attention to that.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the heat equivalent of the FIT and is due to be introduced for domestic properties in October 2012 (the non-domestic RHI opened for business at the end of November 2011). It will pay homeowners an income for every unit of heat generated by their heat pump, biomass boiler or solar thermal water heating system.
In the meantime a one-off payment called the RHI Premium Payment is available to all homeowners as an incentive to install these technologies now - a bit like a grant - and still be eligible for the RHI when it arrives next year.
Before FIT, solar thermal was by far the most popular of the renewable technologies and is installed in over 100,000 homes in the UK. The technology is reliable, easy to install and should provide 50-70% of your hot water all year round.
In fact 31% of the 2,000 RHI Premium Payment vouchers issued so far have been for solar thermal. Each will receive £300 towards the cost of installing a solar thermal system.
This is starting to filter into more interest as homeowners realise the value of this technology.
So, before you become too fixated with the FIT and the annoying deadlines imposed by this Government, think about installing a solar thermal system. It is less expensive than solar PV (about £4,000 on average), is easy to install and good for the environment - and you get £300 towards the cost!
Photo by kennysarmy
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