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Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

Financial incentives

Introduction to financial incentives for renewable energy and energy saving

There are currently three main financial incentives available for home and business owners who want to improve the energy efficiency of their building, or generate their own renewable heat or electricity:

The Feed-in tariff (FIT) aims to encourage the production of decentralised energy and is paid to the owners of wind turbines, solar PV panels and micro hydro schemes. It is a true incentive, and offers a financial reward for investment in renewable energy.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) aims to help Britain meet its renewable energy and carbon reduction targets. There are two elements to the scheme:

  • Domestic RHI, which is a boiler replacement scheme. It aims to make the cost of renewable heat comparable to the more traditional alternatives for those off the mains gas network. It was launched in April 2014
  • Non-domestic RHI: this is an incentive scheme for all non-domestic installations.

The Green Deal aims to make energy efficiency measures available to all by taking away the upfront cost. As long as the expected financial savings in lower energy bills are equal to or greater than the cost of the energy efficiency measures installed, you are eligible. 

Customers can register their interest in getting a loan via the website at, by going to the “Consumer” section on the homepage, selecting which category they fall into (homeowner, landlord or tenant) and entering their contact details along with any comments relating to their Green Deal requirements. A member of the team will then get in touch to connect them with their local GDP.

Scotland: Home Energy Scotland loan 

The Home Energy Scotland loan helps homeowners make energy and money saving improvements to their home. This interest free loan is funded by the Scottish Government and is currently open to applications. 

If you are interested in applying or would like more information call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 (free from landlines and most mobiles).

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