Renewable Energy Grants
In the past, people with Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems could earn Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) for generating renewable electricity at home and exporting it to the grid. The tariff rates were sufficiently generous that people investing in these systems could usually pay off the cost of their installation in less than 10 years. The FiT programme was closed in March 2019. In its place, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) now offers on average 4-5p per unit (depending on your set-up and your supplier; some suppliers offer as low as 1p per unit and a couple of suppliers offer above the average, but only for customers who meet specific criteria). This means that the economics of investing in Solar PV focuses much more on the property’s daily electricity demand and how much can be offset by the systems output. The SEG rates will not cover the capital costs of an installation.
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was a government scheme to encourage the uptake of renewable heating technologies; it was closed for new applicants in March 2022.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) provides a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems (gas or oil) with a heat pump or biomass boiler. The grant is accessed by a Microgeneration Scheme (MCS) accredited installer – so if you are considering this technology, talk to your installer about the grant. Currently, the BUS grant provides £7,500 towards an air source heat pump, £7,500 towards a ground source heat pump, and £5,000 towards a biomass boiler, so this will only partially cover the costs of an upgrade.
The average number of BUS vouchers issued in England and Wales is 25 per constituency. From the data below from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), we can see that for the 6 Cornish constituencies below, more than 5 times the average number have been issued for St Ives constituency – the second most in England and Wales (the first being South Cambridgeshire). This is possibly indicative of the number of homes in Cornwall that are off mains gas.
|Truro and Falmouth||95|
|Camborne and Redruth||56|
|South East Cornwall||46|
|St Austell and Newquay||42|
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