There are a few different ways in which you are financially incentivised by government schemes to purchase into renewable solar energy systems.
Solar PV systems are subsidised by the FiTs which are the Feed-in Tariffs, the Generation Tariff and the Export Tariff. Solar Thermal systems are subsidised by the RHI, the Renewable Heat Incentive. You will benefit with either type of system through the reduction in costs on your gas and or electricity bills.
Generation tariff is what you get paid for every unit of electricity you generate, regardless of whether you use it or send it back to the grid. Once your system has been registered the tariffs are guaranteed for 20 years and are linked to rise with inflation.
Export Tariff is what you get paid for sending electricity back to the grid, usually 50% of the total produced. Smart export meters are not installed on most systems that are less than 30kWp and because of this the industry takes a standard estimate that you will use 50% and export 50%. The current rate is 4.04p / kWh for all installations with an eligibility date on or before 30 June 2017.
RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive)
RHI is the Renewable Heat Incentive and is similar to the Feed-in Tariffs yet it applies to Solar Thermal generation rather than Solar PV generation. RHI provides financial support to the owner of an eligible system with cash payments paid quarterly over seven years. The current rate (1 Jul. 2016 and 30 Sept. 2016 incl.) is 19.74p / kWh for Solar Thermal.
Savings on energy bills
You will be generating electricity from your own system this minimises the amount that you need to purchase from the grid. Since you are using what you generate whilst you can, energy bills will drop. The amount you save varies dependent upon how much you utilise the energy generated by the solar system.
FIT payments are linked to rise in accordance with RPI (Retail Price Index,) which covers you for inflation.
Who pays the Feed-In-Tariffs?
Your energy supplier pays you the tariffs, yet it is the UK government that sets out by law how much they must pay you. All the large energy suppliers are required by law to adhere to the tariff guidelines set by the government and many smaller suppliers have chosen to do so.
Restrictions on receiving the Feed-in Tariffs
Your system must have been purchased from an MCS certified manufacturer and installed by an MCS certified installer. AES Solar are both MCS certified manufacturers and installers. MCS is the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
The amount you receive is also linked to your home’s energy performance certificate (EPC). In order to get paid the standard rate you need to reach is band D or better.
Home Energy Scotland renewables loan scheme*
The Home Energy Scotland renewables loan scheme is funded by the Scottish Government and is currently open to applications.
Interest-free loans of up to £10,000 from the Scottish Government are available to owner occupiers in Scotland who wish to install a domestic renewables system or to connect to an approved district heating scheme powered by a renewable energy source.
If you are interested in applying for this loan please contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. They can give you information about the loan and advise on the range of support that may be available to you.
The scheme operates on a first-come-first-served basis subject to the overall availability of loan funds.
Only Home Energy Scotland can arrange for an application form to be sent to you. It is a condition of the scheme that you contact Home Energy Scotland personally and that third parties, for example, installers, are not allowed to apply on your behalf.
It is also a condition that work must not commence on any installation until you receive a written offer of a loan.
Further information on how the scheme works can be found below and in our FAQs. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of the scheme rules which can be found in full the in the application form.
*From Energy Savings Trust
What is available under the scheme?
- For renewables systems – up to 75 per cent of the total cost of renewables systems up to £10,000 .
- For district heating scheme connections – up to 100 per cent of the total cost of connecting to a district heating scheme up to £5,000.
- The amount that can be borrowed and the maximum repayment period you can choose depends on the system type being installed. Please see the table below for more information.
Who can apply?
Loans are available to owner occupiers in Scotland for residential existing buildings and new buildings under construction where the property is already owned by the intended owner occupier.
Maximum loan amounts and repayment periods
|Technologies||Maximum loan||Maximum period|
|Solar photovoltaic (PV)||£2500||5 years|
|Wind turbine||£2500||5 years|
|Hydro turbine||£2500||5 years|
|Solar water heating system||£5000||8 years|
|Hybrid PV -solar water heating system||£7500||8 years|
|Air source to water heat pump||£10,000||12 years|
|Ground source to water heat pump||£10,000||12 years|
|Water source to water heat pump||£10,000||12 years|
|Wood-fuelled (biomass) stoves and boilers||£10,000||12 years|
District heating schemes eligibility
Interest free loans of up to 100% of costs, up to £5,000, are available for connecting to an approved district heating scheme.
The scheme must be approved for support under the Home Energy Scotland renewables loan scheme.
Which installers and products can be used for home renewables systems?
The chosen installer and system must be certified under the terms of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).A list of all MCS certified products and installers can be found at Microgeneration Certification Scheme website.
You can find more information about MCS certified installers in your area using our Renewables Installer Finder tool, including current offers and customer reviews.
Which installers can be used for connections to approved district heating schemes?
The installer must be approved by the district heating scheme operator.
What other requirements are there?
- To maximise carbon dioxide reductions and energy saved, a minimum level of energy efficiency improvements are required.
- The system you wish to install must be recommended in a supporting energy report which Home Energy Scotland can advise on when you call about the loan.
- Should you wish to claim part of the loan prior to the completion of the installation, to help with the cost of a deposit or staged payment, please notify us in writing after you have received your loan offer. These requests are assessed on a case by case and approval is not guaranteed..
- For more details of the eligibility criteria please speak to Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282
Could other support be combined with the Home Energy Scotland renewables loan scheme?
It may be possible to combine the Home Energy Scotland renewables loan with other schemes and incentives. Please contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 to find out more. Examples of potentially relevant schemes include:
- The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – This UK Government scheme pays you for the renewable heat you generate. Find out more about RHI >
- Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) – This UK Government scheme pays you for the renewable electricity you generate. Find out more about Feed-in tarriffs >
- HEEPS Loan – This Scottish Government scheme offers interest-free loans to help with the costs of installing home energy efficiency improvements. This could be used to meet the energy efficiency requirements for the Home Energy Scotland renewables loan. Find out more about HEEPS loans >
Help, advice and how to request an application form
For more details of the eligibility criteria and to request an application form please speak to Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 . The full list of eligibility criteria can be found in the application form.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1309 676911 and we’ll take care of everything from there.