There are three government schemes to provide funding or loans for small-scale renewable generation at home or by communities and businesses. Both the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive help to make renewable generation a good investment.
For those without investment funds, the Green Deal can provide a loan for energy-saving measures, such as insulation, and for renewable energy generation, including solar panels. The loan is paid back through energy bills and should be exceeded by the value of energy savings and incentives, which means installations can be funded without incurring additional net costs.
Until the end of June 2014, there is also a Green Deal Cashback Scheme, which is a first-come, first-served offer whereby you can claim cash back of up to £4,000 from the government on a large number of energy saving improvements.
The best known financial incentive for renewable energy is the Feed-in Tariff, which can be claimed for domestic, community and business installations generating renewable electricity. Technologies covered are solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, water (hydro) turbines, anaerobic digestion (biogas energy) and, currently, micro combined heat and power.
Information and links for further details are given at costs, benefits and the Feed-in Tariff.
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable heat incentive (RHI) is similar to the Feed-in Tariff, but is paid for renewable heat generated by solar thermal panels, air, ground or water source heat pumps and biomass (such as wood) heating. It can be paid to home and business owners and also to landlords and providers of social housing.
The Energy Saving Trust publish a guide to eligibility for the Renewable Heat Incentive.
The Green Deal is an innovative financing mechanism that allows you to pay for some or all of the cost of energy-efficiency improvements through savings on your energy bills. A feature of a Green Deal loan is that it is tied to the property, so, if you move, the new owner benefits from the savings but also takes over the loan.