U.K. Proposes Incentives for Home Heating From Biomass to Solar

The U.K proposed paying householders to generate heat from renewable sources, opening a public consultation.

The government is considering guaranteed payments for seven years for homes that generate their own heat using air-and ground-source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal equipment, according to an e-mailed statement from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

The plan comes 10 months after the U.K. introduced incentives for businesses to generate heat from renewables. Today, the energy department published two further consultations to expand the commercial program and to examine air-to-water heat pumps and energy from waste.

“We need to revolutionize the way we heat our homes and businesses and move away from expensive fossil fuels, not only to cut carbon but to help meet our renewables targets and save money on bills,” Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said in the statement. “Our proposals aim to encourage even more uptake of clean green heating in industry.”

The department proposed a tariff of 6.9 pence to 11.5 pence per kilowatt-hour for heat from air source pumps, 5.2 pence to 8.7 pence for biomass boilers, 12.5 pence to 17.3 pence for ground-source heat pumps and a solar thermal rate of 17.3 pence per kilowatt-hour. The incentives will apply to households that installed renewable heating since July 15, 2009.

Heat Program

The consultations on household incentives and expanding the business heat program close on Dec. 7. The study into air-to- water pumps and energy from waste ends on Oct. 18.

The Renewable Energy Association, an industry lobby group, welcomed the government’s proposals and said renewables currently make up just over 1 percent of the country’s total heating, one of the lowest proportions in Europe.

“Renewable heat has been the sleeping giant of U.K. renewable energy policy,” Paul Thompson, head of policy at the REA, said in an e-mailed statement. “Renewable heat technologies are often very cost-effective, and have a major role to play in reducing our carbon emissions, improving our energy security, and revitalizing our economy.”

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg

Lead image: Solar on house via Shutterstock

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