Renewable Energy: Where to Begin When Looking for Grants, Funding and Advice

Our team at Daylight Energy understand that grants, funding and advice are things that our clients want to know about when considering moving to renewable energy.

We have therefore put together a guide to what is currently available at the moment through the government and our local council (Dorset):

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Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) 

This is a government incentive that has been live from April 2014. Those using the incentive will benefit from payments for 7 years based on the amount of renewable heat generated by your system. This is applicable for those with biomass boilers, solar water heating and certain heat pumps who either own their own home or are a private/social landlord. If you want to see what some people have to say about their installs and their receiving of the RHI you can read these here.

Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive 

Similar to the domestic RHI, this is aimed at businesses, public sector and non-profit organisations to assist them in installing renewable heating technology. If you have installed equipment since 15 July 2009 within any of these sectors you can apply for this incentive in which payments are made over 20 years based on the heat generated by your system. Those who can apply are those who have used biomass, deep geothermal, heat pumps, solar thermal collectors, biomethane, biogas and combined heat and power systems. This equipment should meet requirements which can be found here.

Enhanced Capital Allowances/Claim Capital Allowances/First Year Allowances

This is something that can be claimed on your corporate tax return. If you purchase something that applies you can deduct between 6-100% of the total cost from your pre-tax profits. This is applicable for some cars with low emissions, energy saving equipment such as certain motors, water saving equipment such as efficient taps or toilets, new zero emissions goods vehicles, gas, hydrogen and biogas refuelling equipment and machinery for gas refuelling stations. The equipment must have been purchased by a business who are using them - not leasing them.

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The Affordable Warmth Obligation/Energy Company Obligation

This is an obligation where you may be entitled to assistance for energy efficiency improvements to your property if you claim certain benefits (list available here), live in private housing or live in social housing. This can give you help with the cost of insulation improvements or repairing/replacing your existing boiler. If you are someone, or you live with someone receiving any of the benefits in the list start by approaching your energy supplier.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

This is a once paid discount of around £140 on your electricity bill between the months of September and March which opens for applications for the new year on 14th October 2019. Some may be able to get the discount on their gas bill if the supplier provides your gas and electricity. You would qualify for this if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or if you’re on a low income and meet your supplier’s criteria of being in the ‘broader group’. 

Smart Export Guarantee

This is due to be introduced to the UK from 1st January 2020 to replace the previous feed in tariff scheme. This guarantee will put a price on each of your units of excess exported power to the grid from renewable energy solutions including solar PV, hydro, micro-combined heat and power, onshore wind and anaerobic digestion. To read more about this check out our page dedicated to this guarantee. 

Octopus Energy were the first company to offer a smart export tariff to replace the feed-in tariff. To be applicable you do need to have a smart meter that can receive export data from your renewable energy source every half an hour. You can view their Outgoing Octopus smart export tariff here

Healthy Homes Dorset

This is a service which provides free and impartial energy saving advice to the residents of Dorset. This advice can range from helping people deal with mould, to referrals to installers for heating and insulation. They may also be able to help some criteria meeting residents by installing loft and cavity wall insulation. To see if they can help you visit their website.

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Low Carbon Dorset

This is a programme to help the ‘growth of Dorset’s low carbon economy’. They look at 3 sectors - public, business and community led projects - to offer suitable grants, free support, workshops or networking to deliver projects looking at reducing carbon emissions. To be applicable for help from Low Carbon Dorset you must be located within Dorset, Poole or Bournemouth and be a small or medium sized enterprise, a public funded organisation or body or a voluntary/community organisation or registered charity.

Current VAT Rate 

The government have put a reduced rate on the installation of renewables in the home. This is currently at 5% (14). This is applicable when a supplier has installed the product and is available for additions such as solar panels, air source heat pumps, insulation on walls, floors, ceilings and lofts and draught insulation among others. On 24th June 2019 it was announced that the government propose to increase the VAT rate from 5% to 20% from 1st October 2019. The reduced rate would however still apply in some circumstances such as if the residential homeowner is over 60, receives certain benefits or the cost of material is less than 60% of the total cost of installation.

Sarah Levett