Renewable energy funding information
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SolarTech MD Shaun Taylor talks about changes to the Feed in Tariff.

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Renewable energy funding

Free Energy Programme

The Free Energy Programme is targeted at installing solar PV systems free of charge to Housing Associations, Schools and other public and private organisations. SolarTech and our partners Opus Venture LLP have negotiated finance arrangements with a number of leading providers enabling the entire installation costs of these systems to be financed by the income from the Feed In Tariff.

The key points of the scheme are as follows:

  • PV system installed free of charge
  • Paid for by the income generated by the Feed In Tariff
  • SolarTech maintain the systems and monitor the meter readings
  • Ownership of system transfers to the housing association etc at the end of the term

This approach enables organisations to install solar PV systems free of charge whilst also reducing fuel costs and CO2 emissions. SolarTech have unrivalled experience installing renewable energy systems in both the public and private sectors.

The Free Energy Programme is a SolarTech initiative to help social housing and housing associations make the move to renewable energy and self sufficiency. For full details please call us on 0845 838 2477 or use our online contact form. For answers to the most common questions please see below:

Q. Do you really fit Photovoltaic (PV) systems for free?
A. Yes. SolarTech will design, supply, install and maintain the systems at no cost to the Housing Association.
Q. How do SolarTech pay for the systems?
A. SolarTech have finance available, secured against the income generated by the Feed in Tariff.
Q. If SolarTech are taking the Feed in Tariff to pay for the system how will the tenants benefit?
A. Tenants will benefit from lower electricity bills as the Feed in Tariff is paid on "total generation" not exported electricity. A typical house will have a saving in the order of £150 per year on their electricity bills.
Q. Who maintains the systems?
A. SolarTech will maintain the systems over the 25 year period at no cost to the Housing Association.
Q. You mention a "cashback" element, how much will this be?
A. This figure is impossible to quantify as it is dependent on the retail price index over the 25 year period. Prudent assumptions would indicate a figure of over £2m for a 5000 house project. The mechanism for calculating this forms part of our agreement and the valuation method is transparent.
Q. Is there a limit to the project size?
A. Due to the costs of setting up each contract we are currently limiting the project size to a minimum of 1000 homes. The maximum allocation we are offering to any organisation in the first phase is 5000 homes.
Q. Can the scheme be used on new build Social Housing projects?
A. Yes, however we would have to look at this on a job by job basis. This approach gives the benefit of removing the capital cost of renewables from the contract value.
Q. Who will read the electricity meters over the 25 year period?
A. All of the meters are GSM enabled and monitored automatically by SolarTech over the 25 year period.
Q. Will the scheme be available for other technologies?
A. Yes we propose to open up the scheme to cover other technologies such as Heat Pumps and Solar Hot Water once details of the Renewable Heat Incentive are finalised.
Q. How do I find out more?
A. Contact our Office and one of our team will be pleased to help you and see if the scheme is suitable for your organisation.

Feed in Tariff - Clean Energy Cash-back

The Renewable Energy Strategy was launched in July 2009. This outlines how the UK aims to move towards generating 15% of its energy (including electricity, heat and transport) from renewable sources by 2020. Almost one third of this will come from the electricity sector. It is currently less than 6%. With domestic households currently accounting for 27% of UK carbon emissions, reducing household energy consumption is central to efforts to mitigate climate change.

On 1st April 2010 the UK Feed in Tariff was launched. The primary aim; to encourage the use of technology for the generation of renewable electricity meaning solar energy companies have a big part to play. The scheme is designed to stimulate the market for small scale (5 MW and below) low carbon electricity generation. This makes it ideal for domestic properties.

The Feed in Tariff scheme supports the following technologies: Photovoltaic (PV), Wind, Hydro, Anaerobic Digestion, MicroCHP (pilot programme with a 2kW limit). For installations to qualify for the tariffs the system must use Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) eligible products installed by an MCS accredited installer. As an MCS accredited company, SolarTech can install PV systems that will attract the Feed in Tariff payments.

Tariff Sections

Generation Tariffs - This is a set rate paid by the energy supplier for each unit of electricity generated, regardless of whether the electricity is used on site or exported to the local electricity network.

Export Tariffs - In addition to the main generation tariff, extra 'bonus' payments are made for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) the system exports to the National Grid. Effectively, unused electricity is sold to the supply company who can then deliver it to other customers.

In addition to the tariffs the occupier of the property also benefits from reduced electricity bills (because they will use electricity that has been generated from the installed system instead of having to purchase it from the electricity supplier). Feed in Tariffs can be paid to individuals, households, communities and businesses when they generate electricity from eligible sources. The electricity suppliers pay the tariffs.

This is not new technology nor is it a new idea. Germany has a similar Feed in Tariff scheme to the UK. Under its 2004 Feed in Tariff legislation (the Renewable Energy Sources Act), Germany set itself a 2010 target of 12.5% renewable electricity generation. But Germany has already surpassed this target. In 2007, Germany generated 14.2% of its electricity from renewable sources, much of this rapid growth driven by Feed in Tariff legislation. We foresee this success here in the UK.

The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Treasury has finally set a date for the approved Renewable Heat Incentive which is great news for the British public and the medium term future of renewable energy in this country. RHI payments will be available to the industrial/commercial sector from July this year and from October 2012 for domestic users who will be able to take advantage of a Premium Payment to subsidise installation costs. Full details of the Renewable Heat Incentive can be found below and is a big step forward for encouraging the uptake of solar powered heating systems. If you have any questions or want to install a solar hot water system or any other qualifying technology call 0845 838 2477

Key features of the Renewable Heat Incentive:

  • The RHI started in July 2011 for the industrial, business and public sector
  • Support of around £15 million for households through the RHI Premium Payment from July 2011
  • The scheme can use equipment such as solar thermal technologies, biomass boilers and heat pumps
  • Businesses installing renewable heat in year 1 benefit from quarterly payments for 20 years

Up to 25000 installations will be supported by a 'RHI Premium Payment' from August 2011 to assist in covering the purchase price. Certain criteria are needed for eligibility of he payments. These include, technologies spread fairly across Great Britain, how well the home is insulated according to the Energy Performance Certificate and agreement on the household carrying out the monitoring that is needed. Participants will need to provide feedback on the performance of the equipment when in use, in return for the payment.

There are different RHI tariffs for domestic and non-domestic buildings and the Premium payments are work out based on the purpose of the solar energy unit. Please see the official site guide to the Renewable Heat Incentive to find out more about the RHI. You can also take a look at the energy saving trust site for additional information or check out our infographic to help explain RHI.

Call us today on 0845 838 2477 or contact us via the website for full information on how you can benefit and to find out if you are eligible. The RHI started in July 2011 and systems installed from October 20, 2010 will be eligible.

Please check back soon for updates, or follow us on Twitter for updates.

Find out more

If you'd like to know more about renewable energy funding take a moment to fill in our contact form or call us on 0845 838 2477.

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