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£3m social housing heating scheme launched

A £3 million scheme has been launched to help install eco-heaters in the homes of social housing tenants.

Heating equipment including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps will be available under the new scheme. Registered providers of social housing, such as local authorities and social housing associations, will be able to bid for a share of the £3 million, part of the £15 million Renewable Heat Premium Payment budget, to make home heating improvements to tenants’ homes.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:‪ “Improving and greening Britain’s homes must make strong financial sense if we are to provide a real sustainable alternative to expensive old heating systems. If people choose to go green, they want to see real savings.

“This new program is directly targeted at many of the people who will be struggling to pay their heating bills next winter. It will drive the take up of new heating technologies in social housing and help slash their dependence on big energy companies and expensive tariffs.

“In the face of rising gas and electricity bills, the Premium Payment scheme is a valuable way for people to get involved in energy generation at a local level, insulating them from volatile fossil fuel costs and ensuring homes are heated in a greener, more sustainable way.

“The Renewable Heat Incentive for householders will be up and running next year making it even more attractive to get involved.”‪‪‪

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “The only way to tackle the energy efficiency of our housing stock is to make it possible for everyone in our society to take action, and low carbon heating systems are a major part of this. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme goes a step further in bringing these technologies to more households.”

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The National Housing Federation welcomes this specific allocation of £3 million from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment budget to assist social housing providers, such as housing associations to increase their use of renewable heating technologies and so to reduce emissions.”

From today, bids are invited for funds of up to around £175,000 per housing provider to support proposals which should in total finance at least 17 social housing projects. The deadline for bids is 15th of September. The scheme will be managed by the Energy Saving Trust.

The bids will be evaluated by a panel of experts on criteria including value for money, the number of individual eco-heaters installed, the opportunity for learning and the number of homes not supplied by mains gas. Successful applicants will be informed in early October and can therefore start installing renewable heat equipment as soon as they receive confirmation of their winning bid.

  1. Further details on how to apply and the terms and conditions for the competition can be viewed on the Energy Saving Trust: Renewable Heat Premium Payment[External link] web page from 10am on Monday 15th August 2011.
  2. Eligible technologies include biomass boilers, solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, air to water source heat pumps and water to water source heat pumps.
  3. Bidders will be restricted to Registered Providers of social housing.
  4. The assessment panel will be made up from representatives from DECC, the Energy Saving Trust and the devolved administrations.
  5. Social landlords taking part in the scheme will have to agree to provide sufficient information to be compatible with European state aid legislation. The maximum amount that can be bid for under these rules is €200,000 (this currently equates to around £175,000).
  6. This competition is open in Scotland, England and Wales.
  7. More information about the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme can be found on our Renewable Heat Premium Payments: Factsheet page.
  8. Currently half of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy used to generate heat. The Government’s renewable heat financial support mechanisms will provide average savings between now and 2020 of 4.4 million tonnes of carbon per year, equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 2 typical new gas power stations.