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Feed-in Tariffs: get money for generating your own electricity

If you generate your own electricity (eg with solar panels or a wind turbine) your energy supplier might pay you money. This is called a ‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT).

How the scheme works

You’ll get a set amount for each unit (kilowatt hour or kWh) of electricity you generate. The rates vary depending on:

  • the size of your system
  • what technology you install
  • when your technology was installed
  • who put the technology in place - you need to use a certified installer

Contact installer companies or an electricity supplier for more information. You can receive payments from your current energy supplier, or you can choose a different one from the list of registered suppliers.

The export tariff - selling surplus energy

As well as the generation tariff, you can also sell any extra units you don’t use back to your electricity supplier. This is called an ‘export tariff’.

You’ll get 4.5p per unit of electricity:

  • for solar panels where you applied for FIT on or after 1 August 2012
  • for other technologies where you applied for FIT on or after 1 December 2012

If you applied for FIT before these dates you’ll continue to get 3.2p for each unit of electricity.

Source – Gov.uk/feed-in-tariffs

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

You could get money towards renewable heating costs in your home.

Types of heating

You can claim for:

  • biomass boilers
  • solar water heating
  • certain heat pumps

Payments are made for 7 years and are based on the amount of renewable heat made by your heating system.

The money is paid through the Domestic RHI scheme.

Eligibility

You can apply if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. You must either:

  • own your home
  • be a private or social landlord
  • New build properties will not normally be eligible. The only exception is if you’re building your own home.
  • For Northern Ireland, there is a scheme to help with installing renewable heating.

Source – Gov.uk/domestic-renewable-heat-incentive

Green Deal: energy saving for your home

  1. Overview
  2. Improvements and benefits to your home
  3. Get an assessment
  4. Getting the work done
  5. How to pay
  6. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund
  7. Moving into a property with a Green Deal

1. Overview

The Green Deal helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home and find the best way to pay for them.

The improvements that could save you the most energy depend on your home, but typical examples include:

  • insulation, eg solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation
  • heating
  • draught-proofing
  • double glazing
  • renewable energy generation, eg solar panels or heat pumps

Find out if your home will benefit

There are various ways to check if your property could benefit from energy-saving improvements:

  • talk to a Green Deal assessor or provider
  • use the energy grants calculator
  • talk to Energy Savings Advice Service if you’re in England or Wales, or Home Energy Scotland if you’re in Scotland

The Green Deal may be right for you if you think your property could benefit from energy-saving improvements.

2. Improvements and benefits to your home

Any household with an electricity meter (including prepayment meters) in England, Scotland or Wales can use the scheme.

Both the landlord and the tenant must agree to the improvements if the building is rented.

Eligible improvements

You can use the Green Deal for a range of different measures including insulation, heating, windows and products that generate energy, but only if your Green Deal assessment recommends them.

3. Get an assessment

You must get an assessment of your property to use the Green Deal. Contact a Green Deal assessor or ask a Green Deal provider to find an assessor for you.

You may have to pay for an assessment. The assessor must tell you the fee in advance.

What to expect from an assessment

A Green Deal assessor will visit your home, talk to you about your property and your energy use and help decide if you could benefit from Green Deal improvements.

When you book, you may be asked if:

  • you own or rent the property
  • your home is a listed building, in a conservation area, built before 1900 or constructed in a non-traditional way
  • there are access issues, eg access to your loft
  • you can provide bills showing your recent energy use

When the assessor visits, you may be asked:

  • the number of people living in your home
  • the type of heating and appliances you use
  • how often you use your heating
  • what energy-saving measures are already installed

After the visit, you’ll get a document, called a Green Deal advice report, that contains:

  • an Energy Performance Certificate that rates your home for energy efficiency
  • an occupancy assessment that measures how much energy you and other occupiers are using
  • improvements your assessor recommends
  • an estimate of the money you could save on your annual energy bills
  • a statement on whether the improvements will pay for themselves through reduced energy costs

A Green Deal advice report is valid for 10 years, or until you make changes or energy saving improvements to the property, eg you build an extension or change the windows.

The actual savings will depend on how much energy you use and the future cost of energy.

What to do next

You decide:

  • if you want to get the work done
  • how you want to pay

4. Getting the work done

How you decide to get the work done will affect your options for how you pay for the work.

After you get a Green Deal advice report, you can:

  • ask a Green Deal provider to arrange installation and pay for the work yourself
  • ask a Green Deal provider to arrange installation and a Green Deal finance plan to pay for the work
  • get your own installers to fit the improvements and pay for them yourself
  • pay for the work in more than one way, eg a Green Deal finance plan, with money from another scheme or money of your own

Some companies provide all the services for a Green Deal package - assessment, finance and installation. You can choose to use a different company for each service.

Get a quote

Give a provider or installer your Green Deal advice report.

Providers will give you a quote and arrange the installers for you. Installers will quote to do the work themselves. A quote from a provider will include the repayment terms if you’re paying with a finance plan.

You can get more than one quote and you can choose which improvements you want.

You can ask the provider or installer if you or your property qualify to combine the Green Deal with these other schemes:

  • Energy Company Obligation (ECO) - help from your energy company to improve your home if you’re on certain benefits or a low income, or for certain hard-to-treat properties
  • Feed-in Tariffs - payments from your energy provider if you generate your own electricity (ie through solar panels or a wind turbine)
  • Renewable Heat Premium Payment - money to help with the cost of installing renewable heating technologies in your home
  • any scheme run by your Local Authority - contact your Local Authority for information

You can also contact the Energy Saving Advice Service or Energy Saving Scotland.

Agree the work

Pick the provider or installer you want to do the work.

The provider will write you a contract called a Green Deal finance plan if you choose to pay with Green Deal finance. The plan will contain:

  • an outline of the work that will be done
  • any financial help you can get from other schemes
  • the repayments and interest rate
  • information on other incentives you can access, eg Feed-in Tarrifs
  • information on warranties and guarantees

After the work

Your Green Deal repayments will be automatically added to your electricity bill if you have chosen to take Green Deal finance.

5. How to pay

You can pay in advance, get a Green Deal finance plan, or use other schemes to fund the work. You can also combine ways to pay.

Getting a Green Deal finance plan

Finance plans are offered by approved Green Deal providers.

Give your Green Deal assessment to providers you want to get a quote from.

Your provider will find an installer for you.

You can only get a finance plan for improvements recommended in your Green Deal assessment.

Each provider must tell you:

  • how much you’ll pay back
  • how long you’ll pay for

What you can borrow and how much you’ll pay

You can get finance for an amount based on what you’ll be expected to save on your energy bills.

The annual repayments on the loan shouldn’t be more than the savings you might make on your energy bills.

There’s no set interest rate. Your interest rate will be determined by the amount of your finance plan. Check with your provider for rates and fees.

The interest rate is fixed for the full term of the plan so your repayments will be fixed.

How you pay

You pay back the loan through a charge added to your electricity bill. A small amount will be taken from the meter each day if you have a prepayment meter.

This is because the Green Deal stays with the property. If you move, you no longer benefit from the improvements and therefore stop paying for them.

You can pay off your Green Deal early, but you might be charged a fee - check with your provider.

6. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is closed to new applications.

You’ll still be able to get money if:

  • you applied before the scheme closed
  • you meet the terms and conditions
  • your installer and provider meets the terms and conditions

Green Deal Assessment refunds

You can’t get money back for Green Deal Assessments unless you applied before the deadline.

7. Moving into a property with a Green Deal

If you move into a property with a Green Deal, the landlord or seller must show you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate. This will explain what improvements have been made and how much you’ll need to repay.

The person who pays the electricity bill pays the money back.

You can change electricity supplier if the new supplier is participating in the Green Deal.

Source – Gov.uk/Green-deal-energy-saving-measures/overview

The Energy Company Obligation

You might be able to get help for energy-saving improvements to your home if you’re on certain benefits and own or privately rent your home.

You may get all or part of the cost of:

  • loft or cavity wall insulation
  • boiler repairs or replacements

Eligibility

You must own your property or rent it privately and have the owner’s permission to do the work.

You must also get one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less)
  • Working Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less) - plus one of the extra conditions below
  • Income Support - plus one of the extra conditions below
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance - plus one of the extra conditions below
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance – plus the support or work related element, or one of the extra conditions below

Extra conditions

For certain benefits, one of the following must also apply:

  • you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in education or training)
  • you get Disabled Child Premium
  • you get Disability Premium
  • you get Pensioner Premium
  • you’re 60 or over (only if you get Working Tax Credit)

Source – Gov.uk/energy-company-obligation