Department of Energy and Climate Change

1 February 2010 - Press Release - Cash Rewards for Low Carbon Electricity and Heating

1 February 2010 - Press Release - Cash Rewards for Low Carbon Electricity and Heating

  • Feed-in tariff for small scale low carbon electricity finalised for 1 April introduction
  • Power from solar panel could earn £900, on top of £140 reduction on household energy bill
  • Blueprint published for world first incentive scheme for renewable heat
  • Tariff levels index linked
  • Micro combined heat and power piloted in the scheme to kickstart the industry in the UK


Households and communities who install generating technologies such as small wind turbines and solar panels will from April be entitled to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband today announced the feed-in tariff (FITs) levels and also published a blueprint for a similar scheme to be introduced in April 2011 to incentivise low carbon heating technologies. The renewable heat incentive (RHI) will be a world first.

The schemes are designed to bring about a significant increase in the amount of locally produced green energy, as a contribution to the wider shift of the energy mix to low carbon.

Ed Miliband said:

“The guarantee of getting an income on top of saving on energy bills will be an incentive to householders and communities wanting to make the move to low carbon living.

“The feed-in tariff will change the way householders and communities think about their future energy needs, making the payback for investment far shorter than in the past.

“It will also change the outlook for a range of industries, in particular those in the business of producing and installing small scale low carbon technology.”

From 1 April householders and communities who install low carbon electricity technology such as solar photovoltaic (pv) panels and wind turbines up to 5 megawatts will be paid for the electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves. The level of payment depends on the technology and is linked to inflation.

They will get a further payment for any electricity they feed into the grid. These payments will be in addition to benefiting from reduced bills as they reduce the need to buy electricity. The scheme will also apply to installations commissioned since July 2009 when the policy was announced.

A typical 2.5kW well sited solar pv installation could offer a homeowner a reward of up to £900 and save them £140 a year on their electricity bill.

Mr Miliband was speaking as he visited low income homes in Dagenham being helped by eaga’s Clean Energy for Social Housing project to make the move to microgeneration. The scheme offers free clean energy technology to tenants in social housing which will lower their electricity bills and carbon emissions.

John Swinney, eaga Director of Strategy and Corporate Services, said:

“By utilising the feed-in tariff initiative and installing free solar technology this programme can cut energy bills for those most in need. We are also recruiting and training renewable energy engineers directly from the local communities where the green technology is being installed.

“This innovative development can be offered right across the UK. We expect thousands of households to benefit in the first few years and up to 300 additional green energy jobs could be created as part of this programme.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change also published today plans for a scheme to incentivise renewable heat generation at all scales. This will come into effect in April 2011 and guarantee payments for those who install technologies such as ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps.

Under the proposed tariffs the installation of a ground source heat pump in an average semi-detached house with adequate insulation levels could be rewarded with £1,000 a year and lead to savings of £200 per year if used instead of heating oil.

The heat incentive could help thousands of consumers who are off the gas network lower their fuel bills and gain a cash reward for greening their heating supply.

Details of funding for the scheme will be published in the Budget 2010.

Notes for editors

Ofgem will administer the feed-in tariff scheme and suppliers will be responsible to paying the reward to their customers.

The renewable heat incentive will start operating in April 2011. Ofgem will be responsible for making payments direct to heat generators.

Householders and communities can apply for the feed-in tariff from their electricity supplier from April 2010.

Current figures for renewables:

The UK currently gets around 5.5% of electricity from renewable sources and that will need to increase to around 30% to meet the 15% 2020 target for all energy.

Modelling show that small scale renewable installations could meet 2% of electricity demand in 2020.

The UK currently gets less than 1% of heat from renewable sources. This this will need to rise to around 12% in order to meet the 15% 2020 target for all energy.

The eaga project:

The eaga Clean Energy for Social Housing programme attracts funding from private sector investors, who will receive a return from the feed-in tariff element. There is no cost to the tenant and no investment required from the social landlord.

Document links:


Tariff levels for different technologies:

Technology Scale Tariff level for new installations in period (p/kWh) [NB tariffs will be inflated annually] Tariff lifetime (years)

The tariff levels for the electricity financial incentives (pence), calculated to offer between 5-8% return on initial investment in the technology are:


Tariff levels for electricity financial incentives

    Year 1: 1.04.10- 31.03.11 Year 2: 1.04.11- 31.02.12 Year 3: 1.04.12- 31.03.12  
Anaerobic digestion ≤500kW  11.5  11.5  11.5  20
Anaerobic digestion >500kW 9.0 9.0 9.0 20
Hydro ≤15 kW 19.9 19.9 19.9 20
Hydro  >15 - 100kW  17.8 17.8  17.8 20
Hydro  >100kW - 2MW  11.0  11.0  11.0 20
Hydro  >2MW - 5MW  4.5  4.5  4.5 20
MicroCHP pilot*  ≤2 kW* 10* 10*  10*  10*
PV  ≤4 kW (new build)  36.1  36.1  33.0  25
PV  ≤4 kW (retrofit)  41.3  41.3 37.8  25
PV  >4-10kW  36.1  36.1  33.0  25
PV  >10 - 100kW 31.4  31.4  28.7  25
PV  >100kW - 5MW  29.3  29.3  26.8  25
PV Standalone system 29.3  29.3  26.8  25
Wind  ≤1.5kW  34.5  34.5  32.6  20
Wind  >1.5 - 15kW  26.7  26.7  25.5  20
Wind  >15 - 100kW  24.1  24.1  23.0  20
Wind  >100 - 500kW  18.8  18.8  18.8  20
Wind  >500kW - 1.5MW  9.4  9.4  9.4  20
Wind  >1.5MW - 5MW  4.5  4.5  4.5  20
Existing microgenerators transferred from the RO  9.0  9.0  9.0  to 2027

 *NB This tariff is available only for 30,000 microCHP installations. A review will take place when 12,000 units have been installed.



Tariffs (pence/kWh

Tariff lifetime (years)

Tariff levels for Renewable Heat Incentives

Small installations
Solid biomass Up to 45kW 9 15
Biodiesel Up to 45kW 6.5 15
Biogas on-site combustion Up to 45kW 5.5 10
Ground source heat pumps Up to 45kW 7 23
Air source heat pumps Up to 45kW 7.5 18
Solar thermal Up to 20kW 18 20
Medium installations
Solid biomass 45kW-500kW 6.5 15
Biogas on-soite combustion 45kW-200kW 5.5 10
Ground source heat pumps 45kW-350kW 5.5 20
Air source heat pumps 45kW-350kW 2 20
Solar thermal 20kW-100kW 17 20
Large installations
Solid biomass 500kW and above 1.6 -2.5 15
Ground source heat pumps 350kW and above 1.5 20
Biomethane injection All scales 4 15


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