Illustration of the government incentives you can receive to make your home more eco friendly.

4 ways to save on renewable energy tech

Oct 25, 2018 - 3min read



We've been talking to our members about renewable technologies recently; we want to help them halve their energy bills by 2022, and these solutions play a big part in that! This discussion included a survey to discover who was aware of the range of government incentives available to promote the uptake of renewable and low-carbon generation technologies.

The results were surprising - 42% of all respondents had no idea any government incentives existed at all! So we thought we’d write this blog so to let people know what support is available for the different types of renewable energy technologies.

 

Bar chart following results of survey about government incentives for renewable tech.


Solar

1. The Feed-in Tariff scheme(FIT)
We expected this to be the most well-known incentive and the survey confirmed this. But for those unaware, the Feed-in tariff is a 20-year incentive that pays you for any energy you generate from a solar system, and for any solar energy you export back to the grid.

Illustration of solar energy from a home going into the grid and money being received in return.

While it has recently been criticised due to a reduction in the amount you can get paid, the savings can still be significant and shouldn’t be ignored! A typical small solar system may generate around 2000 kWh per year - with the current rates this would mean you would receive £130 in year one alone. That’s potentially more than £3,000 over the life of the contract*. And the good news is – we can supply you with the Feed-in Tariff now too. Just drop us an email to FiT@tonikenergy.com and we’ll give you more details.

Did you know?

  • The government also offers a reduced rate of VAT when you install certain energy-saving products, such as solar panels. So you'll be charged just 5% VAT on solar systems!
  • You also get 5% VAT on batteries if you get them installed at the same time as a solar system, but 20% if you buy them on their own

Heating

2. The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
Launched in 2011, the RHI is designed to promote the use of renewable heat - remember, decarbonizing electricity is only half the problem! Think of it as Feed-in Tariff for heat instead of electricity.

Illustration of a biomass heater on the outside of a house.

This means that environmentally friendly alternatives to your traditional heating such as replacing your gas boiler with a biomass boiler, air or ground source heat pumps or solar thermal panels can be made more financially attractive.

For example, if you lived in a home with an average gas usage and fancied running your home off a fully renewable biomass boiler instead of upgrading to an old gas one – you would be paid £842.50 in the first year at the current tariff rates!**

You can find out more here or use the government’s own payment calculator to see how it could benefit you - make sure you have your copy of your EPC (energy performance certificate) before you start.

Electric Vehicles

3. Plug-in Car Grant
Whilst we think there are at least three solid gold reasons why you should drive an electric vehicle (EV), purchasing them upfront can be seen as a bit of a barrier.

Illustration of an EV car.

Well, thankfully the government also recognises this and has been running a grant to reduce these upfront costs for a few years now. The amount you can claim depends on how green the vehicle is – but for fully electric vehicles the grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price of the vehicle up to £3,500.

Definitely worth a look if you’re on the fence about buying an EV anytime soon! 

4. Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
If chipping in £3,500 to a brand new EV wasn’t enough, the government is also running an incentive to cut the cost of charging at home too! As part of this they’ll contribute to 75% of the cost of the charge point, up to £500.

Illustration of an EV charger

EV Chargers don’t come cheap, but thankfully with the grant, you can get our EV Charger from as little as £239, or £199 if you’re on our Charge EV tariff.

*Including degradation aligned to Tonik Solar Product Specification. This also assumes 3% RPI & 5% annual increase in energy price
**Based on a typical gas usage of 12,500 kWh and payment tariff of 6.74p/kWh

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