In 2014 the eagerly awaited Government scheme, detailing the extension of its Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to cover domestic properties, launched. This enabled Gloucestershire based renewable energy specialists, Ecovision, to help homeowners take control of and cut their energy costs. Under the domestic RHI the Government pay quarterly tariffs over seven years to homeowners using renewable energy to heat and provide hot water to their homes.
“The RHI tariff, or subsidy, together with the savings homeowners will achieve when compared to their previous fossil fuel heating systems, will mean that their air, water and ground source heat pumps, or biomass renewable energy systems can, in most cases, pay for themselves in approximately six to seven years,” said Peter Randall, Ecovision’s CEO. Ecovision has a proven track record within the renewable energy marketplace having supplied and installed over 5,500 systems across the UK.
“Knowing that the domestic RHI was coming into force was certainly a key factor in me choosing to install an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) renewable energy solution from Ecovision,” explained Bernhard Garside who lives in Berkshire. “Under the new domestic RHI I will be eligible for a 7.3p* tariff for every kilowatt hour of energy my ASHP generates so I will receive an annual payment of at least £1,000. When I add this to the whopping £2,500 savings which I was previously paying for oil to run my expensive, and very inefficient, oil fired boiler I am saving at least £2,500 a year!” (With additional electricity costs taken into account.)
Deploying renewable energy has enabled the Garside family to find a more efficient and greener way of heating and providing hot water to their home which removes them from the strangle-hold of outside energy forces and allows them to take control of their energy costs.
“When I weighed up the cost of anything between £2,500 and £3,500 to replace my old oil-fired boiler, which was well past its sell-by date, plus the annual cost of the oil to run it, this would have been completely dead money. So following discussions with the Ecovision team, it really was a no-brainer to make an investment in the ASHP as I knew I would receive a return on that investment pretty quickly and going forward my energy costs would be negligible,” added Garside.
“The great thing about the RHI legislation is that it really will drive the UK’s renewable energy business by making it affordable for homeowners to install. That’s good for the economy, good for homeowners’ bank balances and importantly good for the environment,” added Randall, whose passion to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions led him to found Ecovision in 2006.
According to the Sunday Times (6 Feb – Money: Heat is on in rush for renewable energy subsidies) nearly 20,000 households, who like the Garsides, have already installed renewable energy will benefit from the RHI tariffs. Crucially, the RHI applies to systems fitted since May 2009 and to self-build homes but does not apply to new-build homes. In order to qualify for the RHI households must have a Green Deal Assessment, which can cost up to £150 and systems must be installed by a certified installer, such as Ecovision.
“During the first year of the domestic RHI it is estimated that 35,000 households took advantage of the available tariffs. As more households, especially those 15% of all households who are off the gas grid and indeed those on the gas grid, realise that there is now an affordable renewable energy alternative to expensive and environmentally damaging fossil fuels, as many as 55,000 could follow suite in 2016,” continued Randall.
“The installation of our ASHP was a leap of faith into renewable energy but due to the expertise and knowledge of Ecovision’s designer, technical support and install teams, it was undoubtedly a leap of faith that was the right decision. Our ASHP has given us energy independence at the same time as meeting the heating and hot water requirements of my family which includes two teenagers and an older daughter who seems incapable of spending less than 30 minutes in the shower!” concluded Garside.