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02/08/13 00:01

Major boost for green homes

Hundreds of households set to benefit

A £3 million funding boost will see hundreds of Scottish households getting paid to become more energy efficient, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today.

Interest free loans will be available for home owners to adopt a range of renewable heat and electricity technologies, such as heat pumps, solar panels, micro-wind turbines or biomass boilers. Householders will be able to borrow up to £10,000 depending on the technology and cost of their system.

Households installing renewable electricity technologies will be eligible for payments for feeding electricity into the national grid and households installing renewable heat technologies can also benefit from Renewable Heat Premium Payment vouchers for domestic renewables. The funding will be directly targeted at homes in fuel poverty, helping to boost household income.

The installation of the technologies will help to develop Scotland’s micro-generation market and will contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Mr Ewing said:

“We are determined to help householders keep their energy bills down wherever we can.

“With the UK Government delaying its domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme until at least spring 2014, our funding boost will make sure households, especially those in fuel poverty, are able to increase their income through renewable technologies.

“The investment will ensure hundreds of Scottish households get their own sustainable green energy supply and in doing so they will receive payments for supplying electricity to the national grid or by cashing in a Renewable Heat Premium Payment voucher.

"As well as being a huge help in fighting fuel poverty, this investment will help Scotland become greener. The wide take up of small scale technologies will be vital for helping us to become a truly low carbon economy.

"Low cost, low carbon heating technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps will cut emissions and support jobs in the manufacturing and installation industry.

“This investment will also help to boost our micro-generation market, which will also help to create jobs in this fast growing industry and meet our commitment to deliver renewable energy and energy-efficient homes in those communities worst affected by fuel poverty.

"Independence is the only way to guarantee more concerted action, focussed on Scotland’s specific advantages – like our vast energy resources – to raise more people out fuel poverty and to ensure Scotland becomes a greener and more sustainable place to live.”

Mike Thornton, Director of Energy Saving Trust in Scotland, said: “This is good news; this additional funding will help many more households benefit from renewables technology. It is a very positive step in the journey to increase the use of renewables in the home and to help people cut their fuel bills.

Interested homeowners should contact Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 for impartial advice about renewable technology and to find out more about this funding. They will also have the chance to visit a local homeowner who has already installed renewables technology to see what life is like living with a renewables system. Find out more about the Green Homes Network by emailing greenhomes@est.org.uk”.

Notes to editors

The £3million boost has been given to the Home Renewables Loans scheme.

This is money from existing budgets - £1million from the energy efficiency budget and £2million from the Warm Homes Fund.

The Energy Saving Trust, who deliver the scheme, have forecast that the additional £3 million could potentially generate an extra 600 loans in the current financial year, based on an average loan of £5,000 per household.

Households installing renewable heat technologies can benefit from the increased value of Renewable Heat Premium Payment vouchers for domestic renewables that came into effect from 20 May 2013.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the loans or how else they can reduce their fuel bills should contact Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282. Home Energy Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Energy Saving Trust, is the only source of clear and impartial advice on cutting your fuel bills.