What are the benefits?
There are a number of advantages to creating your own heat from renewable sources
Anybody who installs their own heating system from renewable sources would benefit in three ways:
You would slash the cost of your current energy bill
For virtually every single property in the UK, heat is generated at source - i.e. in the property itself, using a gas or oil boiler for example. This results in often quite hefty energy bills for your gas, oil or electricity if you have use electric heaters. By installing renewable heat equipment, you will get paid for the heat you generate. You may still have other costs (e.g. electricity to power a heat pump or wood chip/pellets for a biomass boiler) but the RHI has been structured so that these will either be far less than or roughly the same as the payments you receive. So rather than forking out for your gas or oil and dreading those cold winter months, you will actually be financially better off with the average home expected to make a net profit of £600!
You won't be affected by fuel price changes as badly
The price of oil and gas in particular has fluctuated quite a lot in recent years. By having a renewable heat system that does not use either oil or gas, you won't be affected by such changes. This doesn't mean you will be totally immune, of course, as all the systems rely on electricity or some other fuel (e.g. wood) to run, but you shouldn't be affected as much as you were previously.
You would be making a difference to the environment
99% of all the heat we currently generate comes from oil, gas fuel or electricity power stations. This means that a woeful 1% comes from renewable sources. Through the Renewable Heat Incentive, the aim is to get 12% of the UK's generate from renewable sources by 2020 which is quite a big step forward!
How do you start getting these benefits?
If the system is sub 45kW, this means that the installer must be MCS certified and the products they use must also be MCS certified as well. All MCS installers also have to be registered with the REAL Code. REAL publishes a useful register of members which you can sort by technology (i.e. what sort of equipment you want) and region (though many claim to be active all over the country).
For solar thermal, heat pump and biomass installations, we have teamed up with British Eco, a nationwide installer, who we recommend you contact if you have an installation enquiry - British Eco customer enquiry form.