As a self-builder, making your home sustainable is likely a priority. For many, it could be the main motivation behind your self-build project. Amongst the self-builders in Bright Green Futures’ eco self-build communities this is certainly a driving force. Creating a low carbon home can be achieved through passive solar design, high quality insulation and planet-friendly lifestyle solutions.
However, when it comes to heating your rooms and heating your water, using renewable technology to do so might be a little outside your budget. This is why the government introduced the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – to make installing renewable heating technology more financially appealing to homeowners and reward them for moving away from fossil fuels.
Through the Domestic RHI you are paid back for the money you spent on buying and installing renewable heating systems, provided they are eligible under the scheme. The technology types that qualify for the RHI are: biomass boilers or pellet stoves; air source heat pumps; ground source heat pumps; and solar thermal panels (only for providing hot water, not space heating). On top of this, the system and installer must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for you to apply for the RHI.
Your money is recouped over seven years through tax-free quarterly payments based on your home’s estimated heating requirements. Each type of technology has a particular tariff, which changes each quarter. However, the payments you receive are fixed during the seven year contract at the rate applicable at the time of installing the technology. You are only paid back for the renewable portion of heat output. For example, ground source heat pumps are powered by electricity. Therefore the heat output generated by electricity is deducted from the RHI payment. Fortunately, for every 1 kWh of electricity used to power a ground source heat pump, around 4 kWh of heat is produced.
To find out how much money you can get through the RHI see: https://bit.ly/1knULrn
Sustainable Tech in BGF Community Projects
Bright Green Futures has a passion for sustainable building. With the support and commitment of the self-builders we seek to incorporate cutting-edge technology into our eco self-build communities to complement their high-quality design. This is why The Courtyard won second prize for Best Large Project in the 2016 South West Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards and its homes were the first in Bristol to receive a A-ratings for both energy efficiency and environmental impact. The co-housing scheme makes use of solar thermal heating for water as well as generating energy from PV and creating perfect indoor environments through Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR).
If you wish to explore green self-build techniques and technology further we recommend reading The Green Self-build Book by Jon Broome.