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DECC Launches £8m Competition For Community-Owned Renewable Heating Systems

DECC launches £8m community renewable heating funding competition
RHI edges forward with new funding for community projects and £10m of awards for green social housing initiatives
By James Murray24 Jul 2012

The government has today announced it is to make £8m available to community energy projects focused on installing renewable heat technologies, such as solar heating systems, heat pumps, biomass boilers and heating networks.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed the funding would be made available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, adding that applications for funding were being invited from today.

Community co-operatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts have until 7 September to lodge applications with the Energy Saving Trust.
DECC said it expected between 50 and 100 projects to receive funding through the scheme, with applications being judged on a range of criteria, including “the project’s vision, potential benefits for the local area, potential partners and any relevant experience of delivering similar projects”.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker urged communities of “all shapes and sizes” to “get on board and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer”.
Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said that community projects had the potential to significantly accelerate the roll out of renewable heat technologies.

“Working together can make the process of upgrading to renewable heating easier and more affordable for everyone,” he said. “This scheme will provide a great opportunity for community groups to prove once again that they can have a real impact in reducing carbon emissions and energy costs in their homes, while empowering communities to be more sustainable.”

The news came on the same day as DECC announced the winners of a previous RHPP project to provide £10m of funding to renewable heat projects planned by social landlords.

More than 70 projects have been awarded up to £175,000 of funding under the scheme providing a major boost to green social housing improvement projects that are now expected to be completed by the end of March next year.

“It’s great to see there’s so much enthusiasm for the second year of our social landlord scheme,” said Barker. “These projects will help install three times more low carbon heating systems in tenants’ homes across the nation than last year’s scheme, helping even more people move away from expensive old heating systems to low carbon alternatives.”

The announcements represent the latest stage of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which has been fully launched for business customers, but is facing a phased roll-out for domestic and community projects.

Barker confirmed earlier this month that a full consultation on how the government 
plans to operate the domestic element of the RHI will be launched in September with a view to launching the incentive scheme next summer.

In the meantime, households interested in deploying renewable heat technologies can apply for grants through the RHPP scheme.

Source: Business Green (http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2193814/decc-launches-gbp8m-community-renewable-heating-funding-competition)

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