Local authorities are in the front line of the government’s renewable energy policy and it is important that they are seen to embrace renewable energy technologies. The benefits of investing in renewable energy are many and these can be passed on to local residents as well as helping local authorities to save money at a time when many are facing cuts to their budgets.
Both biomass and heat pumps (air source and ground source) are covered under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The government backed scheme is aimed at helping the commercial sector and this includes schools, municipal buildings and housing schemes. RHI offers a financial incentive for the installation of renewable energy technologies for the lifetime of the system up to 20 years.
Solar panels can be fitted to any building, not just domestic housing and a solar PV system installed in public buildings such as libraries and leisure centres would benefit the whole community. Solar PV installations in municipal buildings may also qualify under the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme whereby local authorities are paid for the electricity they produce and any additional electricity generated can be sold back to the National Grid for a financial bonus.
Not only does it make sound financial sense for local authorities to take full advantage of these schemes, it is a good way for them to be seen to be reducing their carbon footprint and to be leading the way in renewable energy technologies.