By installing renewable energy technologies landlords and local authorities can potentially reduce both heating and hot water costs for their tenants, as well as helping to meet strict new government targets for all properties to become ‘zero carbon’ by 2050 and there are government-backed schemes available to help.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was set up by the UK government in 2011 to encourage the commercial sector to install renewable energy technologies. The RHI scheme offers a financial incentive for eligible non-domestic renewable energy technologies for the lifetime of the installation up to a maximum of 20 years. The kinds of renewable energy installations that may be eligible under the RHI scheme include biomass, some types of ground source and air source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomethane projects. Social housing is included under the scheme and the benefits of energy savings and reduced fuel costs can be passed on to tenants.
Any landlords installing solar PV can potentially generate cheaper electricity for tenants whilst at the same time increasing the desirability of their housing stock. There is also a financial incentive in the form of the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme which can also benefit tenants. FITs provide payments to householders for the electricity they generate from a renewable energy source producing under 5mw capacity and any unused electricity can be sold back to the National Grid.
Investing in renewable energy technologies makes financial senses and also allows landlords to be seen to be reducing their carbon footprint as well as meeting government targets.