With the advances in technological department, demand of electrical energy has also increased significantly. Today most of the electrical demand is meet with fossil fuels. But these fuel sources are not infinite. In the near future it is estimated that their reserves will run dry. Also, they have the drawback of producing pollution and releasing green-house gases thus raising the temperature of atmosphere.
With most of the world currently looking to switch their entire energy to fossil fuel free, more and more research is being carried on different Renewable energy sources.
UK Government Solar Energy Policy
In recent times, solar energy sector has under gown a massive growth. This UK government has set four distinct policies regarding solar power.
- Support for solar PV should allow cost-effective projects to proceed and tomake a cost-effective contribution to UK carbon emission objectives in the context of overall energy goals.
- Support for solar PV should deliver genuine carbon reductions that helpmeet the UK’s target of 15 per cent renewable energy from final consumption
- Support for solar PV should ensure proposals are appropriately sited, giveproper weight to environmental considerations such as landscape and visual impact, heritage and local amenity, and provide opportunities for local communities to influence decisions that affect them.
- Support for solar PV should assess and respond to the impacts ofdeployment on: grid systems balancing; grid connectivity; and financial incentives.
Energy Company Obligation or ECO Scheme
Solar energy is one of the most popular way of obtaining cheap and pollution free energy. More and more individuals are beginning to install solar energy systems at homes to save energy on bills and reducing carbon emissions.
Solar panels benefit people by saving a substantial amount of money on their bills while they can also feed surplus power back to grid. To make switching easier for people, government is offering different grants and schemes so people are more encouraged to install solar systems. One of such schemes is Energy Company Obligation or ECO scheme.
ECO scheme is administered by Ofgem. This scheme works by placing a Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) on medium and large energy suppliers. These suppliers must promote measures to improve ability of low income, fuel poor and vulnerable households to heat their homes. Their main target in reduction in energy usage and it can be done either through installing insulation or upgrading heating system. Overall target of this scheme is divided between suppliers based on their relative share of domestic gas and electricity market.
This scheme has 4 iteration until now being ECO1, ECO2, ECO3 and ECO4. ECO3 closed in March 31st, 2022. Latest iteration is ECO4 which began working in July 2022 and will continue to work until March 31st, 2026 for span of 4 years.
People Eligible for ECO4 Scheme
ECO4 scheme is open to low income, fuel poor and vulnerable households. Following requirements need to be meet for a person to be eligible for ECO4 solar PV panels grants:
- Have an insufficient heating system currently. This system should be insufficient within DG energy efficieny band.
- The house you currently reside in must either be owned by you or is privately rented.
- All electric homes where biomass boilers or district heat network has been ruled out.
- You are receiving certain government benefits such as child benefits or income support.
A person who is not receiving government benefits but is still considered low income may still be able to quality for ECO4 scheme.
Benefits of ECO4 Scheme
This scheme allows low-income households opportunity to replace their inefficient heating systems with more efficient and environment friendly system such as solar PV system.
It is estimated to upgrade approximately 450,000 homes and it will help reduce total energy bills by around 290£ for EPC band C. qualified homes but for homes with even more inefficient systems his saving may be as much as 1600£ annually.
Applying for ECO4 Scheme
For those interested in ECO4 scheme and want to apply for it, they need contact a participating energy supply. They will conduct telephone assessment by asking different questions. These questions will be about home and your heating needs. You can then arrange a date for an installer to visit your home to confirm whether it’s suitable for ECO4 and which energy-efficient measure would be best suited.
One important step that should be kept in mind is choosing right panels for your needs. It is necessary if you want to maximize savings. It is inefficient to apply for grants for panels that are either subpar or are not fit for your home.
Choosing right panel is important. Best method for maximum efficiency is by using tailormade panels which can save annual bill cost by over 70%.
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