Government announces its low carbon heat plans

Low Carbon Heat Plans Revealed

Press Ref: 2012/029

26 March 2012

  • £25m for second phase of household voucher scheme
  • Cost control plans set out for non-domestic renewable heat
  • Timetable revealed for longer term support on household renewable heat

A second phase of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme, which gives money off renewable technologies like biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels, will be launched on 2nd April this year and will be worth £10m more than the existing scheme.

The new money will help the RHPP go further including an £8m competition for communities to apply for grants to encourage community groups to install renewable heating. This will be on top of the existing voucher scheme which will be mainly focused at around 4 million homes in Great Britain which are not heated by mains gas, who have to rely on higher carbon forms of heating which also tend to be more expensive than gas such as heating oil and electric fires. There will also be a £10m competition for social landlords.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“The new Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme will be bigger and better than the original.

“We’re increasing the budget from £15m to £25m, for the first time we’re including community schemes and there’ll be more social housing schemes that can benefit. Those people who are reliant on expensive oil or electric heating should consider applying to the Premium Payment scheme to cut their fuel bills in the long term.

“Generating heat from renewables will not just cut carbon emissions, it will also help create a market in developing, selling and installing kit like solar thermal panels or heat pumps.”

The scheme will continue to be administered by the Energy Saving Trust.

Link to the Government Press release

Local Biomass (woodchip supplier) announces new development

Click on the image to enlarge:

A company based in Meifod has announced an innovative new scheme, drying woodchip with solar power fans to provide a reliable and high quality sustainable heating fuel.

There are many innovative new companies trying hard to create business in line with the energing Government plans for low carbon energy supply, from local resources. It is challenging when the incentives and payments frameworks are still evolving for this emerging market, but it has to be an area with significant opportunity over the coming years.

Please come to the event this Thursday evening

Chance to meet some energy experts and to find out how to protect yourself from rising energy prices.

These things are never easy, and can be very complicated, but there are lots of useful ways to save energy and money. There are new materials and technologies, changing government incentives and priorities, as well as changing prices…..

This is a chance to find out more about our energy future as well as what we can do as individuals and as a community to prepare ourselves for the future..

Fuel costs data

fuel costs data

Price comparison for various fuel types

This graphic is from the Energy Advice booklet which has been put together by the project team; comparing prices of various sources of fuel. It is interesting to note the range of prices paid for wood, making it potentially both the cheapest and the most expensive form of heating. Where as fuels like oil adn gas come with a known and uniform energy content, wood is most often than not sold at an unknown weight and moisture level, meaning the energy value content is also unknown.Another key consideration with burning wood is the efficiency of the appliance it is being burned in and there are many new appliances and systems for heating your house from wood now than ever before.

There will energy advisors on hand at Ysgol Llanrhaeadr, on Thursday evem 7-9 where you can find out much more.


We have received a very interesting and useful letter from the planning department with advice on planning requirements for installing renwable energy generation in conservation areas, such the village of Llanrhaeadr. It contains some useful links and is essentail reading for anyone in the conservation area who wants to understand the planning aroun dusing installing technologies like solar panels in conservation areas.

cf view

Listed building in Herefordshire

Guidelines for renewable enegy in conservation areas PDF document

This historic building in Herefordshire installed a large solar array at ground level, as the listing on the building didn’t them allow to use the roof.


Ground mounted solar array


Presentation on home energy efficiency

Workshop presentation 1st March 2012 LEAF project

Click on the link above to download the presentation shown by Nicole Solomons earlier this month, on the key ideas and technologies for energy efficient buildings. Nicole of Sustainable Buildings is an energy expert with the bulk of her experience on working with historic buildings. There are many new materials on the market, appropriate for use in specific circumstances as well as opportunites to combine older and new materials to achieve the much higher standards expected in modern buildings.

The project is also undertaking some solid wall insulation work on a house in the village, to illustrate the possibilities of combining new breathable, organic materials with standard materials. The house we are working on is owned by a fully mutual housing cooperative, with the specific aim of offering affordable, eco-efficient housing. It is a combined 500 year old farm house, with a modern breeze block extension. There are significant issues of cold, damp and poor ventilation as well as insufficient insulation. We hope, with a budget of £20,000 to be able to transform the internal conditions of this buildings to a much higher level and in doing so illustrate what is possible for people to achieve in their own homes. Details of this work will be published here on completion.


Here is an fun animation from the Centre for Alternative Technology, looking about the possibilities of working towards a Zero Carbon Britian. How are the ways we use energy in our homes and for transport likely to change? Dependence on oil and gas is the cause of both climate change and is the reason for rising energy costs; developing our infrastructure to use energy much more carefully and efficiently seems an imperative. Energy efficiency is the gift that keeps on giving!

Here is a leading oil geologist talking about Peak Oil. Typically it is the long seerving senior oil geolgists, with a perspective of the whole industry who can best understand what is currently happening in the world oil industry.
World production of oil has been flat since 2006, this is pushing prices ever higher and putting increasing pressure on economies around the world. Colin Campbell is a very clear and thoughful voice, expressing a deep concern for our energy futures. we would be wise to listen carefully.

There are several really good leading writers and thinkers talking about our energy future, here ar some links to some key Websites and talks.
Peak Oil how big is the risk? indistry task force report from 2008

Richard Heinberg, is a leading writer and speaker on the subject. Here is a short clip of him speaking on the subject of Peak Oil.

New energy project for Llanrhaeadr YM


Free energy audit poster

This brand new local initiatve has come about quickly in response to a government energy programme known as LEAF, the Local Energy Action Fund. The aim of this fund is to support communities to take the initiative to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that meet the needs of their community. We only heard about this opportunity in the New Year and the deadline for applications was Jan 22nd, so we had to move quite quickly. All projects have to be completed by March 31st 2012, so most this this part of the initiative will be happening over Feb and March.

The aim of the project is to offer informed and impartial advice on energy efficiency and alternatives, it is not linked to sales and there is absolutely no commitment.

It been initiated by a local social enterprise: Permanent Housing Cooperative, who are working with local sustainability consultants Sector39 and Sustainable Buildings to deliver this project. See the More about this project page for more info.

This Website and blog will publicise the project and share the results and findings.

Energy prices are set to rise and rise
Noone has a crystal ball but in all likelihood energy prices will continue to rise faster than inflation as global demand is high for oil and gas – our main sources of energy and of course they are finite resources and are getting harder to extract all the time. As well as supply pressures there is of course a lot of pressure for people everywhere to reduce their carbon emissions because of the impact on the environment.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change are providing a new fund which is available to communities in England and Wales who are playing an active role in the development of a low carbon society. Money is available to finance projects that increase understanding and uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and help to make energy supply secure and affordable for everyone in your community.

This programme is part of an on going process to support the transition to more sustasinable energy use/

As a local social enterprise with a background of work with the Centre for Alternative Technology and the Permaculture Association, Permanent Housing Co-operative hope to be able to make a useful contribution to the community of Llanrhaeadr YM via this project.

Energy priorities
Energy advice generally follows the following hierarchy of importance:

1. Insulate, use the energy that you have as efficiently as you can,
Make sure you thermostat works and you know how to use it etc.

2. Upgrade to the best appliances possible. Make sure you are using the most efficient appliances, eg. central heating boilers, water heating, washing machines, fridges etc.

3. Generate. Once you have considered the first two options, then it is time to think about installing energy generation technologies like solar water heating, solar PV, and biomass heating.

The government will be offering grant schemes over the coming year to support all three of these strategies.Hopefully this initiaitve will be part of process whereby we can move towards a much more sustainable energy footing over the coming years.

Efficient use of energy and more local generation from clean and sustainable sources will make Llanrhaeadr YM much more resilient to changes in global energy markets whilst keeping  costs affordable.