Rishi Sunak yesterday announced a £2bn grant scheme for energy efficiency and home improvement measures such as cavity wall insulation, low energy lighting, low carbon heating and double glazing. Comera Energy are always delighted to see investment in making UK homes greener and more energy efficient, but this announcement could also have exciting implications for Solar PV.
In short, the more energy efficient your home is, the more economic and environmental sense Solar PV makes. In fact, under the former Feed-In-Tariff scheme, homes were only eligible for energy generation subsidies if their home had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least D (58 points). In an energy efficient building, you might expect to recoup your initial investment in 8-10 years, leaving another 15-20 years of effectively ‘free’ electricity.
While the average EPC of UK homes is a fairly solid D, this masks big variations in the housing stock, with new properties averaging B (80 points) and older properties often scoring lower. The government’s new scheme, which can fund up to two thirds of upgrades to the energy performance of owned homes, will likely go a long way towards narrowing this gap and making Solar PV viable for more properties.
For owners or landlords looking to improve their EPC rating using this scheme, solar power itself can actually increase a property’s EPC score by 5-10 points and so can be a valuable addition to any home improvement scheme.
Richard Percival is the lead consultant at Comera Energy. For years, he has worked alongside homeowners and construction professionals to help them maximise energy efficiency and reduce power costs. If you’ve got a question about energy efficiency or Solar PV, he’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch here.