Solar left out of Green Deal cash back

Neither solar PV nor thermal will qualify for the £125 million cash back scheme the government is launching to kick-start its flagship Green Deal initiative.

Both technologies are in the list of 45 energy efficiency measures qualifying under the Green Deal, but because they also receive subsidy under the feed-in tariff the government said they would be omitted from the cash back scheme.

Announced in October, the first-come-first-served £125 million cash back will enable the first Green Deal participants to claim back varying amounts of money for the particular energy efficient technologies they choose to install.

The money has been made available to kick-start the Green Deal when it launches later this month. There have been suggestions in the countdown to the launch that the public is unaware of the initiative and that take up will therefore be limited.

New details of the scheme published today by the Department for Energy and Climate Change reveal the cash back rates that will be available for different technologies.

The largest amount of £650 will be available for solid wall insulation, followed by £390 for flat roof insulation. There will be no cap on cash back payments, meaning Green Deal customers could claim packages worth over £1,000.

Although solar will not be included in the cash back, the government hopes the Green Deal will bring together the energy efficiency and domestic micro-generation markets.

To qualify for the standard solar Fit rates homeowners’ properties must be energy efficiency level D or higher; anything lower than this means a lower Fit rate. This means it will be in the interest of households wanting to install solar and benefit fully from the Fit also to invest in better energy efficiency.

A DECC source said companies specialising in solar installation were already showing an interest in becoming accredited Green Deal installers because of the synergies the initiative is expected to forge between the two markets.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said he hoped the Green Deal would make the UK a “petri dish” of innovation for developing energy efficient technologies.

“We want UK to become most exciting place in Europe to do develop energy efficiency products,” he said.