Social housing tenants are set to benefit from a new Government-run scheme, which has pledged £3 million to help cut rising bill costs. The funding will be put towards the installation of eco-heaters, including solar thermal panels.

As part of the £15 million Renewable Heat Premium Payment budget, registered providers of social housing, such as local authorities and social housing associations, will be able to bid for a share of £3 million to make home heating improvements to tenants’ homes.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said, “Improving and greening Britain's homes must make strong financial sense if we are to provide a real sustainable alternative to expensive old heating systems. If people choose to go green, they want to see real savings.

“This new programme is directly targeted at many of the people who will be struggling to pay their heating bills next winter. It will drive the take up of new heating technologies in social housing and help slash their dependence on big energy companies and expensive tariffs.

“In the face of rising gas and electricity bills, the Premium Payment scheme is a valuable way for people to get involved in energy generation at a local level, insulating them from volatile fossil fuel costs and ensuring homes are heated in a greener, more sustainable way.

“The Renewable Heat Incentive for householders will be up and running next year making it even more attractive to get involved.”‪‪‪

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust said, “The only way to tackle the energy efficiency of our housing stock is to make it possible for everyone in our society to take action, and low carbon heating systems are a major part of this. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme goes a step further in bringing these technologies to more households.”

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation said, “The National Housing Federation welcomes this specific allocation of £3 million from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment budget to assist social housing providers, such as housing associations to increase their use of renewable heating technologies and so to reduce emissions.”

Bids are now invited for funds of up to around £175,000 per housing provider to support proposals at least 17 social housing projects. The deadline for bids is September 15. The scheme will be managed by the Energy Saving Trust.