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50% solar grants available for Solartwin trade customers using MCS solar installers

Filed under: Latest News

Solar news 1 November 2009.

“We anticipate a massive increase in trade orders for solar heating systems over the next 12 months, thanks to UK’s national solar heating regulators taking a brave decision to widen the solar market at a key meeting last month” commented Barry Johnston, Managing Director of Solar Twin Ltd, today. “Much of this growth will be in community sectors such as social housing, where we already have a £700k contract with a major social homes provider in the Midlands” he added.

“50% grants, sometimes even more than 50%, are now immediately available to trade customers of Solartwin solar water heating systems, provided that they are installed by MCS solar thermal installers.” he said.

For information, UK’s two main solar grant pots for community and social projects are:

Apply now – before the pots run dry! Technically speaking, all Solartwin installations are now grant eligible. These include (a) thermal stores as well as (b) retrofits to existing hot water cylinders. This second group has just been added to the eligibility list.

Who are “MCS solar thermal installers”?   They are certified solar installers – who must be used, if customers are to be eligible for a grant. Names of those solar installers who have already been certified to the MCS standard are available here.

Barry Johnston, Managing Director of Solar Twin Ltd said today “My colleagues and I are delighted that Solartwin’s way of installing simple, safe, zero carbon solar water heating systems is now open for state aid in UK. As a business, we are hoping to be added to the MCS solar installers list in 2010 following an internal re-audit process by one of UK’s leading solar thermal experts and certifiers. Then we at Solar Twin Ltd will also be able to offer subsidies directly to our customers for installing solar installations which, because ours were safer than the industry norm on Legionella, had previously been excluded from grants by industry majority interests. Meanwhile we will be delighted to supply kits and dedicated Solartwin training packages to MCS installers right now. So if you already have a generic solar quote for solar heating from your local solar installer – please ask specifically for a Solartwin quote as well. Of course we will continue to discount all retail installations by £400 in lieu of grant until we achieve MCS installer certification.”

Summary of national trade grants:

Although some local grants exist (ask our local council or regional development agency), there are two main grant streams available for public sector organisations. On some projects you may be able to pair them up to provide 100% funding for your solar water heating heating project.

NATIONAL GOVERNMENT GRANTS FOR SOLAR

(Retail – the Low Carbon Buildings Programme funds domestic solar thermal hot water at £400 per system. You MUST have a quote from us before you apply. The grant is valid for 3 months only, so please ensure you will have the installation finished within this timeframe before you apply. This is paid directly to you after installation is complete.
)

LCBP PHASE 2 SOLAR GRANT ELIGIBILITY

The LCBP Phase 2 scheme provides £50 million of capital grant funding for the installation of various microgeneration technologies – including solar water heating by organisations in the UK public and not-for-profit sectors, including local authorities, housing associations, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, public service organisations and registered charities.

We will always assist you with the grant application process. The process of obtaining grants is usually straightforward with funds being awarded on a first come first served basis.

In most cases, applicants are notified of decisions within 7 working days of submitting an application.

COMMUNITY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROGRAMME

The Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP) provides £8 million to community-based organisations for the installation of microgeneration technologies, such as solar panels. CSEP is an open grants programme run by BRE as an award partner of the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

CSEP SOLAR GRANT ELIGIBILITY

Grants are accessible for those who purchase and install solar hot water systems as well as a range of other technologies.

Organisations can apply for up to £50,000 or 50% of the project fees, depending on which is lower. The scheme is open to not-for-profit community based organisations that come under one of the following categories:

  • Community groups with a governing document.
  • Registered charities and trusts.
  • Parish councils; schools and colleges.
  • Companies that have a charitable purpose and a strong community focus (e.g. companies limited by guarantee, social enterprises, community interest companies, where any surpluses are mainly reinvested for community benefit).
  • Mutual societies.
  • Church and faith based organisations.

CSEP APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

The scheme is competitive and has quarterly application deadlines. Applications are judged by a panel who asses whether the project displays the relevant objectives of the scheme.

SCHEME CLOSING DATE

The CSEP scheme will to close to new applications in 2010. Successful applicants will have twelve months from receiving a grant offer to complete their installation, so it’s essential that projects are completed by 2011.


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