Headlines: January 12th, 2009

Schools, hospitals and charity organisations have been given a New Year reminder that they have only until June to apply for grants through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. The money can be used to install green energy generating equipment like solar panels, wind turbines or biomass boilers. Homeowners have an additional 12 months to take advantage of the scheme.

Since the launch of the Programme in 2006 more than 10 million pounds has been allocated to almost 8,000 householders and in total almost 12,000 projects have been awarded grants. The Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation Minister, Lord Hunt, said he was particularly pleased that 367 schools had been given money.

“Not only do schools have the opportunity to cut fuel bills by generating their own energy, but pupils can learn about climate change,” he said. Sandwich Technology School in Kent, for example, received nine thousand pounds to install a wind turbine.

Lord Hunt said that as well as the grants the Government had introduced new laws so that people who installed their own energy generating kit would soon be able to claim money for the electricity or heat they produced.

The Low Carbon Buildings Programme is complemented by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, which aims to build a sustainable microgeneration industry based on quality and reliability as a way to build consumer confidence. That scheme is growing and there are now 169 certified installers with 450 companies registered to become installers.