The Green Revolution is here. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals call for climate action, affordable and clean energy, and sustainable cities and communities by 2030. In addition, the UK government has committed to achieving its Net Zero target by 2050, and people everywhere are waking up to the need to protect our planet. Yet, for many, the choice to go green isn’t a simple one. While small swaps like plastic toothbrushes to bamboo are relatively cheap and easy to achieve, installing renewable energy at home, for example, can be prohibitively expensive. For customers who want to reduce their carbon footprint, access to finance is a gamechanger.
Green Energy and Renewables
Around 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions comes from our homes, according to the Energy Savings Trust. With average dual-fuel energy bills coming in at £1,100 per year, homeowners are keen to leverage the cost-saving benefits of renewable energy, as well as doing their bit for the environment.
Several types of green energy solutions can be installed in residential properties. They include:
- Solar panels/solar heating systems
- Biomass boilers
- Air source heat pumps
- Wind turbines
- Energy (or battery) storage system
The Cost of Installing Renewables
The majority of people would agree that the initial financial outlay of renewables is a worthwhile investment, but that doesn’t mean they want to (or can afford to) pay upfront.
A mid-range solar panel installation on the roof of the average UK home costs around £5,000, a domestic biomass boiler about the same, and an air source heat pump can be double that. Figures from HIES indicate that domestic wind turbines range from £3,000 for a small roof-mounted turbine to nearer £20,000 for a freestanding version.
Off-setting the costs
Despite the initial expense, the domestic market for renewables is growing. This is because there are ways to off-set the costs of green energy, including:
- Green Homes Grant – a government voucher for up to £5,000 that covers up to two-thirds of the cost of energy-efficient home improvements (or £10,000 and 100% of costs for homeowners in receipt of certain benefits)
- Access to finance – empowering customers to buy now, pay later or spread the cost
- Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) – which allows you to sell excess energy to the National Grid
Access to Finance
Having access to finance helps people to meet their green goals. Without it, upgrading to low carbon alternatives must be paid for with a lump sum from personal savings, which deters people from reaching a purchasing decision.
Spreading the cost of green home improvements and renewables is a popular choice because, once installed, homeowners see cost-savings on their monthly heating/ energy bills. The alternative is paying for installation upfront, then waiting years for a return on investment.
Types of finance available include:
- Buy now pay later
Providing your customers with access to finance enables them to press ‘go’ on going green.