Using energy at home

A small wind turbine on top of a house

To reach net zero by 2045 we need to move from high emissions heating systems that use fossil fuels, such as gas central heating, to low and zero emissions systems or renewable home heating systems. This doesn’t just help the planet, it can also lower your energy bills. Plus there could be support and funding available to help you take action.

An illustration of tow adults and a child dancing in a green house, with plants all around and a person's hand with a pen drawing a line.

Renewable energy for your home

There are many different ways to make renewable energy at home. You can find out more about the main types of renewable energy and low and zero emissions heating systems below.

Air source heat pumps – These absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used in your home to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems, and hot water. Air source heat pumps are suitable for many types of homes and are the most common type of domestic heat pump.

Ground source heat pumps – Pipes are buried in your garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems, and hot water in your home. To install a ground source heat pump you don’t necessarily need a large space, but you will need ground near your home suitable for digging trenches or drilling boreholes.

Heat Networks – These are a form of infrastructure consisting of insulated pipes and heat generation, which supplies heat (in the form of hot water or steam) to homes and non-domestic premises, such as businesses and the public sector. To find out more visit: https://www.gov.scot/policies/renewable-and-low-carbon-energy/heat-networks/

Solar energy for your home – By installing solar panels you can generate your own renewable energy. Solar panels work by capturing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity that you can use in your home. Energy Saving Trust provides useful information on solar heating, including the space you’ll need.

Wind energy for your home – Make your own electricity using small-scale wind turbines. When the wind blows, the blades spin around, driving a turbine that generates electricity. A typical system in an exposed site can easily generate more power than your lights and electrical appliances use.

Hydroelectricity – Hydro technology uses running water to generate electricity, whether it’s a small stream or a larger river, and can produce enough electricity for all the lighting and electrical appliances in an average home.  

 

What’s the best renewable energy for my home?

There are many renewable technologies available, each with their own benefits and considerations. Different technologies will suit different homes and people. Home Energy Scotland have lots of helpful information to help you decide the best one for you, based on your home and lifestyle – you can even have a specialist advisor visit your home to assess its energy performance and explain what options might best suit: https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/make-greener-choices-at-home-on-the-go/

You can also use Energy Saving Trust’s Home Renewables Selector tool to see which technologies could be suitable for your property.

For free and impartial advice on loans and grants to help you go greener at home and reduce fuel bills, you can call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. The UK Government’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) may also be available to suitable applicants, offering a tariff to compensate small-scale low-carbon generators for any excess electricity exported to the national grid.

A pile of eco fuel on fire

What support and funding is available to me?

For free and impartial advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home, and , including available funding and support, you can call the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 or visit https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/find-funding-grants-and-loans/.

The UK Government’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) may also be available to suitable applicants, offering a tariff to compensate small-scale low-carbon generators for any excess electricity exported to the national grid.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) is a UK Government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat, which can help reduce carbon emissions and meet the UK’s renewable energy targets.  The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (DRHI) in Great Britain has now closed. The DRHI closed to new applicants including metering and monitoring service package applications at midnight on 31 March 2022. Only applications following a change of ownership can be made now that the scheme has closed.

Read Ofgem’s Change of ownership for more information.