What is the Warm Homes Fund?
The Warm Homes Fund (WHF) is a £150million fund provided by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) across England, Scotland and Wales. It is primarily designed to incentivise the installation of affordable heating solutions in households who do not use mains gas as their primary heating fuel. Installations of Air Source Heat Pumps under this scheme are also eligible for incentives under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI).
The DRHI is a government financial payment to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems that use eligible energy sources can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions and meet its renewable energy targets.
Renewable heating can be expensive to install, but, in the right properties the potential savings on fuel costs or energy bills - combined with DRHI payments - can make renewable heating systems an attractive investment. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has introduced an option to help householders and/or landlords access finance to overcome the barrier of the upfront cost of a renewable heating system. This is called “Assignment of Rights” (AoR). This option allows an “investor” to help fund the purchase, installation and maintenance, of a household or landlord’s renewable heating system. Households and landlords are then able to assign their DRHI payments to the investor, who is referred to in the DRHI Regulations as the “nominated” investor. Durham County Council are partnering with Pacifica Group who in turn have teamed up with an Ofgem approved investor. The contribution of the Warm Home Fund and the approved investor make the Air Source Heat Pumps and their installation free of charge to eligible households.
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) and Assignment of Rights
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is a payment made by the government to homeowners or landlords that install approved renewable heating systems, such as air source heat pumps. The payment is made to the homeowner or landlord on a quarterly basis over 7 years.
However, in order to receive the DRHI payments the homeowner or landlord must pay the upfront cost of the new heating system. This upfront cost is a significant barrier for many people. To overcome this barrier the government have introduced an option where an investor meets some or all of the cost of the installation of the heating system and in return the investor receives the DRHI payments, this scheme is known as “Assignment of Rights”.
In order to offer renewable heating systems to qualifying households free of charge, Durham County Council have partnered with Pacifica Group who in turn have teamed up with an approved Ofgem investor who will pay a proportion of the cost of your heating system and in return will receive ongoing DRHI payments.
If you wish to take up this offer you will need to sign a contract with the investor. Before you are asked to sign it, this contract will be fully explained to you. The explanation will include the returns the investor will receive from DRHI payments over the 7 year period.