Home grants Earn Cash by Making Your Own Energy

If your home is as well-insulated and energy efficient as it can be, consider generating your own energy and getting paid for it.

Thinking of installing a renewable technology, such as solar? You'll not only cut your bills, but you can also earn money. Read on to find out more. 

Producing your own energy using ‘green’ renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar power is called microgeneration.

Most microgeneration technologies are expensive to install, but there are two schemes that can help with the cost by offering long-term payments in return for you generating your own energy. The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) replace grants that until 2010 were previously provided through the government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

In Northern Ireland, support for renewables is available through the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation Certificate (NIROC).

Thinking of installing solar panels? Make sure you choose efficient, good-quality panels using our guide to the best solar panel brands.

Feed-in Tariffs

If you generate your own electricity using renewable technology, the Feed-in Tariffs' generation tariff will guarantee you payments for the electricity you produce. You qualify for payments if you're using renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, freestanding or roof-mounted wind turbines, or small hydroelectric plants.

In addition, any electricity you don't use can be sold back to the national grid (known as the export tariff). You'll also save money on your energy bills by not using mains electricity.

To qualify for FIT payments, your installer and the microgeneration equipment has to be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). To find out more, read our Feed-in Tariffs guide.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The RHI scheme is similar to FIT, but is for heat-generating renewable technologies such as solar thermal panels and heat pumps.

If you own these technologies, you can get a guaranteed payment for every unit of heat generated. Plus, you'll benefit from savings on your heating bill. But since heat can't be sold to other users, there's no equivalent to the FITs export tariff.

For a detailed guide to the RHI, see RHI explained