Energy company pays customers for green energyHouseholds with solar water heating to benefit

20 November 2009

Solar panels on a house

Solar panels should be mounted on a south-facing section of your roof 

Most of us are used to handing our money over to energy suppliers, but under a new scheme one energy company is now paying its customers.

The HotROCs scheme from Good Energy rewards customers who generate their own heat from solar water heating panels instead of from the company's gas or electricity supply. For every unit of heat (measured in kilowatt hours or kWh) households generate from their solar panels, they will receive 4.5p.

Find out more about wind and solar power, how to install a wind turbine and installing solar panels - including advice on which renewable energy technology is most suitable for your home. You can also find out the most energy efficient home appliances Which? has reviewed in our energy saving appliances review.

Payments for green energy

Good Energy says it doesn't directly measure individual levels of energy generation from each system, but will calculate payments to customers (made every six months) on the basis of the system's expected performance, taking into account influences such as the angle and orientation of your solar installation, geographical latitude and the capacity of your solar thermal panels.

The scheme, which is funded by sales of gas, currently covers solar water heating only only, but the Good Energy says it is researching ways to extend this to include heat pumps, biomass and micro-CHP. To find out more about these technologies, check out the Which? guide to home heating systems and our solar panel buying guide.

If you are interested in a green electricity tariff, try our Which? Switch site to compare and switch greener energy tariffs.

Good Energy launches gas supply

Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport said: 'The launch of our gas products has been really successful and we have increased our number of solar thermal generating customers to 270, each saving on average half a tonne of CO2.

'We always knew we couldn't just launch a standard gas product after years of only selling 100% renewable electricity, but wanted to meet customer demand. This is the first, and the only, renewable heat incentive offered by any supplier. We have set a benchmark for the industry and for Government while also financially supporting our customers to reduce their own emissions.'

The government is planning to introduce a national incentive scheme, called the Renewable Heat Incentive, in Spring 2011. This will mean all energy suppliers have to reward customers generating their own heat. A similar system, known as the Feed-in Tariff, will be launched for home generators of electricity in 2010.

Energy supplier customer satisfaction

We didn't receive enough responses from Good Energy customers to rate them in the Which? Switch satisfaction survey. However, customers can compare and switch to all of Good Energy's tariffs using our free, independent energy switching service, Which? Switch.

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