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 such as heat pumps. There are also a range of renewable heating systems that can help make your home more energy efficient by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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.

There are different types of renewable energy – Energy Saving Trust have lots of helpful information to help you decide the best one for you, based on your home and lifestyle. Find out more about the main types of renewable energy and low and zero emissions heating systems below:

Solar – Harness the power of the sun to generate electricity and heat your water. Energy Saving Trust have lots of useful information solar heating

Wind – Generate your own electricity using small-scale wind turbines. A typical system in an exposed site can easily generate more power than your lights and electrical appliances use.

Ground – Ground source heat pumps use pipes which 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.

Air – Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.

Biomass – Wood-fuelled heating systems, also called biomass systems, burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers. 

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

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

Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government can also help you with free and impartial advice on loans, grants. The UK Governments 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. Contact them today on 0808 808 2282 to find out more.

A pile of eco fuel on fire

What support and funding is available to me?

The Renewable Heat Incentive aims to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies amongst householders, communities and businesses through financial incentives. You could receive quarterly cash payments over seven years if you install or have already installed an eligible renewable heating technology.

For more information on how to apply visit the Energy Saving Trust.