The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is making it easier for off-grid customers to make their homes less dependent on expensive fossil fuels. The incentive, called Renewable Heat Premium Payments, is a voucher for between £850 and £1250 when you install a certified biomass boiler, air-source heat pump or ground-source/water-source heat pump.
Conditions apply: you must have installed home insulation to a basic standard (ie, 250mm loft insulation, wall insulation where possible); the renewable heat system must be listed in the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and installed by an accredited supplier (check on the microgenerationcertification.org website - certificating microgeneration technologies used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources). You may also be asked to attach extra meters (at no charge) so that the scheme can be monitored.
The hitch of course is that these are expensive systems to install, and this premium payment only goes a little way to offsetting the very high cost. Furthermore, there will be no way to earn a generation income (the RHI Scheme) until October 2012 at the earliest. For most people the high cost will be out of reach. Even if it was affordable, would the money be better spent on a more efficient oil boiler or on Solar PV technology (with a potentially steady income)?
For more information, see the DECC Factsheet.