Solar water heating for home owners have been supported as part of the Clear Skies programme, which had a £13.25 million budget over three years beginning January 2003. To date over 5,500 household installations of solar water heating have been completed. We are continuing to support solar water heating, along with other microgeneration technologies, through the Low Carbon Buildings programme with a £80 million budget over the next three years.
Since 2003, we have seen the installer base grow from approximately 80 to over 300 companies. Solar water heating is now a proven and commercial technology and we hope to see payback times reduce as economies of scale emerge in the supply chain, providing further benefits to householders. We also believe the Low Carbon Buildings programme will build on the achievements of the last three years and make a contribution to helping the industry move to a more sustainable market.