Renewable energy and planning

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The following questions and answers are designed to offer advice about the planning permission required for renewable energy devices. If you need additional help, you can:

You can also read our leaflets on renewable energy and conservation.

1. Can I install a device for renewable energy?

The location of your house and the specific location of the device is what makes the difference between you needing planning permission or not.

Please contact our customer service team for advice on 01629 816 200 or

Devices that may not need planning permission:

  • Solar thermal panels (under 200mm depth and installed at the rear)
  • Solar photovoltaic panels
  • Ground source heat pumps (within a garden)
  • Water source heat pumps (within a garden)
  • Biomass boilers (with a low flue and installed at the rear)

Devices that always need planning permission:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Anaerobic digesters
  • Small-scale hydroelectric schemes
  • Wind turbines

2. What if I live in a conservation area or in a listed building?

Please contact our customer service team on 01629 816 200 or email

3. Are there any grants to help me pay the installation costs?

The government offers a scheme called the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP). Phase 2 of this scheme will run until 31 March 2014. Funding is also available for registered social landlords to improve their housing stock. The scheme is run by the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the government.

Find out more on the Energy Saving Trust website.

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