Highest number of renewables installed in UK homes since 2015

timber small home with six solar panels
More and more British homes are turning to solar panels and other renewable energy technologies (Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Record numbers of renewable technology installation took place across the UK in 2022, according to new research.

There was a 65% increase on 2021, according to the latest data from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), the standards organisation for home grown renewable energy.

In 2022, a total of 163,341 installations were registered, over 80% of which were electricity generating technologies, mainly solar panels. This marks the highest annual deployment since 2015, when just over 200,000 installations were registered.

There was a substantial growth of solar panel installations in 2022. A total of 130,596 solar PV installations took place, more than double 2021 numbers, while heat pumps also saw a significant rise with more than 30,000 installations of air source heat pumps and ground/water source technologies.

March 2022 saw the largest spike in installing air source heat pumps of any month, which aligned with the closure of the UK Government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, according to the research.

Battery storage, devices that enable energy from renewables, like solar and wind, to be stored and then released when customers need power most, saw a steady growth. There were 269 installations from 50 certified contractors – in 2021 there were just two registered contractors.

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, says the growth in domestic renewable electricity systems over the past year shows the growing consumer reliance on home-grown energy in the UK during the cost-of-living crisis.

“The future of small-scale renewable installations is becoming increasingly important,” he said. “As electricity prices skyrocket, more people are turning to renewable solutions to generate their own power at home.

““Looking ahead, we need to drive this momentum and upward mobility at pace and continue to ensure consumer confidence across all technology types. To support this and ensure government targets are met, more skilled contractors are needed.

“The expansion of UK renewables shows no signs of slowing.”

MCS is launching a Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship later this year to attract young people to the industry.

What grants are available for renewable energy?

There are a number of renewable energy grants currently available to bring down the price of renewables in a bid to make them more accessible for UK households. We have a couple of comprehensive guides to help see what funding is available: with our solar panels grants guide and heat pump grants guide.

Heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems such as biomass boilers and solar thermal panels can help to lower long-term energy bills, compared with natural gas boilers, but they tend to cost more to install. 

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.