If winter is making temperatures drop to frigid levels where you live, you’re likely grateful for a functioning home furnace … but dreading the...

If winter is making temperatures drop to frigid levels where you live, you’re likely grateful for a functioning home furnace … but dreading the coming heating bills.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful not to have to worry about those, knowing that your home stays warm courtesy of nature’s free services?

Residents in 38 communities across the UK are enjoying just that knowledge today, having learned they were chosen for a £3 million government program that will help install solar thermal technology or heat pumps in their homes.

Part of Britain’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment program, the funding is designed to help people save money on heating bills while at the same time cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

“The money from this scheme will help install kit like solar thermal and heat pumps in around 1250 homes, helping householders reap the benefits of renewable heat,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.

Andy Deacon, the director for local delivery at the Energy Saving Trust, added, “Local communities are at the forefront of the scheme and will play a vital role in learning how community buying networks could help make renewable heating more affordable for millions of British households.”

Communities picked to receive funds for the program include East Yorkshire, Leicestershire, North Suffolk and Totnes, which is at the heart of the sustainability-focused Transition Towns movement.

Solar thermal heating uses the sun to warm up air or water, which is then circulated through a space to provide ambient heating. Heat pumps transfer heat from an underground, air or water source, and can be used to either warm or cool an indoor area.

Greenbang