South leads the way for adoption of renewables 

MCS has revealed which areas of England had the most certified installations of heat pumps and solar panels in 2023.

In a year marked by green innovation, Cornwall has emerged as the frontrunner in renewable energy installations, with a whopping 4,890 projects!

In a year marked by innovation, Cornwall led the way with 4,890 installations, but South Cambridgeshire boasted the highest percentage of homes with installations at 2.42%. England’s top 5 performing areas were Cornwall, South Cambridgeshire, Winchester, South Hams, and South Norfolk. 

Following this, according to MCS, the South emerged as the leader in renewable energy installations in England in 2023. In addition to leading in overall numbers, Cornwall’s installations had a significant annual generation capacity of over 37mWh. Since 2008, there have been 36,081 certified installations in Cornwall, which is about 1.92% of households. It also led in the number of heat pump installations, with 1,555. 

Highest number in the country

South Cambridgeshire saw 1,619 certified installations in 2023, accounting for 2.42% of households. A remarkable 84% of its installations were solar PV, with 1,377 households opting for solar power, the highest number in the country. 

Winchester enjoyed its best year for installations, with 1,083 total, representing 2.09% of households. It recorded 953 solar PV installations, placing it second in the country for solar uptake, with 1.84% of households having solar installations. 

South Hams and South Norfolk also demonstrated strong performance, with 2.05% and 1.97% of households with renewable installations, respectively, showcasing the growing adoption of renewable technology across the region. 

MCS’s data indicated a 32% increase in small-scale renewable installations across England in 2023, with nearly 175,000 new installations. This brings the total count to 1,378,870, or over 5.7% of households, though still trailing behind Wales and Scotland. 

Nine cups of tea a day for a year

Positive policy developments in 2023 aimed to encourage further the uptake of renewable technology in England, notably the increase in grant value for air and ground/water source heat pumps under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). The average weekly applications for BUS vouchers saw a substantial rise following the government’s announcement, highlighting the scheme’s impact on renewable energy adoption. 

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, said: “It has been an interesting year for the adoption of renewables in England, with Cornwall leading the way and topping the table. Based on the total number of installations, these produced an estimated annual generation of over 37mWh, which is enough energy to make each person in Cornwall nine cups of tea daily for a year. 

“We are optimistic for the year ahead, which will be supported by some key policy drivers including the increase in BUS grant values and the removal of VAT from renewables. Both of these make the technologies more accessible and affordable for homeowners across the UK.”