The South leads for adoption of renewables in England last year


MCS, the UK’s quality assurance Scheme for small-scale renewable installations has revealed which areas of England had the most certified installations of heat pumps and solar panels in 2023. Cornwall led the way for renewable tech installations with 4,890 across the year, but South Cambridgeshire is the region with the highest percentage of homes with installations at 2.42%.

Top 5 performing areas in England:

  • Cornwall
  • South Cambridgeshire
  • Winchester
  • South Hams
  • South Norfolk

The south led the way for renewable energy installations in England in 2023, according to new data from MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), the quality assurance Scheme for small-scale domestic renewable energy and technology across the UK.

Cornwall had the most installations of any local authority area in England with 4,890 in total, its second-best year to date. In total, these produced an estimated annual generation of over 37mWh.

There have now been 36,081 certified installations in Cornwall since records began in 2008, representing an an estimated 1.92% of households. It also saw the highest number of heat pump installations of any region with 1,555.

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

Winchester, meanwhile, enjoyed its best year for installations with 1,083 in total, representing 2.09% of households in the area. It had 953 solar PV installations, placing it second in the country for all-time uptake as 1.84% of households now have solar installations.

2023 was also a positive year for South Hams, which now has 2.05% of households with renewable installations, making it currently the fourth highest local authority for all-time uptake.

The data from MCS revealed that, overall, nearly 175,000 small-scale renewables were installed across England in 2023, a 32% increase on 2022 that brings the nation’s all-time installation count to 1,378,870.

That represents over 5.7% of households with a certified renewable installation, placing it behind Wales and Scotland, which have 8.4% and 8.2% of households with installations respectively.

2023 was a positive year for policies designed to encourage further uptake of renewable technology in England, with the grant value for air source heat pumps and ground/water source heat pumps increasing from £5,000 to £7,500 under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).

A There was further good news in December with the announcement of an additional £1.5billion in funding for BUS until 2028, which will allow for an additional 200,000 vouchers for homeowners across England and Wales.

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, enough energy to make each person in Cornwall nine cups of tea a day 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 as well as the removal of VAT from renewables. Both of these makes the technologies more accessible and affordable for homeowners across the UK.”

The MCS Data Dashboard provides near-real-time dynamic visualisations of the uptake of small-scale renewable technologies across the UK, view here.