The renewable energy heating scheme has been snapped up in Scotland as hundreds of households have already applied for vouchers to help them install renewable heat systems.

Renewable products such as wood-fuelled boilers and heat pumps have proved particularly popular in the scheme’s early stages and 15% of voucher requests have come from Scotland. This is despite the fact that Scotland only makes up 8% of the UK’s population.

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme (RHPP) was launched in August and so far 3,704 vouchers have been issued throughout the UK.

Scottish homes are responsible for 560 of these, with a maximum value of £1,250 being issued by the Energy Saving Trust. Homes can apply for any renewable heat system and the voucher is then discounted off the price.

Mark Thornton, director of the Scottish Energy Saving Trust, says: “We’re very pleased by the high take up we have had in Scotland for the RHPP scheme.

“It shows that homeowners in Scotland are determined to make their homes more cosy and energy efficient. I think many of us are worried about the costs of greening our homes which is where this voucher scheme really helps.

“Many more households in Scotland could benefit from this scheme, but they need to be quick. They only have until March 31 2012 to complete the application process. It’s the perfect way to meet the double whammy of rising fuel bills and cold winters.”

Wood-fuelled boilers have led the way in popularity and account for 32% of Scotland’s applications. Because wood is a far more affordable heating fuel than gas or electricity, homeowners will be able to make up the initial installation costs in fuel savings.

Around 7.5 tonnes of carbon emissions can be saved with a wood-fuelled boiler, which makes it great for the environment too.

The RHPP is specifically targeted at homes not currently on the main gas grid. These properties have to rely on expensive forms of heating such as oil and electric fires to keep warm. Both forms of heating are notorious for their expense and high level of carbon emissions, which is what the government is intending to clamp down on.