This is a guest article for the BoilerJuice Home Heating Oil Blog written by Graham McCormack
The UK Government has recently made a remarkable announcement that will benefit thousands of people concerned with the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI). Previously the scheme was only aimed at commercial and public businesses but from the beginning of 2014 the same scheme will now also benefit home owners throughout the UK and Ireland too. This is the first scheme of it’s kind throughout the whole world. As well as introducing the scheme for domestic building there will also be a change in the way larger heating technologies receive their tariff.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – what is it?
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was originally set up in 2011 to benefit people who relied upon alternative heating / renewable energy to heat their property or work place.
The changes announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) include: a) the full range of waste feed-stocks will be affected b) combustion over 200kW c) an increase in tariffs for the larger type of biomass boiler d) the addition of biomass combined heat and power boilers d) a modified tariff to help boost biomass deployment
So what prompted this change?
The scheme was first released back in 2011 but due to low level uptake from the targeted sectors, namely the public, not for profit and industrial, complaints were made – particularly by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), on how it was performing overall and how slow the scheme was in the uptake. Several complaints were made by a variety of bodies including the Renewable Energy Association (REA) which forced the Government to rethink it’s strategy. The minister for Climate Change, Greg Barker, said: “It is vital that we get the level of support right so that the market can invest with confidence, cost reductions can be achieved and the market can grow sustainably.”
Time for a rethink to the RHI scheme
After an initial review of the scheme and who it benefits it was decided initially to look at the areas that already benefit from it. Sectors such as the commercial, not for profit and other non-domestic who would make use of air / ground source heat pumps, bio-propane, energy from waste such as landfill gas and also users of larger biomass boilers were due for scrutiny. However, it soon became clear that further changes would be required should the RHI scheme really take off.
The new scheme now addresses domestic property, that’ s you and I, and will be known as the ‘Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme’ and be applicable to products installed by MCS approved companies and this in part was thanks due to efforts of Grant Engineering, one of the biggest manufacturers of heating products such as oil condensing boilers (which are also included in the revised scheme), throughout the UK and Ireland, to lobby the secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Rt. Hon, Edward Davey MP. Grant Engineering said:
“This is an exciting and ground breaking step forward in legislation and has only been possible with a great deal due diligence from
Grant and swift resolution and communication from the government body, DECC”
The CEO of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogass Association (ADB) Charlotte Morton welcomes the changes to the RHI scheme, particularly biogass projects, she says:
“This is something we have long called for. It is good that those which do not make use of heat at all should now be supported.”
The changes also earned praise from Dr Nina Skorupska who said:
“Although the scheme has under-performed in its first two years, the Government deserves credit for listening to the industry’s concerns and implementing many of the necessary changes. Mixed messages from the Government have unnerved many in the renewable energy sector lately, so the RHI announcement gives a timely boost the green economy.”