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Renewable Heat Incentive: Now Available For Domestic Properties

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is what the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) call the first step to transforming the way we heat our homes.

The government scheme provides financial support for renewable heat which targets primarily, but is not limited to, off gas grid households. The scheme supports the installation of air source heat pumps, biomass systems, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal technologies, and support is paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced for seven years to the owner of the technology.

The tariffs available vary depending on the technology installed, and are paid in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh). The current tariffs available are 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps, 12.2p/kWh for biomass systems, 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps, and 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal technologies.

All installations must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and the scheme will cover single domestic dwellings with eligible technology installed since 15th July 2009. New build properties other than self-build will not qualify for RHI.

Greg Barker, Minister of State (DECC), said in the government’s namesake publication “We have sought to develop a scheme that is sustainable and delivers renewable heat in the most cost-effective way, learning from past experience.”

An additional incentive is also available for applicants who install metering and monitoring service packages. This incentive currently stands at £230 per year for heat pumps and £200 per year for biomass boilers, and is similar to a service contract where the installer will be able to view measured data from their system over the internet. The intention is to encourage peace of mind in the customer that the technology is working as expected, and to enable the installer to improve performance and diagnose common problems.

Mr Barker continued: “Renewable energy and energy efficiency go hand in hand, which is why it is so important that the RHI works alongside the Green Deal. Renewable heating technologies work best in an energy efficient home, and reducing the size of the heating demand in each house means we can support more households through the RHI.”

Over time as threshold figures are reached, a system of degression will be introduced to control costs. This, put simply, is a reduction in tariffs, and further details will be announced in Autumn including whether an overall cap will be introduced

Green Deal: New £20M Communities Scheme Launched

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently announced the launch of the new Green Deal Communities scheme designed to drive Green Deal installations on a street-by-street basis.

The idea behind Green Deal Communities is to encourage local authorities to identify the areas within their own regions that will benefit the most from the Green Deal, and then offer households within these areas incentives to encourage them to install energy efficient products. The authorities can then use these incentives as part of their bids for funding.

Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said: “If we are going to deliver the Green Deal at a real scale then we need a street-by-street vision and a ‘street-by-street’ plan!”

The Green Deal Communities scheme boasts £20 million to help households benefit from the Green Deal, and local authorities will be able to bid for funding from the pot. DECC will assess all of the bids made, and to enable authorities to make strong bids bidding will be available until 31st December 2013, or until the funds are exhausted.

Greg Barker continued: “The Coalition is committed to helping hard pressed consumers and this £20 million funding will help more families benefit from the Green Deal, making homes warmer and more efficient, and protecting consumers against rising energy bills.”

In addition to Green Deal Communities it was also announced that Newcastle City Council has launched Warm Up North, a £200 million energy efficiency scheme set to benefit up to 50,000 households and businesses. A Green Deal Provider Forum has also been established to look at ways of supporting the Green Deal. The forum will be chaired by the Group CEO of Kingfisher Plc, Ian Cheshire, and will be supported by the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body.