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HIES Blog

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 Launched 28th January 2013

This week the Government launched its new renewable energy initiative, The Green Deal.

Designed to encourage home owners to modify their properties to increase their energy performance, The Green Deal is hyped as the next big thing. It officially launched on Monday 28th January 2013, and has already featured on the BBC and in the Guardian.

Under the Green Deal, properties can be assessed for ‘measures’ to be installed and financed by a government endorsed loan. The loan is attached to the customer’s energy bills and stays with the property, so should the customer decide to move the outstanding balance can either be paid off during the transaction or transferred to the new property owner.

To qualify for Green Deal the proposed results of the improvements must outweigh the costs, something more regularly referred to as ‘The Golden Rule’. The Golden Rule is there to ensure a customer doesn’t end up paying more than they did before the measures were installed, however it doesn’t guarantee savings. Green Deal Assessments are based on assumptions and some customers may only break even.

There are 45 measures available to help improve properties energy efficiency, and these include everything from small improvements like boiler jackets and draft excluders, to the larger installations of wind turbines and solar panels.

The process to complete a Green Deal Plan is fairly straightforward:-

1.Arrange an assessment with an approved Green Deal Provider.

2.A survey is completed on your property by an approved Green Deal Assessor, who then reports on the measures that could be installed to increase your current energy efficiency.

3.The Provider will make an application for finance, and an approved Green Deal Installer will install the measures required.

4.The customer repays the finance through their current energy bills.

For more information on The Green Deal visit www.greendealorb.co.uk or call 0300 123 1234.

 

Home Insulation and Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES)

The Home Insulation and Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES) has been launched to protect consumers when buying Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation and other energy efficient products.

All HIES members go through a comprehensive accreditation procedure, which includes: undergoing a five point credit and background check, supplying a minimum of 10 customer and 3 supplier names and addresses who can be independently approached for references, and providing proof that they carry employers and public liability insurance, amongst many other checks. Members also agree to be continually vetted to ensure consumers are satisfied throughout the buying, installation and after sales process and companies installing Feed In Tariff generated products (FITs) will also be MCS and REAL registered.

HIES puts the consumer first, and all homeowners using an accredited member of the Scheme will receive deposit and work in progress protection, insurance backed guarantees, and FREE access to professional mediators, independent inspectors and a legally binding dispute resolution service via The Ombudsman.

To protect consumers further, the HIES Compensation Fund will pay out all bona fide claims to compensate homeowners where installers fail to live up to their promises and The Ombudsman rules in their favour.

HIES is the only scheme to give consumers this advanced level of protection.

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