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Renewable heat incentive - consumers beware

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 February 2011 at 11:54 am

We're still waiting for the detail of the renewable heat incentive, and today the Renewable Energy Association has written to Chris Huhne (again), calling on him to publish the details without delay. But until he does, if you're considering installing solar hot water, a heat pump or a biomass boiler I'm interested to know what any installers you contact are telling you about the renewable heat incentive. 

The reason I'm interested is that every day on my twitter feed I see tweets that talk as if it's all fixed and definite - yet we still don't actually know for sure which technologies will be included, and the tariff rates have not been confirmed.

It seems likely that all installations since 15 July 2009 that meet the criteria will be included, but in an answer to a question in Parliament on 10 February Chris Huhne shed no additional light on what's in or out, saying: " Obviously, we are trying to eliminate uncertainty as rapidly as we can and trying to be as clear as possible about the policy framework. ... We are determined to go ahead with this. Individuals will be supported under the renewable heat incentive and the details will be forthcoming." 

We've seen the fate of early adopters of microgeneration who installed solar PV panels and  wind turbines, anticipating that they would get the feed-in tariff. But those who installed before the announcement was made on 15 July 2009 were not included, and many are still campaigning for a fairer deal, having been left worse off.

So it's important to know that if you decide to go ahead and install a renewable energy technology before the final tariffs and conditions are announced you are taking a risk - and it may be a very expensive one - that the technology you're installing won't be included. Click the link for an idea of what is expected to be included in the renewable heat incentive.

Photo by Kelvin Skee

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