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Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2012 at 10:35 am

The domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) remains elusive, as the government announced a second phase of the renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) scheme yesterday.

The domestic RHI, which will reward people who switch to renewable sources of heat with regular payments for and anticipated 20 years, was due to launch in October this year. However, yesterday's announcement puts back the likely launch date to summer 2013, with a consultation expected in September.

Reading between the lines, it seems likely that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is going back to the drawing board with the domestic RHI (the non-domestic RHI scheme started last year). Its statement to Parliament says: "Further information about the timing of implementation will be included within the consultation because different options are likely to have different projected delivery dates, but we anticipate this will be from Summer 2013. As we are taking a fresh look at the policy options for household-scale renewable heat technologies, the tariffs set out in the consultation document in March 2010 should not be used as a basis for predicting what future support may be."

In the interim, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has announced £25m to extend the RHPP scheme which was due to end on 31 March. It helps with the up-front capital costs of investing in renewable heat technologies, and will be primarily focused on homes which can't access mains gas.

The new RHPP will provide:

 

Household voucher scheme (c. £7m) -

*no longer availble 

This money will also include costs to cover technical monitoring and evaluation. Pre-registration for the household voucher scheme will begin on 2nd April, with applications open on 1st May. Vouchers will be worth the same and cover the same technologies as the existing scheme

  • Ground Source Heat Pump - £1250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Biomass boiler - £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Air source heat pump - £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating);
  • Solar thermal hot water panels - £300 grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used).

Communities competition (c. £8m)

*No longer available

Details about how to apply will be revealed when it’s launched at a later date.

Monitoring the performance of the technologies is part of the deal for the household voucher scheme, and all applicants will be asked to complete a survey after their system is installed. For this phase of the scheme, DECC has introduced more thorough monitoring for heat pump installations.

For heat pump installations, all householders will receive 80% of their voucher value when a valid claim is submitted, together with a signed checklist from the installer confirming the installation can be fitted with a meter. Householders will receive the final 20% following a visit from the metering team to check that the installation is really “meter ready” and install a set of equipment, or if their installer has been trained to install monitoring equipment and installs it on EST’s behalf.  If a householder has indicated that they are not meter ready, they will receive the final 20% of the grant at the end of the scheme. Installations of biomass boilers and solar thermal panels are not affected.

Only £9m of the original £15m RHPP budget has been allocated so far. If you have one of these vouchers make sure you get it back to the Energy Saving Trust by midnight on 31 March 2012 to claim your grant. They will also need a copy of your invoice and the MCS certificate. 

Photo by Bryn Pinzgauer

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