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DECC doubles upfront grants for renewable heat technologies

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 May 2013 at 3:32 pm

More help with the upfront cost of installing renewable heat is now available as the Department of Energy and Climate Change announces a doubling of the Renewable Heat Premium Payments.

These money off vouchers have been increased to:

£2,300 for ground source heat pumps
£2,000 for biomass boilers
£1,300 for air source heat pumps, and
£600 for solar thermal systems.

The RHPP scheme was introduced to fill the gap, following several delays to the introduction of the renewable heat incentive which is now expected to launch in Spring 2014. Final details of the RHI scheme are expected this summer. The RHPP payments are in effect an upfront payment of some of the RHI money, and will be subtracted from the total amount of RHI money due (proposals are to adjust the length of tariff payments, rather than the amount).

Announcing the doubling of rates, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "I want to kick start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies. This time limited, big increase in the value of vouchers for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector."

Due to the delay in the start of the RHI, the RHPP scheme was extended in March this year until the end of March 2014.

Householders wanting to benefit from the bigger upfront grants, will be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher. This will help householders think about how renewable heat could fit with energy efficiency improvements for their home and ensure they are advised on choosing the right technology for them. The additional voucher values are intended to reflect the cost of a Green Deal assessment, as well as the cost of getting these technologies installed in homes. Householders can also use the Green Deal to pay for some of the cost through savings on their energy bill.

The increased voucher values and Green Deal assessment requirement will kick in for any applications submitted today onwards. When the RHI proper starts next year, it is likely that householders will have to install all measures with a green tick on their Green Deal Occupancy Assessment before qualifying for RHI payments.

Trade bodies have greeted the news with enthusiasm. Stuart Elmes, chair of the Solar Trade Association working group on solar thermal, who suggested in his blog that the rates should be doubled, said: Trade bodies have greeted the news with enthusiasm. Stuart Elmes, chair of the Solar Trade Association working group on solar thermal, who suggested in his blog that the rates should be doubled, said: "This is fantastic news for solar heating. The industry can really get behind the improved voucher levels and vigorously drive towards a spring 2014 launch of the domestic RHI with renewed enthusiasm.

"This announcement is, at last, a tangible demonstration of Government’s oft-proclaimed commitment to domestic renewable heat technologies. Many within industry had wavered in their belief that they would ever see a domestic RHI! We now need to get the good news out there and let householders know that solar heating is more affordable."

Click here for full details of the RHPP.

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Comments

3 comments - read them below or add one

slashnburn

slashnburnComment left on: 4 June 2013 at 5:53 pm

I agree with Naturals on this. I invested £20k in a biomass boiler 14 months ago and was hoping the RHI could help repay the loan I took out to pay for it. Surprise surprise I'm still waiting. The government keeps kicking the can down the road, & we have seen with solar feed-in that they are capable (& possibly inclined) to curtail such schemes altogether. I'm losing faith it will ever happen. Annoucing a doubling of the rates for thse signing up today over those who took the plunge when it was first announced is galling to say the least. 

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naturals

naturalsComment left on: 20 May 2013 at 4:59 pm

This is great news for new installations - truly awful news for those people who installed systems years ago and have been waiting patiently for the government to get their act together for the past few years.

So those installing in the days / weeks leading up to the RHI will receive more than those who installed early and risked everything, making a financial outlay on the government's word?!

What a joke.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 May 2013 at 4:34 pm

Hi Naturals - while I understand that it's annoying, you won't get less money. You'll just have to wait longer for it. In effect, the RHPP is and advance on the RHI, so people who receive them will not get any more money, just some in advance and some in retrospect. They will also have to spend c.£120 on a green deal assessment.

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