There is risk in being an early adopter of renewable energy
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 February 2014 at 9:01 am
Q: We installed a ground source heat pump about 4 years ago and have been waiting to claim RHI to help pay for the cost. We now may have to sell our house before we can claim, and certainly before the full payment has been made. It seems wrong that the benefit passes to the new owner when we have paid for the system. Please can you re-look at this as we are the ones who have benefitted the environment - not the new owners.
A: While I have sympathy for the situation that you find yourself in, I'm afraid that if you install when a policy is just a policy, and hasn't become law that there will always be an element of risk involved. The RHI is a world first, so it has taken longer than expected to come to fruition. Throw in a general election, and a new government taking up the previous ones plans, and the risk is even bigger. We're lucky they didn't discard the idea.
Even if the RHI had started sooner, you might have had to move home before the full payments were made, as the RHI is paid out in installments over 7 years.
Hopefully, you have already benefitted from lower energy bills as a result of your heat pump.
If you do have to sell up, the income from the RHI is a good selling point, and combined with the lower bills from the heat pump might help you recoup the money through a slightly higher selling price. Make sure you explain the benefits thoroughly to the estate agent and potential buyers.
But if you want to express your your dismay to the people who make the policy, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is the right department.
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