Neil Schofield: the market must be left to decide.

Spending Review: Warm welcome for RHI plans

Published:  25 October, 2010

WORCESTER: The decision to press ahead with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been warmly welcomed by the heating industry, but the Government has been warned to avoid a 'technology bias' when it is implemented next year.

The warning, from Worcester, Bosch Group, one of the UK's lmain boiler and renewable technology manufacturers, comes in the wake of the Government's re-affirmed commitment to the RHI which was made in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The Review has earmarked £820m for the RHI, funded directly by the Treasury and not by a levy on energy bills as was previously expected, which is 20% than originally budgeted.

The start date for RHI has also been pushed back to June 2011.

Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester, Bosch Group, commented: "The decision to press ahead with the RHI despite the many difficult public spending decisions made by the Government is excellent news for the heating industry.

"This was a big call by the Government and demonstrates real commitment to its aim of being the greenest Government. It gives the heating industry a clear roadmap to follow and enables the sort of long-term planning that is required if we are to hit our climate change targets."

However, concerns remain that the final RHI will include a technology bias. "We now have to wait for further details to see where the 20% cut will fall," said Mr Schofield.

"My concern is that some technologies will be the recipient of funding while others will be left without. My message to the Department of Energy and Climate Change is that we need to be 'technology agnostic'.

"The market for heating products will only function properly with equality of all technologies. The market must be left to decide. We do not want a repeat of the distortion the Feed-in Tariff has had on the solar market," he warned.

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