Neil Schofield: a missed opportunity?

Government urged to extend Pay-As-You-Save

Published:  22 July, 2009

WORCESTER: A major heating manufacturer is urging the Government to be more ambitious with its renewables strategy.

The Low Carbon Transition Plan aims to cut emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. They also contain a 'Pay As You Save' scheme for home insulation.

The UK Renewable Energy Strategy, which forms part of the plan, contains a proposal for 12% of heat generated in the UK to come from renewables by 2020, with an emphasis on biomass, biogas, solar and heat pumps in homes, business and communities across the UK.

According to Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester Bosch: "There is much to be commended in the Government's proposals. However, we remain concerned that the Government continues to be almost exclusively focused on renewable electricity generation, with the heat lobby once again being overlooked.

"In the 227 pages of the Renewable Energy Strategy, there is not one photo of a heat generating technology or a single mention of a heating installer," he said.

Mr Schofield believes that an opportunity has been missed to encourage mass uptake of renewable technologies, by providing a 'Pay As You Save' option for renewables.

"The key issue we face is cost. Renewables, such as solar, are a big financial commitment and manufacturers cannot reduce their prices unless there is volume uptake.

"In Portugal, there is an innovative scheme involving a consortium of government, banks, utility companies and manufacturers, which enables consumers to install solar panels with no upfront capital outlay. Repayments is made to the banks on the basis of reductions in their energy bills. A similar sort of scheme in the UK would encourage mass uptake."

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