RHI delay extends age of uncertainty for the heating industry

Published:  04 April, 2012

WORCESTER: Further delay to the second phase of the long-anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive is eroding confidence in the government’s commitment to renewable technologies, according to one of the UK’s largest domestic heating manufacturers.

Neil Schofield, head of Government and external affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group commented: “The latest delay to the RHI is a disappointing but ultimately familiar story for the industry. The latest announcement from DECC suggests that the scheme is unlikely to come into play until the middle of next year, which is hugely disappointing given that it was originally scheduled for mid-2011. All momentum is being lost by this succession of delays.

He continued: “While the Premium Payment scheme has also been extended as a result, the big problem here is that the Premium Payment concept remains too hard for the installer to sell to a potential customer. How can an installer be expected to sell renewables when they don’t know when the incentive will come into play, how long it will last for, or even how much funding will be on offer? My understanding is that fewer than 50 Premium Payments have been applied for in all of London.

“With the exception of solar thermal, the scheme is focused on those in off-mains gas areas, which already excludes some 90% of the UK’s installer base. In order to encourage mass uptake, the initiative has to be opened up to act as the game-changer it was originally intended to be.

“While it comes as no great surprise to see the incentive delayed even further, UK installers are continuing to suffer as a result of this prolonged uncertainty. I would urge DECC to act sooner rather than later in bringing some clarity to an industry which is nowhere near reaching its full potential.”

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