Funding for renewable heat gets a government boost

As we continue to limp towards a properly implemented Renewable Heat Incentive for people’s homes (see our previous comments!), good news reaches us that the stop-gap Renewable Heat Premium Payment has now received a significant boost.

The value of the vouchers awarded under the scheme will, in most cases, at least double, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced. There is a small sting in the tail though, in the form of a newly-introduced requirement for a Green Deal assessment to be undertaken in order to qualify for the RHPP.

DECC’s view is that the cost of this should be more than covered by the hike in RHPP voucher values. From a practical perspective, it does seem to make sense to have a thorough view of the energy efficiency of a whole property before an installation takes place, so that the investment in renewable heat sources can deliver maximum benefits.

The RHPP is a way to encourage take-up of renewable heating systems by covering some of the cost of the equipment with a voucher. If the value of that voucher was not boosted, insisting on the cost of a Green Deal assessment could have made the whole investment a lot less attractive.

If you’re not familiar with the Green Deal, the folk at Which? have been good enough to come up with a thorough guide, which you can read here.

Now, if you’re looking to install a renewable heating system, the funding level is boosted to £2,000 for a biomass boiler (up from £950), £600 for solar thermal systems (from £300) and similar scale increases for other technologies.

This is all helpful in the context of the support mechanisms we currently have, though we’re still convinced that what is really needed is the arrival of the Renewable Heat Incentive for domestic properties, allowing people to cost in the value of the incentive over the lifetime of their installation.

So, to sum it up, if you want renewable heat in your home you can now potentially get a £2,000 RHPP voucher (which doesn’t have to be repaid) and a Green Deal loan, which is repaid by the estimated savings from your system.

The new, higher value RHPP vouchers are available straight away.


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