The plumbing and heating industry is being called to keep awareness of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) high on the agenda by proactively encouraging greater levels of installer training and mentorship support.  

The number of accredited installations has now reached a total of 34,000 as at the end of May, just over one year on from the launch of the RHI. Around 11,000 of these were new installations during the year, with 23,000 being legacy installations.

With Sustainable Building Solutions (SBS), part of the Travis Perkins group, predicting an on-going appetite for the scheme, it is emphasising the importance of training if high-quality installation standards are to be sustained and uptake is to remain strong.

Steve Alldritt, SBS technical director, said: “The biomass market received a massive boost from the RHI in its first year due to a favourable tariff rate, with huge activity spikes in December 2014 and March 2015, but that has weakened since due to tariff reductions. Air source heat pumps have also had a lift from the RHI - with five heat pump applications for every one biomass in recent months - and this is a key area where we believe the  RHI can help installers looking to expand their business and for homeowners looking to save energy and money.

“On-going awareness raising and investment in training is vital if the advantages of the RHI are going to be capitalised upon; we have seen this first-hand with SBS customers who are enjoying an additional profit stream following training and mentorship through our own courses and support services.”

SBS offers training for RHI through nationwide branches of PTS, CPS, and Travis Perkins, facilitated by its partner PPL Training. The courses include MCS registration, renewable heating, and heat meter installation. Mentoring for the Green Deal can be accessed through Easy Green Deal, with accreditation through NICEIC.