Industry has welcomed the launch of three new consultations on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), giving businesses, householders and associations the opportunity to help shape the development of the scheme.
The new consultations invite responses on the inclusion of air source heat pumps in the commercial RHI, the broader extension of the existing commercial scheme, and proposals for next year’s domestic phase.
Chris Davis, business development director at Dimplex Renewables, said he was extremely pleased that the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) is working with the industry to develop the scheme to best effect.
“The proposed tariff rates and durations appear to be broadly in line with expectations, and in particular, it’s great news that the inclusion of air source heat pumps in the commercial RHI is being fast-tracked,” he said. “Since the technology’s initial omission from the commercial scheme, the industry has provided substantial evidence to DECC to support air source performance claims, and this has evidently been taken into account.”
However, Davies expressed concerns that the proposed rates for ground source heat pumps and solar thermal in the domestic scheme are slightly lower than anticipated.
“We have looked at the figures in detail, and are unconvinced that the typical return on investment on these technologies will be enough to tempt households under pressure to invest in renewables,” he said.
“The documents are asking what we consider to be the right questions, giving an opportunity to put across our points in a structured way. There remain areas in the proposals where we feel adjustments are needed and we urge installers and other interested parties to visit the DECC website and make their views known.”
The consultation on the inclusion of commercial air source closes on 18 October. Further information on the consultations and how to respond can be found on the DECC website at www.decc.gov.uk.