The government this week announced a delay of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) until April 2014.

The Micropower Council said this confirmation of continued RHPP payments, providing householders who install renewable heating systems with modest grants, has softened the blow, but wishes to see the final scheme implemented as quickly as possible.

Industry support

Despite this widespread disappointment, the industry remains committed to supporting the RHI.

Jim Moore, Vaillant Group managing director for Western Europe, said that while the further delay is clearly frustrating for the renewable heating industry, the company understood the importance of launching a scheme that works, as a negative consumer experience would be far more damaging to the longevity of the scheme.

“We are ready to support the RHI when it does launch and until then will continue to drive the RHPP scheme,” he said. "The government now needs to deliver on its latest deadline to assist in stimulating increased uptake of renewables in the UK, as has been demonstrated as effective in so many European markets."

The Micropower Council similarly said it remained fully committed to making the scheme a success, and would continue working with DECC to this end.

However, Dave Sowden, chief executive to the Micropower Council, added that taken with the delay in confirming the next steps of the "zero carbon homes" policy, the announcement is forcing industry to question whether the Coalition is serious about promoting domestic renewable heat during this Parliament.

"Despite there being some snippets of good news buried in the detail, this is a further setback for investor confidence,” he explained, saying a government commitment to an ambitious renewable heat policy is urgently needed to restore this confidence.