Office blocks, factories and community centres could be among a number of buildings across Great Britain to benefit from more cash for renewable heat under proposals recently set out by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

DECC is consulting on increasing the tariff levels for heat generated by ground source heat pumps, large biomass and solar thermal kit accredited under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

The RHI is designed to revolutionise the way homes and businesses across the nation are heated, cut carbon emissions and help meet renewables targets. The scheme was launched for the non-domestic sector in November 2011.

Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Over 1,300 innovative renewable heat technologies have already been installed under this scheme and are generating cash for the heat they produce. The RHI has been running for nearly 18 months, so now is a timely moment to look again at the tariffs.

“We need to make sure they are set at the right level to continue bringing forward investment and growth and at the same time keep costs to the taxpayer to a minimum. That’s what our proposals set out today are designed to do.”

The proposed levels follow on from a review of the evidence base used to set tariffs earlier this year. DECC is not proposing to increase the tariffs for small and medium biomass as part of this review, based on the current high level of demand for these technologies. Biomethane and biogas combustion are outside the scope of this review.

Of the new tariff proposals, Micropower Council chief executive Dave Sowden (pictured) said: “The proposals for increased levels for biomass, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal are good news for industry. With deployment levels in the non-domestic RHI so far having been unsatisfactory, we have been awaiting this tariff review consultation announcement for some time.

“The introduction of the new tariff levels would help provide the boost needed to increase deployment, not only providing support to industry but also helping the UK on its pathway to renewables. This is the consultation stage and we are some way from the tariffs being introduced but this provides a good demonstration of the government’s commitment to support the UK renewable heat industry.”