Domestic RHI Tariffs are delayed until Summer 2013 but Renewable Heat Premium Payment gets a boost

Katie Watts, RenEnergy

Homeowners who have been eagerly awaiting an announcement about the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) since the scheme was launched for Commercial heat users in November 2011 will have to exercise more patience following announcements by DECC on 26th March.

Broadly speaking, the Renewable Heat Incentive is a government scheme that pays those installing renewable heat sources, such as heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels for the heat they generate. RHI payments are guaranteed for 20 years.

In previous announcements DECC had indicated that the Domestic RHI would be rolled out in October 2012 to coincide with the Green Deal, however Climate Change Minister Greg Barker MP announced yesterday that consultation on the proposals won’t take place until September 2012 with anticipated delivery of a support for homeowners from Summer 2013. It is unlikely that we will see details of the proposals until early Autumn.

There was some good news though. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, which helps homeowners with the upfront costs of installing a system, has received an additional £25 million. Registration for RHPP support was originally meant to close on 31st March but will now be extended, pre-applications can be submitted on the Energy Savings Trust website from 2nd April.

The level of support differs depending on the Technology:

Ground Source Heat Pump - £1250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
Biomass boiler - £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
Air source heat pump - £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating);
Solar thermal hot water panels - £300 grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used)

Even without RHI support the benefits of heat technologies are numerous, especially for homeowners who currently use oil or gas for heating. They will help to reduce fuel bills, reduce carbon emissions and provide security against rising fuel costs.

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