First two successful applicants of delayed RHI revealed

The first recipients of the criticised and delayed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are an umbrella maker and holiday cottage rental business.

According to the Government, which finally launched the scheme last week, Umbrella supplier Booth Brothers of Sheffield entered the history books today by becoming the first place in the UK to get the RHI.

Two schemes have, so far, won accreditation through Ofgem, the administrators of the RHI scheme for the Government with climate change minister, Greg Barker, calling it 'fantastic news'.

The scheme has had a tricky birth with think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) criticising it as unattractive.

And, its launch was pushed back over issues raised by the European Commission (EC) over what it saw as too higher a level tariff for large biomass under the scheme.

But with those now behind the scheme the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is celebrating the winners of the £860m scheme.

The RHI belatedly opened for applications on November 28 last year it is thought to be the first financial support scheme for renewable heat of its kind in the world.

Tariffs, are currently, due to be paid for 20 years to eligible technologies that have installed since July 15 2009 with payments being made for each kWh of renewable heat which is produced.

Umbrella firm Booth Brothers' 18th century former corn mill in Penistone base will be kept warm through an under-floor heating system powered by a renewable energy heat pump.

The system uses water heated by the 24kW water source heat pump accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

The second installation to be accredited is a set of holiday cottages where a ground Cottages has installed a 4.3kW ground source heat pump, also MCS accredited, provides heat and hot water to five cottages in East Yorkshire.

Climate change minister, Greg Barker, said: "It is fantastic news the RHI has received its first two successful applicants and this is just the start.

"Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future."

Booth Brothers chief executive, Charles Booth, said: "Last year our Old Corn Mill offices were commended for their eco rating and we generate electricity from two wind turbines, solar panels and hydro generation so making the heat we use low carbon was naturally the next step."

Owner of Broadgate Farm Cottages, Elaine Robinson added: "We don't have mains gas and the price of oil and LPG is very expensive so when we decided to develop the holiday cottages a ground source heat pump was the most economically attractive in the long term, especially with the RHI, this is the first of our applications to be approved."

Luke Walsh


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