‘Tangible’ sign of support as Government doubles renewable heat funding

The amount of funding available to households installing renewable heat technologies through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP), has mostly doubled, it was announced by DECC today.

Vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems.

First launched in July 2011, the RHPP is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems by offering money off the cost of the equipment.

As part of the changes to the value of vouchers, householders will now be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher.

The measure is aimed to support renewable heat installations prior to the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), anticipated in the spring of 2014.

The Solar Trade Association’s  solar thermal working group chair Stuart Elmes said: “This announcement is, at last, a tangible demonstration of Government’s oft-proclaimed commitment to domestic renewable heat technologies. 

“Many within industry had wavered in their belief that they would ever see a domestic RHI. We now need to get the good news out there and let householders know that solar heating is more affordable.”

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) was more cautious in its enthusiasm for the move and claimed that while it welcomed today’s announcement, the industry has been waiting for almost five years since the RHI was originally announced for the programme to be introduced and it was in need of further policy certainty.

REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “It’s welcome that these grants are being continued and the levels increased. They need to stay in place until the proper heat payment scheme for householders commences. This has been delayed on a number of occasions and we hope this will be the last time this stop-gap measure is needed.”

Conor McGlone

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