The Renewable Heat Incentive

It is just not possible to run a renewable heat business in the United Kingdom.  Government politicians Mr Greg Barker and Mr Ed Davey who are in charge of renewable heat policies simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth when they publish a plan and they certainly cannot be trusted to stick to their announcement. You cannot simply believe anything that the Department of Energy and Climate Change publishes on its website about its plans for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The renewable heat incentive was originally supposed to be launched in July 2009. The financial crisis intervened and ministers solemnly promised it would be launched in 2010, then 2011 and then in 2012. Each year the renewable heat industry got a fresh promise and each year the promise proved to be a lie.

Economic times are hard, but the RHI for householders involved very small money and the government consulted on a capping mechanism to spread the tiny budget of it.

There was a version of the RHI launched for business, but the take up for it was very small and within that for solar thermal zero. There is a very small subsidy for domestic households, but that small subsidy is supposed to do no more than encourage households that the full renewable heat incentive will be forthcoming. Householders, having seen the RHI being postponed from 2009, take the view that they will not trust the government to launch the domestic RHI until it is launched and they are holding off from renewable heat for the time being.

As a result the renewable heat industry has been decimated.

The latest promise was that the RHI would be announced in March this year and implemented with effect from July 2013. A great deal of work was done for this – detailed consultations, consultations about consultations, tariff guide lines published but very quietly and without publicity the following announced was made:-

The Government remains committed to introducing an RHI for householders, and has today set out an updated timetable for its launch alongside plans to extend the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) in the meantime.

  • RHI for householders: Following on from the consultation on scheme design in September last year, the Government will confirm how a RHI for householders will work and publish the tariff levels in Summer 2013. It is expected that the scheme will be up and running for householders in Spring 2014. Research on householder views on renewable heat has also been published today, which will help inform the design of the RHI scheme.
  • RHPP extension: The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme is being extended until the end of March 2014, ahead of the launch of the RHI for householders. This scheme, first launched in July 2011, offers money off the cost of renewable heating kit such as biomass boilers, solar thermal panels and heat pumps and is largely targeted at those living off the gas grid. The scheme was due to close at the end of March this year.

The United Kingdom government is so mendacious that it has to dress up the announcement in a way that makes it appear to those outside the renewable heat industry that this is no big deal; it is a big deal; the renewable heat industry has been decimated and the environment is poorer.

If this is a government commitment to introducing the RHI for householders then Messrs Barker and Davey have redefined the meaning of a commitment.

3 Responses

  1. Here is someone letting some heat go to a liar in a suit.

  2. Robert – Very well put! Hope all is well with you and yours. Cheer John L

  3. […] The Renewable Heat Incentive […]

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