With the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) releasing the latest figures for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), is the scheme working?
The numbers show that from the time of the domestic scheme’s launch in April to July 2014, 7,418 homes have applied for payments under the domestic RHI.
This has led Tim Pollard, Plumb and Parts Center’s Head of Sustainability, to feel that the figures show clear differences in the domestic and non-domestic preferences. “The RHI figures make for some interesting reading. The initiative is the first of its kind in the world, so many people will be keeping a close eye on how it progresses.”
Mr Pollard believes that as the domestic scheme went live only on 9 April this year, it would be wrong to rush into early conclusions. However, there were interesting aspects that could be important to take into account. “One of the most interesting things for installers is the type of technology that people are installing. If we look at the non-domestic RHI figures, which has been running for longer, a big majority (93%) of applications are for biomass boilers.”
The domestic RHI figures however, show 37% of people are applying for payments for an air source heat pump. The next most popular is solar thermal (25%), and then biomass systems (22%) and ground source heat pumps (16%). It is important to note that these figures include legacy applications, i.e. those fitted before the official start of the scheme and after 15/7/09. The breakdown of new applications shows biomass (43%), ASHP (32%), solar thermal (20%), GSHP (5%).
“This is more representative of the market today ago, and reflects our experience at Plumb and Parts Center,” said Mr Pollard. “Geography is also important. Renewables are particularly appealing in off-grid areas as the people there don’t have access to the cheapest energy, gas. This is reflected in the figures for both the domestic and non-domestic RHI, where most applications have come from the South West and Scotland; with the West Midlands and South East providing the next biggest numbers.
For installers looking to work in the renewables industry, these figures are important because they show non-domestic properties favour biomass boilers, but air source heat pumps are also popular for homeowners and landlords. “If installers work in an area where there have been many RHI applications, it could seriously be worth investing in getting qualified to work with the scheme, because people are interested in switching to a renewable heating system, and this could provide extra business,” explained Mr Pollard. “It’s an exciting time for the renewables industry which could offer many opportunities for installers.”
For more information about renewables training courses provided by Plumb and Parts Center, and its training partner Sevenoaks Energy Academy, visit the website: www.plumbcentertraining.co.uk
Caption Plumb Center has teamed up with Evolve to support installers working with the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).