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Industry offers cautious welcome to Comprehensive Spending Review

The HVAC industry has broadly welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s commitment to the Renewable Heat Incentive in last month’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The CSR included £860 million of funding for the RHI scheme.

HVCA head of sustainability David Frise also highlighted the transformation of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme - the carbon tax designed to make energy a boardroom issue.

The resulting energy price rise will create more incentive to reduce energy use, said Mr Frise, driving potential for equipment upgrades.

CIPHE chief executive Blane Judd welcomed confirmation of the Sector Skills Council’s continued overseeing of the sector’s educational standards.

Investment in the Green Deal was also celebrated, providing further scope for registered professional installers to become the front line advisers to consumers on green technologies.

OFTEC director Jeremy Hawksley spoke of his relief at the absence of any levy on oil or other heating fuels to fund the RHI.

He urged the government to include incentives for a new generation of blended bio-liquids for heating, which was included in the original RHI draft.

HHIC’s Roger Webb highlighted the lack of detail within both the RHI and the proposed review of the feed-in tariff, asking whether the latter will include micro CHP.

Cuts to social housing and the Warm Front programme need to be considered, as these will have an impact on the most vulnerable people in society.

There was also concern about whether the government will be selective over which renewable heating technology it supports, added Mr Webb.