Following yesterday’s announcement the Department of Energy and Climate Change, providing further detail on the Renewable Heat Incentive, industry figures have responded.
Neil Schofield, Worcester, Bosch Group head of government and external affairs, said : “The fact that mainstream households will not be able to access RHI until October 2012 has led the Government to try and bridge the gap with the RHI Premium Payment, but we will not get details on this until May 2011.
“My take on it is that there is going to be some sort of grant subsidy made available for those who want to install now.
“In particular, the information on payments is vague as is the criteria by which a property will be deemed to be of sufficient standard to qualify for the RHI. My suspicion is that it will be Band D properties and above, but we need more information.”
“The RHI, as it stands, appears to be focussed on non-domestic heating, early adopters and those off the mains gas network, which leaves questions about how we will encourage mass uptake. In summation, whilst welcome this does not feel like a game-changer.”
Mark McManus, Stiebel Eltron UK managing director said: “Anything that promotes renewable energy is to be welcomed. However the devil is in the detail and we await further confirmation of how the RHI will work.
“We understand that it will take time to settle in, and though it may not be perfect to start with, it is essential that the government and the green industry supports the RHI and work together.
The public needs to be incentivised to use green energy and hopefully the RHI, together with the Green Deal in Autumn 2012, can be the ace up the sleeve for the renewable sector.”
Dermot Coady, Myriad CEG sales and marketing director, said: “The RHI will create a strong incentive to reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“It will unlock significant commercial potential in our sector and give an important boost to the economy by the creation of green jobs and fostering the development of new skills. In addition, this initiative realises commercial potential for customers.
“The Government has substantiated our view that ground source heat pumps represent a more efficient technology compared to air source heat pump solutions.”
William McGrath, AGA Rangemaster chief executive said: “The volatility of oil prices has led many people to look for ways of gaining some independence in their fuel supply. Over recent years, we have seen an enormous surge of interest from our customers in generating energy from renewable sources. The RHI, when it is fully up and running, will make choosing renewables an even more logical and sound investment for our customers.”
Richard Smith, Verdo Renewables, managing director, described the proposals as a “major boost to the new green economy through support for the UK modern wood heating sector.
“Presently, 90 per cent of our wood pellet output is exported. The RHI will allow us to start using UK wood pellets in UK boilers, as it will unlock significant commercial investments in our sector.
“In a time of very difficult economic conditions, this will provide welcome green jobs and support high technology routes to the low-carbon economy.”
Graham Bartlett, E.ON managing director of energy solutions, said: “Today’s announcement is an important step in developing the market for new technologies just as the Feed-in Tariff has done for renewable electricity.
“Alongside that, it’s absolutely vital that we start weaning ourselves off an over-reliance on gas boilers and on to more renewable systems like solar energy or heat pumps.
“This is even more important for off-grid homes who will need to move away from oil or coal-based heating systems. The key here is that customers need simple and consistent advice from Government and energy companies alike.”
Adrian Walker, Hoval managing director, said: “We hope that this RHI ‘cash-back’ measure will unlock significant commercial investments in our sector.
“There will be multiple benefits for the UK economy, including manufacturers, boiler installers and service engineers, and the wider UK wood fuel industry.
“In a time of very difficult economic conditions this will provide welcome green jobs and support high technology skills development.”
Paul King, UK Green Building Council chief executive said: “The UK needs a step change in the amount of heat that is generated from renewable sources and the RHI has the potential to catalyse that.
“To make cost-effective, carbon sense, we need a reduction in energy demand as part of an RHI package. Encouragingly, this principle seems to have been enshrined for homes, where minimum energy efficiency standards will apply.
“However, it’s less clear whether similar rules will apply to commercial buildings such as shops and offices. We look to Ofgem to use their powers to ensure that profligate energy use is not rewarded”.”