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HVAC sector welcomes support for renewables

The Government’s spending review last week has been greeted with relief by a number of industry players.

NICEIC, for example has welcomed the decision to retain the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme and progress with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

“This is a very encouraging sign for all those connected with the industry and the decision supports the coalition’s vow to be one of the greenest governments ever,” says NICEIC‘s chief operating officer Emma McCarthy.

“There is now a dedicated plan to put a low carbon economy at the heart of this Government’s plans and this can only be good news for those associated with the renewable energy industry.”

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive at SummitSkills, said: “The Comprehensive Spending Review highlighted many positive opportunities for the sector and it is important that we don’t miss out on these. We are pleased with the announcement of a Green Skills Bank, which supports the Government’s devotion to a low carbon future. However I do have some slight concerns as it looks at the moment that the funding from this Bank will only be available to larger projects which may have a limited value.

“The plan to increase funding for adult apprentices is something that SummitSkills fully supports. However, again I have some concerns with the potentially unrealistic targets. It will, however, be a while before we see the full impact of these changes and there is yet more information to come.”

Keith Jones, Plumb Center managing director, commented: “The spending review has put an end to months of speculation about cuts to renewables funding. The industry has started to make real progress with renewable technologies and this funding will be the catalyst needed to take it to the next level.

“It is now more important than ever that businesses such as Plumb Center recognise that they have an essential role to play in supporting installers with the provision of energy saving technologies to homeowners.

“We are currently undertaking a programme to create a new generation of branches with training facilities and full working displays of renewable technologies showcasing the latest and most innovative products.

“What better way to show customers the benefits of new and sustainable technologies, such as heat pumps and solar thermal, than by having them working in the branch, actually providing space and water heating for the building.”

Pippa Wibberley, director of heating at Daikin UK, said: “Overall, the Government has established a major focus on carbon reduction as one of the pillars for growth in the UK economy. While clarity is still required on funding and delivery mechanisms, this initial commitment is a positive sign.

“A June 2011 launch for the RHI would be extremely positive. Until full implementation of the scheme, renewable heating technologies face a disadvantage compared with electricity generating technologies such as photovoltaics, which will be adopted using decisions based on a purely financial model rather than a more holistic carbon reduction model.

“Swift and certain implementation of the RHI is vital to remedy the current lack of funding for the installation of solar thermals systems and heat pumps.”

Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester, Bosch Group, commented: “The decision to press ahead with the RHI is excellent news for the heating industry.

“This was a big call by the Government and demonstrates real commitment to its aim of being the greenest Government.

“My only concern is that some technologies will be the recipient of funding while others will be left without.

“My message to the Department of Energy and Climate Change is that we need to be technology agnostic.”

“The market for heating products will only function properly with equality of all technologies. The market must be left to decide. We do not want a repeat of the distortion the Feed-in Tariff has had on the solar market.”

 “We are delighted the Government has given its backing to the RHI” says Simon Osborne, specification channel manager at Baxi Group.

“At last, we have the clarity the industry has been demanding in order to drive the rapid development and uptake of these technologies.

“We are also pleased to see the ongoing commitment to the Warm Front scheme, albeit at a reduced level, the outline plans for the introduction of the Green Deal and the announcement of an investment programme to deliver up to 150,000 new affordable homes over the spending review period.”

Chris Edwards, sales and marketing director, Purmo UK, said: “It is excellent to see in the spending review that the new Government has nailed its colours to the mast in supporting the Renewable Heat Incentive after so much speculation. What we must remember, however, in the rush to use renewable technologies, is that we already have some excellent products which have been tried and tested over many decades.

“Radiators must be seen as part of the system solution when using renewable energy sources. The skill will come in ensuring we are specifying, sizing and installing radiators correctly.”

IntaEco’ Stuart Gizzi said: “The government’s announcement in the CSR for a funded renewable heating incentive should prove to be a major boost for technologies which have been largely ignored until now such, as ground source heat pumps and solar thermal systems.

“The announcement is a solid economic move – countries such as Germany who have supported renewable heating technologies have seen CO2 emissions significantly reduced, as well as providing H&V installers with work when the global economic crisis meant new build construction projects dried up.”