The RHI finally launched on Friday (11th April) and Neil Schofield, our Head of External and Governmental Affairs, expressed his delight at the development. Neil has also questioned whether it is enough to kickstart a faltering renewables market amidst claims that any growth in the area has already been lost.
Neil’s view is that, “Although we may have known the tariffs set by the RHI for some time now, the fact that the scheme is now open for applications at least gives us some degree of assurance that the Government is willing to promote growth in the renewables market. DECC’s decision to finally open the RHI for applications is a welcome one for our industry but only time will tell whether this will give the renewables market the lift it so badly needs.
“With everything now in place, can this market recover from its current state, which is a far cry from four or five years ago when renewables was a buzz word and interest was high? The renewables market has underperformed as a result of a series of delays to the RHI’s launch, and businesses have been damaged as a consequence. The stationary market we currently have on our hands is certainly a lot more difficult to kickstart than one which is showing signs of growth.”
Neil’s concern is that dwindling MCS registrations coupled with doubts over the RHI tariff’s bias could limit the ultimate success of an incentive originally expected to transform the way UK homeowners heat their properties.
He continued: “The total number of installers registered under MCS is now at its lowest since 2010, which suggests that an alarming number of heating engineers have lost faith in the market for renewable technologies. The fact is, we need a strong base of qualified installers to make the RHI a success, so DECC has a lot of work to do if it is to reverse this decline.
“We’re also in a position where the funding is weighted heavily in favour of biomass, which is one of the most expensive systems to install and one requiring the largest amount of user intervention. Questions have already been raised over whether DECC has backed the right horse in this respect.
“Given the various delays we’ve seen since the concept of the RHI was first put forward in 2009, we hope this announcement isn’t a case of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ as installers and their customers feel like they’ve seen it all before. As with the Green Deal, we’re looking at a slow burner with the RHI and patience will be required before we can assess whether or not it has been a success. Only time will tell.”
Worcester’s Neil Schofield, Head of External and Governmental Affairs
What are your views of the RHI launch? Tweet us at @HeatingYourHome #RHI and join the conversation.
Sue Pennington, Consumer Brand Manager
For more information on Worcester, Bosch Group and its range of high-efficiency heating and hot water technologies visit www.worcester-bosch.co.uk.