The decision to press ahead with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has certainly been warmly welcomed by the heating industry, but whilst it is great that commitment was re-affirmed in the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government needs to be cautious to avoid a ‘technology bias’ when it is implemented next year.
The Review, which has earmarked £820 million for the RHI, funded directly by the Treasury and not by a levy on energy bills as was previously expected, is 20% less than originally budgeted and now has a start date of June 2011.
However, this is still a big call by the Government and demonstrates real commitment to its aim of being the ‘greenest’ yet.
Indeed, the decision to press ahead with the RHI, despite the many difficult public spending decisions made by the Government is excellent news for the heating industry. It gives the heating industry a clear roadmap to follow and enables the sort of long-term planning that is required if we are to hit our climate change targets.
Concerns remain that the final RHI will include a technology bias and we now have to wait for further details to see where the 20% cut will fall. 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.
For information on Worcester’s renewable products in practice visit Worcester’s Energy Homes website.
Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester, Bosch Group.