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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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New scheme makes it worthwhile to switch to renewable systems

The renewable heat incentive is a new government-backed measure to make it worthwhile to produce renewable heat and lower energy bills.

It means people will earn a fixed income for every kilowatt hour of heat they produce.

The renewable heat incentive is similar to the feed-in tariffs, a scheme for electricity which came into force in April last year.

The feed-in tariffs have sped up the installation of renewable energy sources in Europe which is why in July this year the first phase of the renewable heat incentive will come into force.

The main methods of generating heat from renewable sources are solar thermal panels, air and heat pumps and biomass boilers.

The incentive is for everyone, including households, landlords, businesses, farmers, schools, hospitals, care homes and more.

However, the scheme does not apply to domestic systems until 2012.

In the meantime householders can claim the renewable heat premium payment, and will still be eligible for the incentive when it starts to apply to them.

The payment is similar to a grant for household renewable heat installations installed after April 2011 and before the incentive scheme begins for domestic installations.

This does not include multiple residential dwellings served by one renewable heating installation or residential dwellings which have been significantly adapted for non-residential use.

For example, a house where someone works or runs a business from home would be considered domestic, whereas a house converted into a shop or bed and breakfast would be considered non-domestic and could receive the incentive support.

While the renewable heat incentive is similar to the feed-in tariffs, there are some important differences, and in particular:

lIt will be paid for by the Treasury not by energy users

lThere is no ‘national grid for heat’ and so importing and exporting heat is not relevant

lIt will be introduced in phases.

There are three steps to the RHI:

lStep One: you install in your property renewable heat systems such as solar thermal panels, heat pumps or a biomass boiler

lStep Two: you measure how much heat your renewable energy systems produce

lStep Three: you get paid a fixed amount based on that output, the type of technology and the size of the system.

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