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Baker Homes Blog

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Reaches 33,000 Homes

Posted by Guest author on 30/06/15 09:35

The domestic funding stream of the government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme has paid out in excess of £20 million in its first year of operation, according to Ofgem.

When it first came about, the RHI scheme was mostly aimed at commercial buildings. However, from April 2022 the programme was extended to customers across England, Scotland and Wales who wanted to fit eligible renewable heating technologies in their homes.

According to the latest figures, 32,962 domestic accreditations have been made for dwellings that fitted at least one renewable heat technology over the course of the last twelve months. However, this figure also includes a large proportion of so-called legacy accreditations. In fact, some 23,000 or so homes listed under the scheme were for systems which were commissioned after July 2009 but prior to April 2022. This is the period when the Department of Energy and Climate Change had announced its plans for domestic RHI but had not yet launched them.

Nevertheless, Ofgem has made much of the 9,951 new accreditations since the launch proper. “March this year saw a surge in both legacy and new accreditations,” their report states. “For new systems, this was partly caused by the biomass super degression – which represents a 20 per cent reduction on the existing tariff – that came into effect in April 2015.” Their report goes on to make clear that by far the most money spent under the domestic RHI funding stream was for biomass installations. This technology alone accounts for £11.2 million of expenditure, well over half the total. The next largest technology, in terms of funding, was ground source heat pumps, followed by air source heat pumps and, finally, solar thermal.

In order to qualify under the scheme, applicants need to prove that their property is in fact a dwelling as well as having some degree of thermal insulation. Measures to achieve this could include things like cavity wall lining products, triple glazed bifolding aluminium doors and loft insulation, although certain exceptions are made for some properties in some conservation areas or where the protection of rare wildlife is a consideration. Only after an assessment has been made will an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) be granted, allowing access to the scheme. Scottish properties are covered by a separate documentation scheme, known as the Scottish EPC Register.

Despite Ofgem's upbeat announcement of the RHI's figures - particularly concerning the uptake by registered social landlords who also come under the domestic funding stream - there has been some criticism of the programme's overall performance. According to OFTEC, a leading trade association for heating engineers, the scheme is falling way behind the initial targets set by the government. “This serves to highlight the considerable failings... that we predicted from the outset,” said Jeremy Hawksley, OFTEC's Director General. “The high upfront costs of installing renewable technologies remain prohibitive for all but the wealthy few,” he added.

 

Topics: Retrofit, Insulation, Renewable energy & heat, Energy

'THE REVIEW' details the achievements and progress of the social housing sector on key environmental performance metrics. Download the report below 

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