DECC delays domestic RHI until spring 2014

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) will not launch until spring 2014.

The renewable heat industry had been expecting the scheme to launch during 2013 after a consultation carried out by DECC last September. However, the government has confirmed that it will not publish the tariff levels for the domestic RHI until summer 2013, with DECC stating that it expects that “the scheme will be up and running for householders in spring 2014”.

Commenting on the news, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said:  “We remain committed to introducing an incentive scheme for householders, and have today set out an updated timetable for its launch. The RHI, which has been available for non domestic investors for over a year, is a key part of our approach to cutting carbon and driving forward the move to more sustainable low carbon heating alternatives.”

As a result of the delayed domestic RHI scheme, DECC will extend the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme until March 2014.

Reacting to the news, Tim Pollard, Wolseley UK’s head of sustainability, tweeted:

Dimplex Renewables UK added:

 

Commenting on the news, Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association said: “While this latest delay to the domestic RHI is undoubtedly an enormous disappointment to the solar thermal industry, we remain committed to working constructively with DECC to ensure that there is no further slippage. We must ensure that a successful domestic RHI is finally launched next spring.”

The STA is calling on DECC to "quickly provide certainty" to the market by identifying tariff levels, the deeming methodology, the eligibility criteria and the treatment of legacy installations in full by summer.

Dave Sowden, chief executive to the Micropower Council, commented: “The early feedback is that the market is bitterly disappointed with this delay. Taken with the delay in confirming the next steps of the “zero carbon homes” policy, today’s announcement is forcing industry to question whether the Coalition is serious about promoting domestic Renewable Heat during this Parliament.

The department's latest delay to the domestic RHI echos a similar annoucement made in March 2012 when DECC stated that it would delay the domestic RHI rollout until 2013.