Industry reacts to launch of Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

Below is a roundup of all the latest industry reaction to today's launch of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive:

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive, Renewable Energy Association:

DECC, Ofgem and industry have been working for years on the Domestic RHI, and its launch today is a major milestone for the Government’s green policy record. Households off the gas grid now have a financially attractive clean energy alternative to oil and electric heating. Already over half a million people have installed solar power in their homes to cut their costs and carbon emissions. Now millions more can do the same with solar hot water, wood fuel heating and heat pumps.

Stuart Elmes, chair of the solar thermal working group, Solar Trade Association:

Solar heating is popular with householders and quick to install, integrating easily with existing heating systems. We calculate that the returns from solar water heating are similar to those from solar power when you take into account the high price inflation for gas and heating oil.

Virginia Graham, chief executive, REAL:

These technologies can improve people’s lives as well as the environment, but they are also complicated and unfamiliar to many. Customers must do their research into the technologies, their local installers and the d-RHI scheme details to ensure that renewable heating is right for them. Getting quotes from at least three MCS-registered installers is essential to ensure you get the best installation for your home at the best value for your budget.

James Eades, director, EnergyMyWay:

This is good news for the future of our energy and for homeowners worried about increasing energy costs. Over the next few years we are going to see the biggest change in the way UK homeowners heat their homes thanks to an incentive that makes the switch to renewable heating a real alternative for everyone.

We have seen this happening already in the commercial sector where the Renewable Heat Incentive has been running for some time, so we anticipate homeowners will be keen to investigate their renewable heating options straightaway and avoid another winter of expensive bills.

Mike Landy, head of on-site renewables, REA:

The domestic RHI is set to be one of the highlights of the government’s green agenda in 2014. It will mean that renewable home heating is not just environmentally sensible, but also financially attractive.

Greg Barker, minister for climate change, DECC:

This is the first scheme of its kind in the world – showing yet again that the UK is leading the way in the clean energy sector. Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, they will reduce their carbon emissions, and will also get cash payments for installing these new technologies. It opens up a market for the supply chain, engineers and installers – generating growth and supporting jobs as part of our long-term economic plan.

Paul Barwell, chief executive, Solar Trade Association:

With the launch of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive the final piece of support for household solar technologies slots into place. Together with the Green Deal for insulation improvements and the feed-in tariff for solar power, householders now have a great choice of government-backed financial incentives to choose from to best suit their clean energy needs.

Anyone thinking about putting solar power on their roof should seriously consider a solar heating system as well. Solar hot water panels take up about one square metre of roof space per person, so there are plenty of homes that can now make the most of both solar technologies.

John Alker, director of policy and communications, UK Green Building Council:

The long wait for the domestic RHI is finally over and people can now start to be rewarded for the clean, renewable heat they produce in their homes. 

Alongside the Green Deal, the RHI will help to create homes that are warmer, cheaper to heat and that emit fewer carbon emissions – major wins in the fight against rising energy bills and climate change.

Paul Joyner, managing director of Sustainable Building Solutions:

The launch of the RHI today is fabulous news and we are celebrating today. This will form a major boost to the renewable heating industry and the drive to reduce the country's carbon emissions.

With £2.7 billion of funding available to inspire an anticipated 750,000 installations by 2020, we are expecting the RHI to do for the renewable heating sector what feed-in tariffs did for solar photovoltaics. What is most exciting about the RHI is the way it ties renewable heat generation together with the need to get the fabric of the building right first. To qualify for RHI payments, each building has to undergo a Green Deal Assessment to prove the fabric of the building is sufficient to keep the heat in.

This is a great opportunity for installers to maximise their income by adapting their business to cover all aspects of each RHI project – the assessment, the retrofitting of the building fabric, and the installation of the heat pump, biomass, or solar thermal technology.

Mark McManus, managing director, Stiebel Eltron UK: 

We have been waiting a long time for today’s announcement, but now that it is here it has the potential to transform the uptake of renewable technologies in the UK. The domestic RHI will encourage many more homeowners, private landlords and self-builders to harness green technologies such as air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal because of the incentives available, while also providing a timely shot in the arm to thousands of renewable energy installers.

We have seen the success of the commercial RHI, so the introduction of the domestic RHI is a natural next step on the road towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets.

The scheme allows households which have already installed eligible renewable technologies to receive the subsidy payments, but it will now make the uptake of such technologies particularly appealing to those with properties off the gas grid reliant on oil or electricity for heating.

Solar Power Portal will be updating this story with more reaction as it comes in. Send your thoughts on the Solar Strategy to pbennett@solarpowerportal.co.uk