David CowburnDespite damning media reports on the Government’s green energy policies, NAPIT believe that one area of support that remains positive for the renewable heating industry is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Before the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November last year, there were fears that the scheme may be closed. However, George Osborne stated that there is actually a budget increase to £1.15bn in 2021 [1], a much better figure than many had hoped for. The scheme is set to be reformed in April 2017 but is still now available in its current form.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recently released a series of research documents on renewable heating technologies. These show a positive outlook for the scheme, stating the RHI is critical to the uptake of low carbon heating systems]. Householders are also still taking advantage of the incentive, with figures showing 46,142 successful applications were received from “owner-occupiers” by 7th February 2016. The RHI is a key decision influencer in the installation of renewable heating technologies with 42 per cent of new applicants saying they would not have replaced their heating system without the RHI and a further 7 per cent saying they would have installed a non-renewable technology in the absence of the scheme.

It’s not just consumers that are warming up to the idea of the RHI. MCS installers also see a bright future for renewable heating technologies. Over 60 per cent of installers perceived that demand for renewable heat technologies had increased since 2013 and over three quarters felt that the renewable heat technology market was competitive.

“Recent news suggests that there is a bright future for the RHI and renewable heating technologies in general,” said David Cowburn, Managing Director of NAPIT Certification. “With simplifications being made to the scheme, such as the need to have a Green Deal Advice Report prior to the installation being replaced with an EPC from April 2016, the scheme is moving in the right direction. Expanding your business into renewable technologies for the domestic market is an attractive proposition right now. However, you still need to gain approval under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), as in order for installations to be eligible for the RHI they have to be installed by a MCS registered installer.”

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