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DECC launches 'new era in home heating' with first phase of RHI

The government has issued a rallying call for householders to take advantage of the first £15m phase of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is expected to see 25,000 biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps, and solar thermal panels installed in UK homes.

Climate change minister Greg Barker today launched a dedicated phone line and website to provide information to those interested in taking advantage of the Premium Payment scheme. The scheme will from next month offer grants of up to £1,250 to help reduce the upfront cost of installing renewable heat technologies.

DECC is now urging people to ensure their houses have basic energy efficiency measures in place before applying for a Premium Payment grant, which will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The scheme is being run be the Energy Saving Trust and will be open from August 1 until March 2012. Grants will be handed to households in the form of vouchers that can be cashed in with approved suppliers until March 2012.
Those interested in applying for vouchers can call 0800 512 012 or visit The Energy Saving Trust’s website.

The Premium Payment is a precursor to the full domestic RHI, which is slated to launch next year alongside the Green Deal energy efficiency loan scheme. It will mirror the existing feed-in tariff incentive scheme for on-site electricity generation systems, providing those who install renewable heat technologies with guaranteed payments based on how much heat they generate.

DECC said it will closely monitor the success of technologies deployed through the Premium Payment phase of the scheme in order to prepare for the full RHI. In partiucular, officials plan to to compare manufacturers’ and installers’ claims about performance with real data on energy generation and use.

DECC expects the RHI to boost the UK’s fledgling renewable heat sector, while also helping reduce energy bills for householders.
“Today starts a new era in home heating because we’re making it more economical for people to go green by providing discounts off the cost of eco heaters,” said Barker. “This should be great news for people who are reliant on expensive oil or electric heating as the Premium Payment scheme is really aimed at them.”
DECC also confirmed today that it is firming up details of a £3m Premium Payment for social landlords that will be funded from the £15m funding pot. The department said the precise details of the support for landlords will be announced at “a later date”.

The Premium Payment is aimed at the four million households not heated by mains gas, and will be followed at the end of September by an RHI for industry, businesses and communities.

Those firms interested in applying for the RHI can access more information on the incentive scheme by contacting Ofgem E-Serve on 0845 200 2122 or by visiting Ofgem’s website.

Experts are predicting that the level of support provided through the RHI will make technologies such as biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps financially attractive to organisations looking to upgrade their heating and cooling infrastructure.

Date: 21/07/2011
Author: BusinessGreen Staff

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