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Renewable Heat Incentive: A reformed and refocused scheme

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced to support households, businesses, public bodies and charities in transitioning from conventional forms of heating to renewable alternatives. In November 2015, the Government renewed its commitment to the transition to a low carbon economy by confirming a continued budget for the RHI. 

Objectives of the consultation

The Government wishes to reform the existing Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to ensure it meets its objectives in a manner which: is affordable; offers value for money; promotes deployment of those technologies which are likely to be strategically important in the long-term; contributes to the development of sustainable markets; promotes widespread access, and; incorporates robust scheme design. The consultation set out and sought views on the Government’s package of proposals to achieve these aims. The consultation closed on 27 April 2016.

Supporting papers

To download documents that supported this consultation, please follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE agrees that achieving a subsidy-free existence for renewable and low carbon heating technologies in the UK is a sensible long term market objective. The key challenge is enabling a smooth transition from the current situation to the desired subsidy free scenario, providing adequate but diminishing support to enable businesses to plan their operations, training and skills development, and business financing appropriately.

Some of the current proposals for the Renewable Heat Incentive risk undermining growth in the sector and eroding value from already committed taxpayer support. This includes the removal of solar thermal systems from both domestic and non-domestic RHI schemes, and the de-prioritisation of biomass heating.

An area which requires more attention is that of quality, regulation and standards. Setting minimum (and perhaps best practice) standards for renewable and low carbon heating will provide greater confidence for specifiers and clients. This would drive up the quality of installations, increase efficiencies and reliability for consumers, reduce emissions, and deliver better value for Government.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.