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Future support for low carbon heat

Heating of homes, businesses and industry is responsible for a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonisation of heat is crucial in meeting the net zero target.

Objectives of the consultation

This consultation set out proposals for a new Green Gas Support scheme to increase the proportion of green gas in the grid, through support for biomethane injection. The scheme is expected to begin in Autumn 2021 and will be available to eligible new applicants for four years. The Government was seeking views on key elements of policy design, including:

  • The structure of the tariff mechanism to best incentivise continued deployment and value for money.
  • Waste feedstock and sustainability criteria.
  • Views on green gas support in the longer-term, including future mechanisms and support for other types of green gas such as hydrogen.

The consultation also set out proposals for a Clean Heat Grant scheme to provide targeted support to heat pumps and, in limited circumstances, biomass. The scheme is expected to begin in April 2022, following an extension to the Domestic RHI scheme for one year. This support will be available for two years. The Government was seeking views on the following aspects of the scheme:

  • Delivering support through an upfront grant scheme.
  • A voucher system for grant delivery, designed to target the upfront cost barrier.
  • Supporting domestic and non-domestic installations up to a capacity of 45kW.
  • Providing a flat-rate grant across different technology types.
  • A recommended support level of £4,000.
  • The criteria for ensuring biomass is only installed in properties deemed not suitable for a heat pump.

The Government intends to appoint Ofgem as the administrator for both schemes and the consultation set out the expected role of administrator in delivering a robust audit and compliance framework.

The consultation closed on 7 July 2020.

Supporting papers

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

CIBSE response

This consultation on future support for low carbon heat is intrinsically linked with the consultation on changes to the non-domestic RHI scheme and CIBSE submitted one response to both consultations. 

The proposals in these two consultations can only properly be gauged in their overall context including regulations, incentives and support mechanisms. We understand this will be set in the heat strategy which is expected later this year and which is very much needed. Without this context, CIBSE do not feel it is possible nor effective to make meaningful and detailed comments on the proposals.

We understand the need to respond to the current uncertainty about policy and incentives post-RHI, and indeed we have recommended for over two years that the post-RHI situation should be clarified. However, the current measures introduce significant changes to the current support system, without providing a long-term view and the certainty needed for consumers and supply chains. It is very likely that the current disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak will further undermine confidence and supply chains. We therefore recommend that government should:

  • produce the clean heat strategy as soon as possible,
  • in the meantime and until the strategy is implemented, simply extend the RHI (domestic and non-domestic) to prevent a period of complete vacuum as a COVID-19 recovery measure.

Other than a small number of questions in each consultation, we have therefore not responded to individual questions in detail, but instead have structured our recommendations against key themes, including clean heat strategy and low-carbon heat competence.

To read the CIBSE response, follow the link below: