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Heat Pump Association ‘disappointed’ with RHI delay

The Heat Pump Association has voiced its concerns over the further delay over amendements to the commercial RHI and the launch of the domestic RHI

In a statement, the HPA said: “The Heat Pump Association cannot hide its profound disappointment at the announcement that both the amendments to Commercial RHI and the launch of Domestic RHI are to be further delayed until Spring 2014.

Such a delay risks damaging  more than just the credibility of the policy, in the Commercial RHI sector it also risks damaging specific industries and businesses since there are current policy distortions which need to be rapidly resolved.

Industry has invested millions in preparing for the launch of this policy, and now those still able will be forced to fund a further period.

DECC is clear that it remains fully committed to the RHI policy, a point re-iterated by Greg Barker at subsequent meetings. But industry will have to work hard to convince sceptical end users and installers that they should buy in to the project.

There are positives in the announcement, these including increased funding for training and apprenticeships, and the extension of the RHPP scheme for home owners to March 2014 which was an essential yet minimum substitute, although the benefit will be far less than if RHI had itself been implemented and RHPP monies will have to be repaid from eventual RHI income.

Hence there is now a need for several vital actions by DECC:

1/Communicate very clearly to the market that DECC are committed to Domestic RHI, and positively review the incentives available to householders in the intervening period.

2/ Urgently revise the tariffs for Commercial RHI to remove current distortions and introduce Enhanced Preliminary Accreditation for larger projects.

3/ Increase funding for social housing (landlords) and move as soon as possible to a predictable structure which will allow social landlords to plan ahead rather than using (discriminatory) wasteful competitions.

DECC clearly feel they need more time for clarification of perceived issues in RHI despite industry providing vast amounts of information since the original consultation process started way back  in 2010. The HPA and other industry members stand ready to assist in filling any such gaps in knowledge which are inhibiting progress and call upon DECC to identify these clearly.

HPA President Tony Bowen comments ‘DECC state their strong and continuing commitment to the RHI scheme, but we need a rapid decisions so that current market distortions can be corrected and that the market can be given enough detail to provide future certainty .”

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