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RHIs given green light, but delays stall progress

Government announces funding for RHIs to drive renewable technology, though industry slams launch delays

Renewable Heat Incentives have been given the green light by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), with £860 million allocated for the scheme - however industry concerns have been voiced over delays in funding

Set to be introduced in June 2011 it’s hoped the programme will provide a ten-fold increase in renewable heat over the coming decade, shifting the technology from the fringe into the mainstream.

Details of tariff and technology will be announced at the end of the year, and the Government aims to have 12 per cent of all heat generated from renewable sources by 2020.

Yet the lack of details and delays in releasing funds has angered some in the industry, who claim it is halting progress.

Graham Hendra, Freedom Heat Pumps managing director, says: “We’ve been sitting here for six months waiting for this announcement, and the result is ‘wait and see’.”

“It isn’t a surprise that it’s been given the go ahead, what’s frustrating is that we now have to sit tight and wait until the end of the year for more information, then another year until the funds are released. Interested customers are now sitting back and waiting for further announcements.”

This sentiment is echoed by Mike Nankivell, business development manager at Daikin distributor Space Air, who is worried that the momentum for change has been lost.

“It’s disappointing at this time that there are no firm commitments. We’ve now got a gap, which sets back the industry in terms of heat pump growth.”

However, John Kellet, General Manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s Domestic Heating Systems, takes a more positive approach.

 “We broadly welcome the confirmation that RHI will come into effect next June and look forward to more details.  This will provide a great opportunity for air source heat pumps to improve the energy efficiency in more homes and lower household fuel bills.  At the same time, we will be urging Government to look at ways of insisting on the highest standards of installation.”

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