14 March 2011

Last week’s announcement regarding the Renewable Heat Incentive was a bit of a mixed bag for the construction industry. Darran Smith, Product Manager at Alpha Heating Innovation, looks at what this means for the domestic renewables market.

Secretary of State for energy and climate change, Chris Huhne, revealed that businesses and public sector organisations would be the first to qualify for a portion of £860 million of government funding, but homeowners would need to wait until late 2012 before they can take advantage of the scheme.

However, following the abolition of the carbon reduction scheme in 2009, many installers were told that systems fitted after the deadline date could still be eligible for grants from future legislation. By the time the RHI rolls in for homeowners this could mean a two year backlog of claims pulling money from the pot even before the new claims go in.

Furthermore, only a small number of households, approximately 25,000, will be able to apply for a special grant from this July to assist with the cost of installing green heating. With the domestic market accounting for a large proportion of the potential renewables sector this could severely rein in the job potential that Chris Huhne anticipates.

As far as the domestic sector is concerned, we still need more information, as do homeowners, before we see any major moves forward with renewables.