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Strong Interest Shown in RHI Premium Payment

By Katie Anderson on August 2, 2011

It was only officially launched yesterday, but already the first phase of the Renewable Heat Incentive – the Premium Payment – has sparked interest from households wishing to take advantage of the Government’s latest scheme.

The Premium Payment initiative offers one-off grants to enable people to invest in renewable sources of heating, and with £15 million having been set aside, the RHPP has been budgeted to support the deployment of around 25,000 renewable heat generators.

According to the Energy Saving Trust – who are administering the scheme on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), since the initiative was announced on 21 July, some 2,700 households have already expressed an interest in applying for grants.

The RHPP is available from 1 August until 31 March 2012 and operates on a first come first served basis. Of the interest expressed so far, the highest proportion was for solar thermal panels, with 40% of enquiries. Air source heat pumps achieved 25% of interest, whilst 18% of enquiries favoured biomass boilers. Ground source heat pumps generated 16% of interest.

“We’re really pleased with the level of interest we’ve seen so far,” commented Helen White, projects and performance manager at the Energy Saving Trust.

“There’s clearly an appetite out there to explore alternatives to fossil fuel heating systems,” she added.

With enquiries to date representing more than 10% of planned installations, there is concern within the industry that the limited funds available could run out, and that should the Government fear that the scheme was in danger of being oversubscribed, it could curtail payments early.

DECC has said it will review payments when £10m has been administered.