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Domestic RHI scheme hit by further delays

This time last year we reported that the Government had announced plans to delay the Renewable Heat Incentive until 2013. In what feels very much like a case of deja vu, we’re having to report that yet more delays have befallen the scheme. 

Yes, the second stage of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been postponed yet again. This time until spring 2014.

The RHI was due to  start this summer, but the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has pushed back the launch date by another 12 months. The scheme, first announced by the Government back in 2009, is similar to the Feed-in Tariff for renewable electricity and is designed to pay households for generating heat and hot water from renewable energy sources. Technologies cover by the financial incentive include solar hot water heating, ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers.

In what is yet another blow for the domestic RHI, we’ll have to wait until the summer to find out how the scheme will work. At this point the Government will confirm the scheme’s tariff levels.

Commenting on the delays, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We remain committed to introducing an incentive scheme for householders too, and have today (March 26) set out an updated timetable for its launch alongside plans to extend our renewable heat voucher scheme in the meantime.”

No doubt in a move designed to make the bitter pillow slightly easier to swallow, rather than closing its doors at the end of March, the Government is to extend the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) for a further 12 months. Meaning homeowners will have until March 2014 to benefit from the one-off grant payment which they can put towards the cost of installing renewable heating technologies. Determined by the type of technology, grants of up to £1,250 are available.

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