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Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit on the ground.Stephen Chu, US Secretary of Energy
New RHI consultation released
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released a further Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) consultation on 20th July 2012: 'Renewable Heat Incentive: providing certainty and improving performance'.
It is important to note that at this stage, it is only a consultation, so its proposals are not yet law. However, we don’t expect that many changes will be made to it.
Key points we have noted from the consultation are:
- The introduction of flue gas emissions limits for biomass boilers — expected to come into force sometime between November 2012 and March 2013. If your boiler is commissioned and your RHI application is submitted before these limits come into force, you do not have to comply. If your boiler is likely to be commissioned after 1st October 2012, check with your supplier if it will meet these standards.
- Simpler heat metering rules — if your installation meets certain standards, such as good pipe insulation, and all the heat is used for eligible purposes, you should only need a heat meter on your biomass boiler, heat pumps etc. – even if you are supplying heat to several different buildings. This is a big step forward, and how it should have been all along. When will this come in? It's not clear – some time in 2013 we hope. Note: there are ways around this already, it's just hard going. If you are faced with this problem, give Farm Energy Centre a call on 024 7669 6512.
- Enhanced preliminary accreditation — gives the ability to ‘lock into' an RHI tariff before you commit to the investment. This is another big step forward. When will this come in? It's not clear, but some time in 2013 we hope.
- Automatic tariff reductions — if a lot of renewable heating plant is installed, this allows DECC to reduce the RHI tariffs in a controlled manner (unlike the solar panel Feed-in Tariff). But don’t worry, in the short-term at least the uptake has been lower than expected.
The consultation period ends on 14th September 2012 — we'll be keeping you updated with the outcome.