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Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit on the ground.Stephen Chu, US Secretary of Energy
RHI - more breathing space on emissions
The new flue gas emission limits for biomass boilers claiming the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will now be introduced in Autumn 2013 — rather than by 1st April as originally planned.
In a recently-published response to a consultation that opened back in July 2012, the government confirmed that date for these limits to take effect will be pushed back to "no later than the end of 2013".
This delay is good news in one sense, as it means there is now more time to install your boiler and submit your RHI application before the new flue gas rules make installation more expensive.
However, it’s also bad news, because of the uncertainty over exactly when the new rules will apply.
The government’s introduction of emission limits for biomass boiler flue gases was always expected. However, the original plan for the limits to be introduced between 1st November 2012 and 1st April 2013 caused concern in the industry, because of the cost it would add to boiler installation.
There was particular concern around the impact the rules would have on installing larger boilers, which would likely need bag filters to keep particulate emissions within the new limits.
Concern was also raised for keeping flue gas emissions from cereal straw-fuelled boilers under the new limits, because of the difficulty in controlling their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
Other notable points in the government’s response statement include:
- Simplified metering requirements – from Autumn 2013.
- Biomass sustainability reporting – from April 2014 but >1 MW installations will be "encouraged" to voluntarily submit data from April 2013.
- Automatic tariff reduction – only if uptake is high. (It isn’t currently.)
- Process heat – by the end of 2013 this will no longer have to take place within a building.