After many months of planning, the government’s much anticipated Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is finally up and running. With such a long build up, and so many expectations to live up to, can we expect to see a real boom in the uptake of renewable technologies?
The initial figures are promising, with DECC hoping to see 35,000 households sign up in the first year alone. If these targets are met, it is clear that it’s not just the homeowners who are set to benefit – installers and suppliers will also have a real opportunity to capitalise on the growing renewables market.
The Domestic RHI aims to encourage homeowners to switch to alternative, renewable heating solutions, such as heat pumps, by offering a financial incentive in the form of payback tariffs. The quarterly payments are calculated and paid over a seven year period to help offset the initial cost of installing the renewable technology. During the payback period and beyond, the homeowner will also benefit from on-going savings to their energy bills due to running a more efficient heating system in their home.
In the last few years Nu-Heat has seen a steady growth in the sales of heat pump and solar thermal systems without any strong incentive in place. One of our Directors, Adrian Troop, takes some time to share his thoughts on the Domestic RHI and how he sees it affecting homeowners, installers and the marketplace as a whole.
Do you see the Domestic RHI having a positive impact on the renewables market?
Most definitely, especially in the self-build market where we have already noticed a positive increase in activity levels. This area has been slow over the last few years, with self-builders like everyone else having to ‘ride out’ the recession with little or no thoughts on building. Now we are seeing plans for projects which have been hibernating for the last few years, which together with the launch of the domestic RHI, will have a very positive effect on the domestic market.
As an established supplier of integrated renewable systems, what do you think makes the Domestic RHI different and more appealing in comparison to previous Government incentive schemes?
The benefits of the Domestic RHI are that the construction of the scheme and the tariffs applicable look to be well constructed, repaying the investment in renewable installation, whilst reaping the benefits of lower running costs. We want there to be a steady increase in the uptake of renewable technologies, allowing the market to cope with the growth and in return put out both quality designs and installations as a result.
Do you think the scheme will open up the option of renewable solutions in a wider range of properties?
There is absolutely no reason why the positive effects will not be felt across the board into smaller and mid-range houses especially as it is expected that 35,000 households are expected to fit the technology in the first year!
Do you think the RHI will be more popular with homeowners than the previous government schemes?
We are already fielding more enquiries on ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and solar thermal in recent weeks since DECC started publicising the pre-Easter launch, so it’s already starting to gain momentum. I cannot see why it won’t prove popular, as logic states that if you can get a renewables heating system installed and get paid back, in some cases with a profit, within 7 years why wouldn’t you?
Which renewable technologies do you envisage becoming the most popular due to the domestic RHI?
Here at Nu-Heat, we feel that ground source heat pumps will see a resurgence in the general market, as those who have the available space to install the ground arrays and the higher upfront costs of the units will be rewarded with generous tariff payments. In addition, solar thermal added into the scheme at the same time will add to the return generated from the tariff.
Who do you think will most benefit from the Domestic RHI?
Apart from the renewable heating system owner, installer and supplier, perhaps one of the area’s most likely to benefit are warm water underfloor heating providers. With the benefits of a low temperature heat emitter such as underfloor heating, maximising the efficiency of the heat pump and providing a higher seasonal performance factor (SPF), clearly underfloor heating market is set to benefit too.
Do you see the Domestic RHI as a real incentive for installers to consider adding renewable technologies to their offering?
We think so. We implore installers to get involved in this exciting growth market. If you are a MCS ready installer, you are sitting ready to capitalise on the growth. Clearly there are still many installers without MCS who will want to have the opportunity to gain from the market. Nu-Heat has considerable experience in supporting novice installers new to our products and we encourage you to contact us to find out how this works.
For more information on how Nu-Heat supports novice installers, call us on 0800 731 1976
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