Poor paperwork delaying RHI uptake

1st May 2012

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  • Renewable ,
  • Management ,
  • Business & Industry



Just 20 installations received payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in its first three months, with Ofgem blaming the poor quality of applications for delays

The £860 million government-funded scheme launched on 28 November 2011 and offers payments to commercial and public sector organisations for generating heat from renewable technologies such as ground-source heat pumps, solar thermal panels and biomass boilers.

In a breakdown of the first phase of the initiative, Ofgem, which administers the scheme, reveals that, despite receiving 376 applications for accreditation up until 31 March, just 20 installations have been approved to receive the tariff.

Organisations frequently fail to include all of the required information in their applications or provide inconsistent data and confusing, illegible supporting documents, according to Ofgem.

These problems are resulting in applications being sent back with requests for more information, creating delays in approving installations, says the energy regulator.

So far 16 biomass boilers, three ground-source heat pumps and one water-source heat pump, with a total generating capacity of 5.25MW, have received accreditation and just under £10,000 of RHI payments have been made.

The initial uptake figures came less than a week after the closure of a DECC consultation that outlined plans to suspend the scheme if payments threatened its budget.

DECC confirmed interim measures to control the costs of the RHI will be introduced in July, and another consultation will follow in September outlining longer-term proposals to ensure the RHI doesn’t exceed its budget and a potential timetable to roll out the scheme for domestic properties, which has been delayed until next summer.

The moves follow DECC’s failure to win its legal battle with solar firms over introducing significant cuts to feed-in tariff scheme at short notice. DECC had argued that swift changes were necessary because the initiative was near to exceeding its Treasury-imposed a spending cap.

DECC has, however, pledged to publish a list of policy measures to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon heat in the next 12 months, in its recently published renewable heat strategy document.

The document, which outlines how heating is generated currently and the changes required to decarbonise heating systems, is to become the framework the government will use to develop policy in future and DECC is asking for feedback on the paper up until 24 May.


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