UK Renewable Heat Premium Payment Launched

UK Renewable Heat Premium Payment Launched

On 1 August the UK Government opened applications for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP), part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a financial support mechanism for households to switch to renewable heating systems. As part of the scheme householders could get up to £1,250 (€1,400) of government funding for biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels.

The RHPP, which is primarily aimed at the 4 million UK households not heated by mains gas, will make around £12 million (€13,7 million) available to householders. Applications are open from 1 Aug 2011 to 31 March 2012, and it is estimated that up to 25,000 installations will receive support.

According to Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, the RHPP launch marks the start of a “new era in home heating”, helping to create a market in renewable heating technology development, sales and installations, whilst also helping to cut the country’s carbon emissions.

Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP)

The Energy Saving Trust will administer the RHPP scheme. Homes eligible for the payment are those in England, Scotland or Wales not currently fitted with gas as the main heating fuel. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust Philip Sellwood has said that there is a high level of householder satisfaction with heat technologies. The main barrier to their widespread uptake is the high up-front cost of such systems. The RHPP should help overcome this obstacle.

The RHPP is available for the following technologies:

  • Ground source heat pump – £1250 (€1,400) grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Air source heat pump – £850 (€970) grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Biomass boiler – £950 (€1,080) grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
  • Solar thermal hot water panels – £300 (€340) grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used)

It is hoped that by providing discounts for eco heaters the scheme will dramatically reduce energy costs of those reliant on expensive oil or electric heating.

What to do to apply?

Before applications for the grant will be accepted properties have to have loft and cavity wall insulation in place, in addition to having all the necessary planning permissions. Moreover, only certified installers may put in place the eligible renewable technologies.

Another requirement of the RHPP is that householders submit information on how the installed technology is performing through a set of surveys. For a significant sample of participants, the Government will also provide meters for the heating equipment that will enable comparisons to be made on performance and energy use of the different available systems.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The consumer feedback will inform the Government’s decision regarding how the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will work in the domestic sector. The RHPP is the forerunner of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). It is anticipated that those households in receipt of the RHPP will be able to apply for the full RHI tariff once the scheme is introduced in the domestic sector, planned for the autumn of 2012.

On 30 September the RHI will open for applications for financial assistance for industry, business and communities.

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