Last week’s announcement of the initial details of the Renewable Heat Initiative has been met with muted enthusiasm by the industry – and a feeling that an opportunity has been lost.
Having chided the government for its delays in bringing the announcements forward, Worcester Bosch’s head of government and external affairs, Neil Schofield says it leaves more questions than it gives answers.
“We welcome any initiative that attempts to bring the benefits of renewable heat generation to greater numbers of people, but today’s announcement focuses very firmly on the industrial, commercial and public sectors. There are a number of questions yet to be answered for the domestic sector which leaves the picture confused,” he says.
At Ravenheat, managing director Louis Pickersgill describes the lack of mention of the domestic sector as “frustrating”.
“The domestic sector play a vital role in helping the UK move to a low carbon economy and the Government needs to do all it can to encourage this,” he says.
At Plumb Center, director of renewable Simon Allan is also disappointed at the delay in the domestic support which, he believes, could further restrict uptake of microgeneration and renewable technologies.
“In the meantime,” he said, “we will continue to support our customers and their vital role in the UK’s move to a low carbon economy and will do all we can to ensure they have information on legislation and initiatives such as the RHI and access to the latest and most innovative renewables products and training.”
Vokèra, on the other hand, is encouraging the industry to see the positive in the announcement.
Marketing director Eleanor Fox says: “The way we are viewing this announcement is that essentially it’s an incentive for the incentive. The RHI Premium Payment will help to encourage homeowners to install renewables while we wait for the confirmation of the levels of support available through the tariff, which is due for launch in October 2012.
“I’m sure that some people will be upset that the incentives of the scheme are not as high as originally thought, but given the Government cutbacks I think we should recognise that any encouragement to take up renewable technologies can only be a step in the right direction.”