Government defends new heat incentive
The government insists the delayed roll-out of its scheme to incentivise the use of renewable heat will not suffer from the setbacks to its controversial feed-in tariff scheme for solar power.
Speaking on Thursday at the Housing Forum’s annual conference, Neil Witney, policy and project manager on the renewable heat delivery team at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said he was confident the £35 million renewal heat incentive scheme would be a success.
‘We’ve learned the lessons from FITs on cost controls and are consulting on this now,’ he said. ‘We can go into RHI with much more confidence on the costs of technologies and can therefore ensure we avoid the overstimulation of one area of the market.’
DECC was sued by environmental campaigners and photovoltaic companies after it unexpectedly cut the FIT payable on photovoltaic schemes from 43.3p/kilowatt hour to 21p/kWh last December with just six weeks’ warning. The move rendered many social housing PV schemes unviable under the new tariff.
Marcus Keys, affordable housing director at contractor Mansell, said: ‘I don’t think the RHI tariff will be set anything like as high as the one for PV.’
Mr Witney added that a consultation on RHI for residential properties was due in September, ahead of a full launch of the policy in summer next year. The government had originally hoped to launch RHI for housing alongside its green deal retrofit programme this autumn.