Leading name in renewable heating Dimplex has dismissed rumours that DECC is planning to ‘rein in’ subsidies for heat pumps as part of the £860m Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, in order to avoid running into the type of financial troubles that have hit the Feed in Tariff in recent months.
With the non-domestic RHI scheme already up and running, plans are now being developed for the launch of the domestic phase. Dimplex, together with industry trade bodies, has already been involved in a number of positive meetings with DECC officials in recent weeks to discuss the scheme’s structure, scale and possible cost control measures, in advance of an anticipated consultation later this year.
Chris Davis, renewables business development director at Dimplex, says: “We have been working with DECC to ensure a planned approach to the introduction of the domestic RHI, to avoid the damaging stop/start development we’ve seen with the FiT for solar PV.
“There is a productive working relationship between the DECC RHI team and the heat pump industry; DECC has shared its thoughts on the possible shape of the domestic RHI scheme and constructive feedback has been given. All parties recognise that the scheme needs to be simple, easy to access, sustainable and open to all, with appropriate controls to avoid overspend.”
Responding on Twitter to a question from Dimplex about the scheme, climate change minister Greg Barker stated: “I’m absolutely committed to RHI, it’s a very different animal to the Feed in Tariff. No cuts to budget, but continually looking how to improve roll out.”
All the feedback from DECC so far has indicated a positive role for heat pumps in the RHI and the future decarbonisation of the UK economy. The government has already given a target of at least 25,000 households to take up the RHI scheme in the first year, while the fourth carbon budget published late last year suggested a trajectory of 600,000 heat pump installations by 2020.
A planned timeline for the introduction of the domestic RHI is expected at the end of February. In the meantime, Dimplex has been invited to attend an industry meeting with Greg Barker at the end of February to discuss views on the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.