Renewable Heat Payments increased for householders

Payments to householders who switch to selected greener heating systems have doubled, the government announced yesterday.

Vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems. The increase in the value of the grants is designed to cover the cost of a Green Deal energy efficiency assessment, which householders will have to undergo before they can redeem the vouchers through the Energy Saving Trust.

Nearly a fifth of the UK’s housing stock is not connected to the gas grid and householders in these rural areas are often reliant on heating oil, which is expensive and has high carbon emissions.

The RHPP scheme is designed to support the development of the renewable heat sector ahead of the launch of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which is intended to offer regular incentive payments to householders installing eligible technologies. However, the scheme has faced a series of delays and is now not scheduled to launch until March 2014.

Before yesterday, payments through the RHPP scheme were limited to £1,250 for ground source heat pumps, £950 for biomass boilers, £850 for air source heat pumps and £300 for solar thermal systems.

Julian Sowerbutts of The Renewable Design Company said “this is a time limited opportunity for householders who have been considering installing renewable heating systems, these payments make the project more affordable and allows them to go ahead. With the prospect of payments from the RHI starting next year there has never been a better time to install a renewable system”