The Government has announced that the second phase of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme, worth £10 million more than the existing scheme, will be launched on 2 April. The increased budget will allow for:
- an £8 million competition for communities to apply for grants to encourage community groups to install renewable heating;
- a £10 million competition for social landlords; and
- approximately £7 million for the household voucher scheme.
Full details of the competitions will be made available when they are launched at a later date. Pre-registration for the household voucher scheme will begin on 2 April, with applications open on 1 May. Vouchers will be worth the same and cover the same technologies as the existing scheme:
Ground source heat pump – £1250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating).
Biomass boiler – £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating).
Air source heat pump – £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating).
Solar thermal hot water panels – £300 grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used).
The Government also announced plans to manage the budget for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for commercial, public sector, industrial and community-scale installations to ensure its long term success. The £860 million RHI opened in November 2011 to make it more financially attractive to install low carbon heating systems like heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will launch a formal consultation in the summer to explore different policy options to ensure the RHI stays within its budget. DECC has launched a consultation proposing an interim measure to keep the RHI within the budgetary limits set by the Comprehensive Spending Review. The consultation runs until 23 April.
DECC will consult in September this year about increasing the number of technologies eligible under the industrial RHI with a view to implementing the plans by summer next year. It will also set out shortly its long term plans to decarbonise the heat sector when it launches its Heat Strategy.
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