DECC proposes excluding biofuels from domestic RHI

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has published consultation documents for the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. The new proposals all but rule out the inclusion of B30K Bioheating Oil, stating that “we do not believe that partially renewable solutions such as the B30K blend have a sufficient role to play in the transformation of the domestic heating sector to subsidise them through the RHI.”

However, despite the likely exclusion of biofuels in the domestic RHI, there are suggestions that they will be an option for larger commercialproperties, with a proposed tariff of 4.1p/kWh – the same rate as for approved, solid biomass fuels.

Although the expected timeframe for its introduction remains unchanged (summer 2013), proposed levels of financial support for included technologies are now known.

Key proposals include:   

  • We are proposing to exclude bioliquids from the scheme because we do not believe that partially renewable solutions such as the B30K blend have a sufficient role to play in the transformation of the domestic heating sector to subsidise them through the RHI. We are keen to see the replacement of fossil fuel systems with wholly renewable domestic heating solutions in order to maximise both our renewable heat generation and carbon savings. By encouraging the installation of part renewable solutions, we believe we may undermine this objective.

• Indicative tariff ranges for air source heat pumps (6.9-11.5p/kWh), biomass boilers (5.2-8.7p/kWh), ground source heat pumps (12.5-17.3p/kWh) and solar thermal technologies (17.3p/kWh) that are MCS certified and meet relevant required standards

• Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage 

• Tariff levels set to provide a better return for householders living off the gas grid

• Budget management system similar to one introduced for the Feed-in Tariffs scheme

• Minimum energy efficiency requirements based on Green Deal assessments

Members of the public have until December 7th 2012 to respond to the consultation documents which can be found here.

DECC then aims to publish its response to the consultation early in 2013. This will be followed by the parliamentary process for approval of the introduction of the domestic RHI which it anticipates will allow the scheme to be open to applicants in the summer of 2013.

Climate change minister Greg Barker said: “We need to revolutionise the way we heat our homes and businesses and move away from expensive fossil fuels, not only to cut carbon but to help meet our renewables targets and save money on bills. 

“Our proposals aim to encourage even more uptake of clean green heating in industry and in our businesses.  We have also set out our views on long term support for those who invest in low carbon kit in their homes and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.”

Seperate consultations have also been published for widening the remit of the non-domestic RHI to increase uptake. The first examines broader expansion of the scheme which closes on December 7th and the second focuses on air to water heat pumps which closes on 18th October 2012. These consultation can be responded to by clicking here.

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