Heat is the biggest use of energy in the UK. Just under half of the UK's CO2 emissions and 60% of domestic energy bills are used for heating space and water. Heat in the UK is currently supplied predominantly by fossil fuels - with less than 1% from renewable sources.
The renewable heat incentive (RHI) aims to change that. Its aim is that 12% of heat is generated renewably by 2020. A total budget of £860m is available for the renewable heat incentive, over the period 2011 - 2014.
More help with the upfront cost of installing renewable heat is now available as the Department of Energy and Climate Change announces a doubling of the Renewable Heat Premium Payments.
These money off vouchers 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 RHPP scheme was introduced to fill the gap, following several delays to the introduction of the renewable heat incentive which is now expected to launch in Spring 2014. Final details of the RHI scheme are expected this summer. The RHPP payments are in effect an upfront payment of some of the RHI money, and will be subtracted from the total amount of RHI money due (proposals are to adjust the length of tariff payments, rather than the amount).
Announcing the doubling of rates, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:
"I want to kick start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies. This time limited, big increase in the value of vouchers for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector."