DBEIS proposals to reform and refocus RHI: GSHPA Response

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Published: 16 December 2016


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The Ground Source Heat Pump Association welcomes the BEIS publication of its response to The Renewable Heat Incentive – A Reformed and Refocused scheme consultation.

​Today Baroness Neville-Rolfe made an important speech during which she underlined the importance of heat pumps in tackling the challenge of heating our buildings in the low carbon economy. She touched on heat networks, heat storage and heat recovery – all of which are uniquely well suited to promote ground source heat pump deployment at a large scale. To support this, she also announced the launch of several key consultations and the long-awaited publication of the reforms to the RHI. 

​The reforms make some small but significant changes that ensure all types of buildings can benefit from public funding, including a modest rise in the Domestic RHI tariff.

The proven and highly successful retrofit of GSHPs into tenanted housing using micro district heating systems featuring shared ground loops will become more easily financed as the payments are deemed rather than metered – and the tariffs can be guaranteed at date of order for projects over 100kW even if the commissioning date is some way into the future. This focus on the unable-to-pay will make winters more comfortable and less worrisome for large numbers of the growing elderly community.

However, we note some concern over the capping of payments for larger domestic systems which has been an area of strong deployment under the RHI to this point. The Association will be keeping a keen eye on the effect this has on the market place and will be engaging with BEIS as we move into 2017.

Large commercial GSHP projects, including new buildings and new housing with shared ground loops, will also benefit from a guaranteed tariff and the certainty that the RHI is fully funded until Spring 2021.

The GSHPA thanks Baroness Neville-Rolfe, and in particular the staff at BEIS, for a detailed engagement over the course of 2016. Almost seven years after Government's first RHI Consultation, the scheme now represents a solid platform that can be used to develop the future policy framework. This will further spur GSHPA members to deliver the aggressive but sustainable growth in GSHP markets over the next decade that will be essential to help the UK meet its legally binding energy security, fuel affordability and emissions reduction targets.