Current affairs

By guest columnist Bill Wright, head of energy solutions, Electrical Contractors’ Association

One piece of good news amongst all the recent gloom over PV and the Green Deal has been the recent announcement that accreditations under the Domestic RHI have reached the 10,000 mark on 29 September. Ofgem stated that they had paid out over £1M to successful applicants and there appear to be many more in the pipeline. They are expecting to pay over £120M for these successful applicants over the next seven years which really does give an incentive to look at the Domestic RHI for heating systems.

Interestingly the two areas which had the most installations were Scotland (expected) and South West England, one of the warmest parts of the country but ideal for solar thermal installations. The majority of accreditations were ‘legacy, those systems installed between 15 July 2009 and 09 April 2014. This is to be expected given the different time scales for new and existing schemes. A high proportion of the legacy schemes were for air source heat pumps, followed by solar thermal. The majority (44 percent) of new installations were biomass systems, which have had tremendous publicity, so perhaps this is not a surprise. The next most popular technology was air source heat pumps at 31 percent. In both legacy and new installations ground source heat pumps were in the minority, 18 percent and 5 percent respectively.

One other piece of good news is that Ed Davey MP has promised another £100M in incentives for the Green Deal. My view is still that one of the best incentives would be to allow FITs to be taken into account when assessing eligibility for the Green Deal. This could kick start the Green Deal and the PV industry.