We hit a major milestone on 29 September 2014 with over 10,000 accreditations for the domestic RHI in less than six months of the scheme being opened. As ever there are some interesting findings behind the headline figures. Geographically, the south west of England leads the way in numbers of accreditations, perhaps not too surprising in view of the percentage of off gas grid properties.
However, one rather surprising statistic is the fact that 25 percent of the responding householders were replacing gas fired devices with renewable heating systems. Since it is generally acknowledged that gas remains the most economic fuel for space heating, are we seeing a new view emerging? There will undoubtedly be some people who simply want to have the latest technology, the so-called ‘early adopters’; but I think that they will be relatively small in numbers. Perhaps these people are taking a longer term view and the decision that they are making on their heating appliance is probably going to have implications for 15 years (or more)?
Another telling comparison is the difference in uptake of technologies from before the launch of the RHI against the demand post scheme launch. Biomass is the most popular choice for post launch applicants and this certainly reflects our experience. Of course, small scale biomass completely dominates the uptake in the non domestic RHI scheme. This demand has also accelerated the introduction of some interesting new products which will probably stimulate the market even more.