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Have many companies applied to the Renewable Heat Incentive since it launched in November 2011? As with all new schemes there's been a bedding-in period and renewable heat systems can take three months to design and install. Although the scheme saw limited take-up initially, we – and our technology partner Constructive Renewables – are noticing a steady rise in applications as awareness increases.

For how long will the RHI tariff last and how frequently will I receive payments? The scheme guarantees payments for 20 years on energy generated from renewable heat sources, though the tariffs will vary based on the size of the system and the volume of energy produced. Participants will receive quar- terly payments, regulated by Ofgem.

RHI scheme can be utilised in the best interests of their business.

The answer is simpler than one might assume: the key is determining which system best suits your operation. The beauty of the RHI is undoubtedly

the profi t that can be made from the energy produced. Through the scheme, generators can be paid up to 8.9p per kWh, although the tariff – administered by Ofgem – depends on the systems used and volume of energy generated.

PICKING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY There are lots of options, including bio- mass boilers, solar panels, Combined Heat and Power Plants (CHP) and

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How will the RHI help the UK achieve its carbon reduction targets? Renewable heat technologies such as biomass boilers and solar thermal sys- tems are essentially carbon neutral, whereby they produce and emit no CO2. So not only is the scheme fi nan- cially benefi cial, but it is also set to make a huge environmental impact as adoption increases.

If I installed a renewable heat technology system, would I still need a traditional electricity supply? Renewable heat systems generally replace the heating of water and space. For example, if you have a boiler sys- tem that uses gas or oil and supplies your central heating and hot water sup- ply, by replacing it with a Ground Source Heat Pump, you will no longer need your gas or oil supply.

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP). A leisure centre that requires a continu- ous supply of hot water would benefi t from a CHP plant or a biomass boiler to replace older heating systems that require gas or oil, while a ground source heat pump would be more suitable for a building that requires seasonal heating and cooling.

FINANCING THE SOLUTION The obvious question is where to source the capital for the investment. If you’re looking to reduce energy spend, it's unlikely you’ll have the cap- ital available to enter the RHI. As the scheme matures, fi nanc-

How do I know which renewable heat system is suitable for me? There are many different technolo- gies, the application of which will vary depending on your operations. For example, if you have a requirement for heating and cooling, a Ground Source Heat Pump would be an appropriate option. Alternatively, if you have a boiler that uses oil, you could replace it with a biomass boiler. If you're unsure, seek guidance to ensure you get the maxi- mum benefi t from your system.

If I already have a renewable heat system, will I qualify for the RHI?

Existing systems can qualify for the scheme but on the condition that they were installed after 15 July 2009.

ing packages will emerge but already we're fi nding that energy suppliers, for example, will provide renewable heat technology alongside their exist- ing services. Likewise, there are many lending options specifi cally designed for the installation of effi ciency solu- tions, such as the Carbon Trust, which will provide the upfront capital costs for equipment that presents an attrac- tive return on investment. ●

Laura-Clare Davies is business develop- ment manager at The Energy Desk Details: +44 (0)800 3777 889

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