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Green Deal or No Deal – Earthtest Energy speaks at House of Commons

I am from Earthtest Energy and I am here to talk about the Renewable Heat Incentive. The reason I was invited is because Earthtest Energy achieved the first ever Renewable Heat Incentive accreditation – regardless of technology. This was in January 2012 for a heatpump serving an office in a converted Corn Mill.

The objective of the Renewable Heat Incentive is to incentivise individuals and companies to choose Renewable energy rather than fossil fuels to heat homes and businesses. This is achieved by compensating the owners for the cost and inconvenience of this decision, and also to provide good rate of return on the capital expensed. It is similar in concept to the feed in tariffs for photo voltaic panels and  wind turbines.

Unfortunately the original Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive was hastily conceived, and particularly for ground source heatpumps – our speciality – there were a number of issues regarding the rules, which took almost a year to resolve. These problems are now behind us, and with the doubling of tariffs for schemes accredited since January 2013 and the removal of the 100kw barrier, the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is now really open for business.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive has been delayed and delayed. Interim Premium Payments did little to encourage uptake and caused considerable suspicion in the market. The delays are understandable, it is a complicated scheme, and it is difficult to draft rules to suit very differing technologies. But we are assured it will happen in the Spring and even the rain gods and the government cannot stretch Spring beyond the end of May. The only remaining obstacle is the interface with the Green Deal Energy Assessment, which is used to calculate the amount of heat needed and thus the magnitude of the tariff payments.

We, at Earthtest Energy, are geologists. We supply ground source pumps, and to make certain of their efficiency, we include underfloor heating and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery within our scope of supply. We also have a thorough understanding of the Renewable Heat Incentive rules. We do not try to cover all the other renewable products.

So what does renewable ground source heat mean for property owners?

Most importantly, heating bills for a heatpump are less than half the cost of oil, and this is an ongoing saving.

Thereafter it gets more complicated, and correct design of the heatpump and its interface with the building are essential.

The Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is paid against metered heatpump output and has tiered payments.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is paid against deemed heatpump output, existing properties require a Green Deal Assessment, and the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is paid only for the renewable element of the heatpump output. Are you confused? – well talk to me later!

However everyone wants numbers, so here they are.

A Non Domestic 50kw heatpump could earn payments of £125,000 plus inflation over 20years.

A Domestic 12kw heatpump could earn payments of £29,000 plus inflation over 7years.

These are big numbers, but as the uptake of the scheme increases, they are likely to reduce.