September 2014

DECC Publishes Interim Evaluation of the Non-domestic RHI

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The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recently published an interim evaluation of non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), prepared by Eunomia, NatCen Social Research and Frontier Economics.

The RHI is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat and pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings.

Using a range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques the evaluation has so far focused on the views and experiences of applicants to the scheme, possible applicants to the scheme and the wider investment community. The evidence suggests that:

  • the RHI is stimulating investments in renewable heat technologies (RHTs);
  • experiences with the installation and operation of RHTs have been positive; and
  • although RHTs are being installed in a wide range of sectors, the relatively low prevalence of non-biomass RHTs, larger systems, and the lack of non-self-financed installations shows that areas of the supply chain still have room to develop

Almost half of energy consumed in the UK is used to provide heat, 43 per cent of which is used in the non-domestic sector. Reducing carbon emissions from non-domestic heat is therefore an important part of meeting UK greenhouse gas reduction targets. The non-domestic RHI was launched in November 2011, with installations of eligible RHTs since July 2009 qualifying for support. The RHI scheme aims to:

  • incentivise the roll out of renewable heating technologies to contribute to the UK’s 2020 renewable energy target;
  • deliver significant reductions in the carbon emissions resulting from heating; and
  • prepare for mass rollout of renewable heating technologies beyond 2020 by building sustainable supply chains, improving performance, reducing costs and increasing awareness of these technologies.

Eunomia’s consortium will be carrying out further planned evaluation research that will give DECC insight into the performance of the RHI, its effect on non-domestic organisations and its influence on the development of the supply chain.