Anyone for pizza?
Last week a webinar was held all about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). For the uninitiated, a webinar is a PowerPoint presentation you can watch in real time, or any time afterwards given over the web. Webinars are cheap to do and suck every last ounce of oomph out of a presentation. They are notoriously boring to watch and this one was no exception to the rule.
For those of you who are not familiar with the RHI, it's simple - the Government might one day give a subsidy to technologies offering alternative sources of heat to burning fossil fuels. So far this ridiculous scheme has been delayed four times and the end is nowhere in sight. Over the last couple of years I have taken the stand that is should be scrapped. The uncertainty caused by the dithering does endless damage to our industry and consumer confidence.
After watching this webinar nothing has changed. We still don't know when RHI is coming, we don't know even if it's coming, there was no clarity about the levels of support, how you apply etc. We still know nothing.
However, I have changed my mind about RHI. I thought that the delays were caused by the ineptitude of civil servants. It turns out this is not the case; these poor people are trying their best to implement a dreadful scheme while being bombarded with ridiculous questions from idiots in the renewable heating sector.
One of the questions was, and I kid you not, "Can I get RHI for my grain dryer which runs by burning old plastic bags?" Let's focus on proper technologies which might affect more than a handful of people. Messing around with obscure technologies is not going to help us meet any carbon targets.
But there are two main reasons I am now a fan of the RHI.
The first is the decision to measure the renewable heat output of your device using a heat meter, but not measure the energy input. On a heat pump this is great news. It doesn't matter how crap the unit is, no one will know, we are only measuring output. Plus, if you have an electric backup heater you will get RHI for using this too. Whoever thought this up is an idiot.
And the second reason - pizza ovens are going to be covered by RHI. I have one in the back garden and am now chuffed to bits that every time I fire it up, no matter what I decide to burn in it, I will get paid. I have no idea how its heat output will be measured.
Well done. Another over complicated scheme total unfit for purpose, delivered late, at massive cost. But please hurry along, the weather looks good this weekend and I've got some plastic bags, coal, some old fence panels and some lighter fluid to burn in the pizza oven.
I await the cheque.