Well, a year ago we were all poised at the starting block waiting for the details of the much hyped renewable heat initiative. Rumours were rife that huge payouts were soon to be available just for putting a heat pump in the house. End users were moaning like mad that the running cost of the heat pumps they had bought were high when the weather was really cold, and some manufacturers were still advising people to undersize kit to keep the cost down.
Taking each of these topics in turn:
What actually happened was the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payment was introduced; a paltry £850 one-off payment was made available if you had a unit installed on a Tuesday, filled in 37 forms, stood on one leg and rubbed your tummy in a clockwise direction. Typically, the application costs about £850 to administer and, as a result, the scheme has been a total failure. I don't have the up-to-date figures, but I think as many as three people have taken it up.
As far as the RHI is concerned, I think there has been a super injunction put on it. News on this is harder to find than details of Ryan Giggs' private life.
As is now the norm, when dealing with top secret subjects all the news appears to be coming from Twitter. (For those of you over 17 years old who don't know what Twitter is, it's basically free text messages to your online friends so you can tell them what you are having for dinner.)
Apparently, the Minister in charge of RHI has been tweeting that he is behind RHI and that it is coming. Of course, he is a busy man and has to take his summer holidays so it wont be here in October 2012 as promised; it's going to be delayed for the fourth time. You have to ask what on earth are these people doing all day?
As to the under sizing issue, this thankfully has gone. The new MCS regulation now makes everyone size kit properly and will completely do away with all the stupid equipment selections causing bad report after bad report on local news channels. Many people hate the new regulation as it takes some time to do selections. I say tough luck, if you had behaved properly over the last four years it would not have been needed.
And, finally, the end user complaints: As an industry we are dreadful at informing end users how heat pumps should be used and what it will actually cost to run on a month by month basis. The electricity companies too need educating - sending huge bills in winter and credits in Summer doesn't help anyone.