Originally set to finish at the end of March 2021, applicants to the scheme will now be able to apply for grants until 31 March 2022, which comes as a response to delays caused to building projects by COVID-19. For specifiers and developers installing renewable heating systems on commercial buildings or small-to-medium-scale district heating projects, the extension also provides crucial financial support ahead of the Green Heat Network Scheme (GHNS) coming into force in April 2022.
With pressure mounting on industry to decarbonise in line with ambitious government net zero targets, this continued funding is crucial to helping construction professionals deliver sustainable, futureproof buildings, says Steve Richmond, head of marketing and technical for Rehau Building Solutions.
“We are pleased to see that the Government has listened to industry voices who called for the extension of the non-domestic RHI, including Rehau,” said Mr Richmond. “Not only will this extension help those whose projects that were delayed by COVID-19 – it also fills the gap in funding that would have prevented many renewable heat installations from going ahead. Without reliable and continued funding, specifiers and developers will not be able to effectively produce the quantity of future-proof sustainable developments required to meet housing demand and environmental targets.”
The extension of the non-domestic RHI scheme will also continue to motivate developers and specifiers to opt for renewable technologies such as heat pumps and district heating. As the Future Homes Standard 2025 will phase out gas boiler installations in newbuilds and the proposed tenth Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP 10) will lower the electricity carbon factor, installation of these low-carbon, electric technologies will soon become vital.
Mr Richmond concluded: “As members of the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and the Heat Pump Federation (HPF), we believe the RHI and GHNS will play a vital role in making renewable technologies a more attractive proposition when decarbonising heating systems across the UK.
“We have made fantastic progress improving the viability of green energy sources as we move towards a net zero future, and technology has advanced at an impressive rate. However there is still much that can still be done within the renewable heating arena, so these types of initiatives are key to driving progress across the industry.”