The first quarterly OFGEM review of homes installing renewable heating technologies under the government’s domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme has revealed that the largest take up has been in the affluent south of England, underlining concerns that the RHI is only viable for wealthy homeowners.
Although the RHI is targeted towards off gas grid homes, the report shows that almost half (45.9%) of the households adopting the scheme are in the south of England – the part of Britain with the highest concentration of homes connected to mains gas.
By contrast, in areas with a much higher percentage of off-gas grid homes, such as Wales and Scotland, far fewer homeowners have taken up the scheme – just 5.2% and 16.5% respectively of the overall total.
According to OFTEC, the figures highlight the regressive nature of the RHI as it will only benefit the small minority who can afford the high upfront costs of between £9,000 and £14,000 to install renewable technologies. Under the scheme, payments to help cover the cost of renewable technologies can only be claimed once an installation has been made.
OFTEC has been calling for the government to introduce a simple, all-inclusive boiler scrappage scheme. This would appeal to a far wider audience and therefore go much further than the costly and complex RHI in helping the government achieve its ambitious carbon reduction target of 80% less emissions by 2050. Upgrading to a new condensing boiler can reduce CO2 emissions by 20% and save the same amount in fuel costs. This more affordable approach would also be far more effective in addressing fuel poverty.
If you have oil boiler that is in need of servicing or you are thinking of replacing it, please contact your local depot to see if we can help.