Wood pellets, looking for good home

You could say it was only a matter of time. The first companies are coming out and committing to offering ‘free’ biomass boilers when the Renewable Heat Incentive kicks in next year.

One of them, Strategic Energy, a veteran of the ‘rent-a-roof’ solar concept has said they’ll be offering the service to social landlords – naturally on the proviso that they take the incentive. It wouldn’t work as much of a sensible business model, otherwise, really.

Inside Housing report that while social landlords have been reluctant to take up rent-a-roof solar PV as for organisations there’s a lot more detail to be considered other than the ‘free’ energy, the company in question has had some success in creating schemes that make it make sense for all concerned, even on the reduced Feed-in Tariff rates that are in place now.

That’s of course all well and good, but there will no doubt be numerous other players offering ‘rent-a-heat’ offers as we near the launch of the RHI, so advice needs to be vigorous as ever, whether it’s being given out to social landlords, or potentially individual householders.

Advice in this area is something we’ll be working on in the run-up, and no doubt informed by progress to date with the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, but a lot of the important checks and questions we advised posing when considering rent-a-roof still stand here. The likes of:

  • Who’s paying for and owns the equipment?
  • Is all the renewable heat generated free?
  • Who’s responsible for maintenance?
  • Is insurance needed, and who’ll be paying for that if so?
  • What happens if the provider runs into financial troubles at a later date?
  • Are there any performance guarantees?

There will be more to consider, and it will be very interesting to see what else might spring out of the domestic RHI, which will be capped at £70million. In the meantime, why not consider installing solar water heating, a heat pump or a biomass boiler yourself and possibly gaining all of the RHI? Vouchers for between £300-1,250 are still available to make a head-start on your own renewable heat journey: www.est.org.uk/RHPP