A newly released report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has found that up to 90% of non-domestic organisations surveyed were aware of renewable heat technologies.
The independently conducted survey found that the majority of RHI applicants were found to be satisfied with their renewable heat technologies. 90% of those surveyed reported that they were either “very” or “fairly” satisfied.
Applicants were also mostly satisfied with the installation process, with just under two thirds finding it “very” or “fairly” easy. The most popular and well-known technologies with the highest take-up were biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal installations.
The report stated that the financial incentive offered by the RHI made a difference and there was evidence that a large proportion of installations would not have happened without the RHI in effect. Citing financial returns as one of the main reasons, the scheme’s involvement was found to be a success.
The environment and using renewable energy sources remains an important factor in choosing the right technology.
Although the satisfaction and awareness of renewable heat technologies were found to be high, the report highlighted a lack of awareness of the RHI and its aim to promote wider awareness of renewable heat technologies.
A surprisingly high 79% of the non-domestic population were reportedly unaware of the scheme prior to being surveyed.
A reported “lack of confidence in the reliability of renewable heat technology” appears to be one of the main barriers to investment along with the length of payback and uncertainty over the level of payback. 52% were unsure whether renewable heat technologies would fulfil their heating requirements better than their current system and 58% were unsure whether Renewable heat technologies were more reliable than conventional heating systems even if they were more environmentally friendly.
“More streamlining, clarity and consistency in the application process,” is what applicants want according to the report.
A third of those surveyed reported that the process took the equivalent of four full-time days or less, while 22% stated the application process took more than 15 days. 54% reported problems with completing applications due to a lack of clarity of information they were required to provide and overly complex guidance from Ofgem.
The report concluded:
- The RHI has played its part in the non-domestic RHI by stimulating investment in renewable heat technology.
- Experiences with the installation and operation of renewable heat technology were found to be positive.
- Although renewable heat technology is being installed in a wide range of sectors, the relatively low prevalence of non-biomass renewable heat technology, larger systems, and the lack of non-self-financed installations shows that areas of the supply chain still have room to develop.
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