038 HPM 1012

HPM October 2012

SPECIALREPORT WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com Clear thinking needed for solid fuel Bruce Allen, chief executive of HETAS, explains why delays in legislation are causing uncertainty in the renewables industry, and reveals how the training provider is working to make life easier for installers... some measures would be more appropriately covered by the RHI and MCS schemes. In my opinion, the non domestic sector for biomass over 100kW can stand on its own two feet. Experience has shown that commercial and industrial users have seen the benefits of using wood fuel in terms of lower running costs and carbon emissions. And with initiatives such as ENplus for wood pellets and the HETAS quality assured fuel scheme, end users can be confident they are buying good quality sustainable wood fuel. However, we need more clarity as far as the domestic biomass industry is concerned. With so many schemes and lack of detail, there is still a great deal of information that we don’t know about incentives and legislation which might help the industry. At HETAS our goal is to help and support installers to understand the myriad of schemes and legislation, and to provide one clear point of reference for everything to do with biomass and solid fuel. At the moment, I believe that the reputation of the renewables industry is very much at stake, and we need more certainty for the future. HETAS is working with the government and we want to simplify what’s on offer for the installer and ultimately the customer. We need more joined up thinking so that the Green Deal, MCS and RHI all work together rather than appearing to be going in different directions. Wood pellets are becoming an ONE MAN BANDS ever more popular source of fuel We have got to remember that for the domestic Wis a great deal of uncertainty in the energy efficiency measures which should lower working on one biomass boiler, and having tosector, the vast majority of installers are one manbands or small businesses. So we have to bear inmind that the vast majority of domesticinstallations are going to involve one personOctober for assessors, and from January 2013 forinstallers. Under the scheme, householders andbusinesses will receive a ‘green loan’ to installith details of the government’sRenewable Heat Incentive (RHI) stillunclear, it’s not surprising that there renewables industry. Although a non-domestic the amount of fuel they use. Loan repayments consider and deal with all those different RHI is already in place, the domestic version has will then be made through electricity bills at schemes. In addition they all need to fit with the been delayed and will not be introduced until what should be an attractive interest rate. existing competent persons schemes, which will some time in 2013. In addition there’s the Microgeneration also change as they have to be UKAS accredited As you can imagine this has posed a challenge Certification Scheme (MCS) which has to some by 2014. for all sectors of the renewables industry from extent already been successful. Through the use Having said all this, I believe that the biomass manufacturers who are planning production, of Feed-in Tariffs it has generated enough money industry has a great future. Biomass boilers are installers who need training and accreditation, to give the scheme a real boost. The MCS scheme getting smaller and quieter, and initiatives such through to customers who are possibly planning will underpin the domestic RHI next year and as HETAS training is now being mapped against installations. will be of great benefit to manufacturers and national standards. And with only 250 MCS As an interim measure the government installers who have taken the plunge and become registered biomass installers across the country, introduced the Renewable Heat Premium MCS certificated. there are still lots of opportunities for installers Payment scheme from July 2011 to provide What I think we are seeing is a will to promote working on gas and oil, who are looking for support for the domestic sector. The £15 million renewables, but to date there has been a additional work. Yes there is confusion over fund aims to help people cover the purchase somewhat disjointed approach to incentives and legislation and it is affecting the industry, but price of green heating systems and is intended to infrastructure. At the moment there is a lack of HETAS is doing it’s best to minimise duplication support up to 25,000 domestic installations. information about which products and measures and provide a dedicated resource for solid fuel The Green Deal should be introduced in might be covered by the Green Deal. Perhaps and biomass installers. 38 OCTOBER 2012 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 127


HPM October 2012
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