The Solar Trade Association were delighted to hear the Government announcement (2 March 2010) about the Pay as you Save scheme to upgrade homeowner energy efficiency through renewable energy solutions. In particular, Ed Miliband highlighted Solar Thermal as a key technology appropriate for such a scheme.
However, following the announcement in early February of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) it is clear that Solar Thermal energy systems will be disadvantaged compared with other renewable heat solutions. The STA believe this disconnect will mean that homeowners will be unable to make decisions about renewable energy technology based on effectiveness and appropriateness alone. Indeed, cost will play an unfair role in deciding what is best for individuals.
The RHI consultation documents outlines that the reimbursement of capital costs for Solar Thermal heat solutions will be only 6% compared with 12% for other heat technologies. Such as disparity is likely to disincentivise homeowners from installing Solar Thermal; a technology well recognised as highly effective and appropriate for the UK.
Howard Johns, Chairman of the STA says We believe that Solar Thermal systems are one of the most appropriate renewable technologies for homeowners, and could be extremely popular under the Pay as You Save Scheme. However, the fact that the RHI, due for release next year, clearly states Solar Thermal systems will be reimbursed at a rate 50% lower than other technologies means that renewable heat technologies are unable to complete on a level playing field. This approach we feel, is detrimental to the uptake of renewable energy, prevents homeowners making an unbiased decision about renewables and can only be detrimental to our fight against climate change.
Howard Johns of the STA and David Matthews the STAs Chief Executive are currently lobbying Ed Miliband to redress the balance with respect to renewable technology.
Both Howard and David are available for comment, which can be arranged through the Press Office at BOTTLE PR. Please contact 01865 882988 for details or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com