Garden centres urged to make the most of RHI

Consultants have urged garden centres across the UK to install biomass boilers part of their heating system, whilst Government subsidies are offering profitable returns.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), introduced as part of a Government drive to meet a target of 15% of the country's energy coming from renewable sources by 2020, pays businesses that switch to biomass heating for 20 years. Currently non-domestic biomass installations can be paid up to 8.6p/Kw.

As uptake grows, the amount paid will start to decrease for those who have not already commissioned boilers as part of a process called "degression", designed to keep the overall cost down.

Andrew Sanders, director at biomass consultant Mi-Generation, said the worst-case scenario would be a 15% reduction in the rate paid out to those that wait to switch until the end of 2014.

Uncertainty over fossil fuel prices coupled with the benefits of the RHI mean now is the time for garden centres to make the switch, said Sanders. "For those who have switched, the incentive is currently so high it is equivalent to having their heating bill paid by the Government for 20 years," he added.

Pentland Biomass head of sales and marketing Shiona MacMillan said there is a great income to be had from the RHI. "It's too good to be true. There are number of funding options - the Carbon Trust, banks and other lenders interested because of the 20-year return."

In order to be eligible for the RHI payments, installations must be carried out by MCS Certified installers using MCS-approved products. SBS have a wide range of MCS-approved renewable heat technologies, including solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps that are eligible for the RHI. Furthermore, we offer training courses to install these products as well as MCS Certification.

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This article has been adapted from an article published by Horticulture Week.