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Just before Christmas the Government announced changes to the RHI scheme which sees payments for domestic air source heat pumps increase by 33%, plus the retention of additional RHI metering and monitoring payments. What do these amendments mean for heat pumps?

Increased tariff

Under the reformed and refocused Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, the tariff for new air source heat pumps will be increased from the current level of 7.51p/kWh to 10.02p/kWh. This is great news, indicating that the Government recognises the enormous potential heat pumps offer in terms of lowering carbon emissions and keeping homes warm.

The Government has stated that their intention behind increasing the tariffs is to support growth in the deployment of heat pumps, to lower our carbon footprint as a nation and help alleviate fuel poverty throughout the UK.

Electricity metering

Air source heat pumps, when specified correctly, offer great savings to homeowners. In a bid to make sure these savings are realised, the government will now require all new heat pumps supported by the RHI scheme to have electricity metering, so that the tenant or landlord can accurately monitor their heating system and maximise its efficiency.  This requirement for metering will also extend to any supplementary heating systems controlled by the heat pump unit (i.e. boost or immersion).

It is hoped that through extensive electrical metering, a greater understanding of heat pumps will become more widespread throughout the industry and the multitude of benefits heat pumps provide will become more accessible to all.

Heat pumps are one such technology that can immediately help alleviate fuel poverty.

Joe Bradbury HA Joe Bradbury Assistant Editor of Housing Association magazine

Tackling fuel poverty – one heat pump at a time

There are around 4.5 million fuel poor homes in the UK today. There are also a further 21 million UK households suffering with poor energy efficiency - below B and C on an Energy Performance Certificate.

Heat pumps are one such technology that can immediately help alleviate fuel poverty. By extracting renewable energy from outdoor air, the system maximises the energy provided to the household and can offer a reduction in run costs; studies suggest by up to as much as 10% of the UK national average.

By increasing the tariff for air source heat pumps and investing time and money into this great technology, the government has shown real commitment to tackling heat poverty head on – because everybody has the right to have a safe, warm place to call home.

Joe Bradbury is Assistant Editor of Housing Association Magazine.

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