The ongoing FiTs debate has certainly dominated the news in recent months, and this has led to the RHI slipping off the UK agenda, despite having come into effect in November with phase two due this year.

This is the view of Brian Smithers, director for energy solutions at Rexel UK. He commented, “While the intention behind the Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) scheme is good, until it is fully scoped out, uptake will continue to be slow. There hasn’t been a great deal of adoption for renewables largely because people are apprehensive about investing until policies about incentives are clearer.

“If we want to reduce our carbon emissions and keep up with the rest of Europe, the UK needs to stop wasting heat and start renewing. Insulation is an important part of that. It’s a vital first step to ensure that buildings in the UK are airtight to a code level five. But insulation should go hand in hand with investment in new technologies that will boost the update of renewables. It’s clear from the title of the scheme – the RHI should be about investing in renewables.

“For adoption of renewables to increase, incentives need to be manageable, mapped more closely to market needs and clearly communicated. Most importantly the industry needs to learn from previous schemes such as the Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs). FiTs is a great example of a scheme that jolted the market into investing in solar, and it is continuing to play an important part in reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.

“The UK needs forward looking subsidies and funding that goes towards encouraging the adoption of renewable heat technologies that could really make a difference to reducing our impact on the environment, saving money for businesses and households alike.

“For public confidence in schemes like the RHI to improve, people must have access to good advice. It’s our job to help customers navigate and make sense of the various incentives available, including the RHIs.”