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Renewable Heat Incentive

Volume 528: debated on Thursday 19 May 2011

4. What contribution he expects the renewable heat incentive to make to the Government’s targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions. (56254)

We expect installations in industrial and commercial buildings to achieve cumulative carbon dioxide savings of 44 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020. It is harder to forecast reductions for the domestic sector, but we hope to achieve a cumulative reduction of at least 2.5 million tonnes by 2020 also.

I thank the Minister for his response, but I have one concern about the renewable heat incentive. We are proposing to introduce the premium payment scheme in July, which will run for 15 months until it is replaced by the green deal and the RHI tariff next October. Will he reassure people who are considering taking out the RHI premium payment scheme that they will automatically qualify for the RHI tariff when it is introduced next October?

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this important point, not least because we hope that more than 25,000 people will take advantage of the premium payments. Providing that they comply with the terms of the payment, they will certainly be able to qualify for the RHI tariff.

The Minister will be aware that there is a sort of hiatus in the industry at the moment among consumers, as the previous question from the hon. Member for City of Chester (Stephen Mosley) indicated, because they do not know what the tariff will be and we do not have an absolute commitment that its introduction will coincide with that of the green deal next October. Can he confirm that the tariff will definitely come in and, in the interim, at least let us have details of what it will be in order to restore confidence, the lack of which is currently holding the whole scheme back?

I can certainly assure the hon. Gentleman that the tariffs will kick in alongside the green deal in autumn next year and that we will publish the rates of the tariffs this September. Premium payments are a really good way of ensuring that we dovetail strong consumer safeguards while priming new technologies.