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Warm Feeling

Release Date: 14/03/2011

Generating green heat now means the generation of even more industry jobs and expertise, says Chris Beedel, Certification Director ECA Certification Ltd.

The energy debate has this week taken an important generational step change with the unveiling of the £860m Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) capital investment plan.

During the 1960s the Government spoke of the White Heat of Technology while the current administration yesterday unveiled its Green Heat ‘revolution’.

ELECSA, which last year launched its own Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), sees the RHI as an important evolution in the debate which has energised the industry in recent years. We have witnessed the building blocks of a renewable energy strategy with the introduction of FITs which have already created tens of thousands of jobs.

According to the Government’s own press statement this long-awaited news from Chris Huhne is further good news for our contractors as it not only provides £4.5 billion stimulus for a new market in renewable heat but also supports the existing 150,000 jobs in the heating industry while at the same time reducing emissions by 44 million tonnes – the equivalent of carbon emitted by 20 new gas power stations – between October this year and 2020.

The financial incentive has the potential to drive green uptake and confidence in the market and this in turn will empower contractors to accelerate their plans to expand their business offerings as well as weaning the UK off its dependence upon fossil fuels.

However, there is a word of caution. Although the RHI will support businesses, contractors need to make sure they are getting the right information about the technology and training to make this happen in their own organisations.

ELECSA has spent the last year touring the UK on its renewable energy road show. We have spoken to thousands of contractors at trade shows, many of who have had the light bulb moment of expanding their business to encompass renewables, but have been bombarded with both confusing and, in some cases, incorrect information on the strategic investments they need to be making.

Contractors need to harness the new technology but they need to get the right advice and talk to independent Certification bodies such as ELECSA to ensure they are making all the right decisions for their business.