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RHPP Dismisses OFTEC's B30K Bioheating Oil
28th May 2012
Northern Ireland homeowners and householders are now able to obtain support towards the costs of installing a renewable energy heating system in their homes, with the notable exception of bioheating oil, which is ineligible for funded assistance under the province's Renewable Heat Premium Payment.
Launching the scheme last week, Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster MLA said the move will offer local people real choice when it comes to heating their homes.
Arlene Foster said, "Although many householders have had the option of natural gas for a number of years not all can avail of this low carbon fossil fuel. This new scheme will allow all private sector domestic energy consumers to obtain generous financial support towards installing biomass boilers, heat pumps and thermal solar panels in place of existing fossil fuel heating systems.
"Northern Ireland homes account for 60% of our heat load which means they are vital in helping to achieve our target of 10% market share for renewable heat across Northern Ireland by 2020. So I would urge all those who are interested to make contact with my Department without delay."
In a blow to supporters of B30K Bioheating Oil, bioliquid fuels have been specifically excluded from the scheme. Developed by OFTEC and championed by the organisation's Director General, Jeremy Hawksley, B30K is a blend of 70% kerosene and 30% recycled cooking oil. Earlier this year, Jeremy Hawksley expressed his dismay when a similar scheme in the rest of the UK, also effectively kicked B30K Bioheating Oil into touch.
However, OFTEC's David Blevings says, "OFTEC continues to lobby for the inclusion of B30K in the wider Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, details of which will be announced later this year. I have spoken to DETI this week, about submission of further information to assist their deliberations. I am confident given the fuel mix in Northern Ireland, that liquid biofuels have a significant role to play in the marketplace and this will be recognised by DETI in the wider scheme, to be launched later this year."
Looking beyond the domestic sector, the Minister also said she hoped to make further announcements shortly regarding support for non domestic installations and longer term incentives.
"My Department is committed to the development of the renewable heat market and making sure that Northern Ireland's heat market is more diverse, secure and sustainable. This Premium Payment scheme is the first of a number of initiatives which will demonstrate my Department's long term commitment to this sector."
The Northern Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme (RHPP) will be open for applications from 24th May 2012. Those availing of a premium payment under the RHPP will not be able to claim any other financial grant or support for the same installation. They will, however, be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) when it becomes available for the domestic sector next year.