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The Renewable Heat Incentive: a reformed and refocused scheme. Citizens Advice formal consultation response

3 May 2016

Citizens Advice responds [ 210 kb] to the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s consultation into proposed changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive, and is supportive of the need to ensure good value for money and enable wider access for those households less able to pay. We do, however, question some of the proposed methods.

We are concerned that the use of heat demand limits could have unintended consequences that prevent poorer households living in larger properties from accessing the RHI when these homes could arguably be those that would benefit the most from the incentive.

The consultation asked about the performance of heat pumps and how this could be improved. Citizens Advice has been concerned about the performance of this technology and believes that it is critical that it is improved given the potential for detriment.

We also highlight the need for easier, and better, access to advice and information on renewable heat for consumers. Information and advice should be available to people in different formats (online, by telephone and face-to-face) and should be impartial. This is especially important when considering new and expensive heating systems as the wrong choice can lead to significant detriment for householders. The provision of better, independent, information and advice should apply across the energy sector as the array of different funding streams with differing advice and redress systems is confusing for consumers.