Council launch renewable heat scheme

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic properties was recently launched.

The government scheme rewards people for generating and using heat from renewable sources such as air-source and ground-source heat pumps, solar (thermal) panels generating hot water and wood-fuel boilers.

First proposed in 2009, the scheme was designed to replace the system of grants in use at the time.

It has been in operation for commercial and industrial properties since November 2011, but the scheme was delayed for domestic properties.

Installations costs can be high but the repayments from the domestic RHI should repay this investment, with continued savings over the high costs of fossil fuels such as oil or LPG and electric heating.

Aberdeenshire Council has been promoting wood fuel as beneficial to both the environment and the local economy.

In 2007 a wood chip boiler was installed at Aboyne Academy which now boasts two mills producing wood pellets – Puffin Pellets at Boyndie and ‘Stovies’ at Arbuthnott.

Since then the boiler has saved the council significant sums over the cost of oil, which was the main source of heat before it was installed.

The farming industry has also recently started using biomass as a cost effective fuel, with a six MegaWatt installation almost complete at Aberdeen Grain’s store and drying facility at Whiterashes, near Newmachar.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee chairman, Peter Argyle, said: “The council welcomes the launch of the RHI for domestic heat users, as it has the potential to transform the way we heat our homes. ISC vice chair, Alan Buchan, added: “Renewable heat is one of the pillars of our strategy for reducing CO2 emissions and becoming carbon neutral as a local authority.

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