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On-site renewables and green gas set to bring low carbon heating to UK homes

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April REA events to bring together key figures in the renewable home heating revolution

2014 is set to be a breakthrough year for renewable home heating in the UK. Energy Minister Greg Barker recently confirmed on Twitter that the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (d-RHI) is set to launch before Easter [1]. The d-RHI will, for the first time, provide ongoing payments to people heating their homes with heat pumps, wood burners or solar hot water systems.

At the same time, a continually improving regulatory framework is expected to trigger an upsurge in the volume of biomethane injected into the UK gas grid from anaerobic digestion (AD) plants [2]. Taken together, this means on-site renewable heating solutions are becoming affordable for households off the gas grid, while households on the gas grid could soon be able to purchase 100% UK renewable gas from their supplier.

On the 9th and 10th April, the REA and our subsidiary company REAL are putting on two events bringing together key players in Government, industry and the regulatory bodies to set out the opportunities and regulatory requirements for businesses looking to play a role in the renewable home heating revolution:

Ø 9th April: UK Biomethane Day 2014
National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham

Ø 10th April: Domestic RHI Seminar – How can the RHI benefit my business?
Dentons LLP, One Fleet Place, London

The REA is the largest renewable energy trade body in the UK, and the only trade body representing all three renewable energy sectors: heat, power and transport. REAL runs several codes of practice and certification schemes in the green energy space, including the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), for homeowners looking to install on-site renewables, and the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS), which enables consumers to purchase 100% certified green gas from registered suppliers.

UK Biomethane Day (9th April, Birmingham) is organised by the REA in partnership with member company CNG Services [3].From just one operational biomethane plant in 2013, it is expected there could be around 20 AD plants feeding green gas into the grid by the end of 2014. Now in its third year, UK Biomethane Day 2014 is set to be the biggest and best yet. With exhibitor slots now completely sold out, the total number of exhibitors is 34 – double the number from last year.

Gaynor Hartnell, former Chief Executive of the REA and now Chair of the GGCS Oversight Panel, will kick off the day. Geraldine Treacher from DECC will explain the latest developments for biomethane in the RHI – with a key focus on the recently announced tariff review [4]. Several industry speakers will share their expert analysis and first-hand experience of the fast-growing biomethane market, while REAL and National Grid will explain how they are breaking down the barriers to deployment and boosting the value of biomethane as a heating and transport fuel.

John Baldwin, MD of CNG Services and Chair of the REA Biogas sector group, said:

“The UK has the fastest growing biomethane market in the EU. This event showcases leading projects and gives an opportunity to meet all the technology suppliers active in this market.”

GGCS Certification Manager Ciaran Burns said:

“Green gas from AD turns food and farm wastes into versatile low carbon fuel for heating, transport and electricity generation. The GGCS tracks each unit of grid-injected green gas in the system so that end-users can buy 100% renewable gas to reduce their carbon footprint. This event is a great opportunity to talk to all the key players helping to grow this emergent sector of the green economy.”

The Domestic RHI Seminar (10th April, London, and to be repeated on 25th June in Birmingham) will take attendees through the finer details of the final d-RHI policy design and regulatory requirements [5]. It will be valuable for all those involved or interested in renewable home heating, from manufacturers in the supply chain, to equipment installers, to social landlords looking to cut tenants’ energy bills.

Speakers from DECC, Ofgem and MCS will outline the policy and regulatory details, while leading industry practitioners will explain the essentials for their specific technologies. RECC Chief Executive Virginia Graham will also explain how her team is working both with installers, to ensure that they are well-equipped to provide consumers with clear information; and with consumers, to ensure they know the questions they need to ask before they sign a contract and avoid any potential pitfalls.

REA Head of On-site Renewables Mike Landy said:

“The d-RHI is set to be one of the highlights of the Government’s green agenda in 2014. It will mean that renewable home heating is not just environmentally sensible, but also financially attractive for the majority of homes off the gas grid. After all the preparation that has gone into its design, our industry welcomes this fantastic opportunity to launch a new era of domestic renewable heating.”

RECC Chief Executive Virginia Graham said:

“The d-RHI opens up new opportunities in green home heating for households and the businesses delivering the technologies. However, the decision-making can be complicated and the systems can be expensive. It is vital that installers present all the information to consumers clearly and do not attempt to install systems in unsuitable homes. It is equally important that consumers ask all the right questions and get three quotes before signing on the dotted line. We’re working to ensure that customers and installers alike understand the right way to approach a transaction to ensure a positive outcome for all parties.”

REA member companies benefit from a £50 discount off the standard delegate rate for both events. For more information about REA events, visit: www.r-e-a.net/events

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