By Nigel A-F
12th May, 2020
This bulletin gives an update on policy developments during April 2020. It gives more definitive guidance about the UK Budget and steps being taken to protect projects during Covid-19 constraints.
UK Government Announcement: 28th April
The Government has been reviewing ways to assist organisations, including schools, to maintain momentum with low-carbon heat projects in the light of the impact of Covid-19 on operating budgets and working capacity.
On 28th April the Government confirmed:
It is the non-domestic RHI that is intended to cover the large projects such as conversion of main buildings, boarding houses, sports halls, etc. The domestic RHI is only useful for smaller projects for domestic premises on school estates.
Comment: This RHI closure is of particular significance for oil burning schools, because if conversions to low-carbon alternatives have not been done by March 2022 then they are may need to be done later in the decade without any major financial support from the Government. Given the high capital cost of these conversion projects this could hit school budgets very hard indeed.
What does this mean in practice?
Any school wishing to start or complete a project that relies on the non-domestic RHI should secure a Tariff Guarantee for the project before 31st March next year. That would earn the school one extra year – until 31st March 2022 – in which to get the installation work completed.
Schools that use oil for heating should note that the RHI represents their best chance to get this done with any substantial government financial support.
Schools should allow about 6 months to get the necessary preparatory work done before applying to Ofgem for the Tariff Guarantee. This preparatory work includes:
This preparatory work will require expert assistance: there are technical and procedural Pooh-traps to be avoided.
Covid-19 Restrictions. All of the work required to secure a Tariff Guarantee is feasible under current Covid-19 constraints.