One of the highest profile outstanding issues is the inclusion of individual domestic installations. Although DECC has emphasised (and Greg Barker has reinforced in Parliament) they remain committed to long-term support of domestic, it is equally clear that no decisions have been made as to how this will be done, or on what scale.
Until ministers have decided what they are trying to achieve – renewables, carbon savings and/or something else – and how much deployment would deliver that, it’s almost impossible to have a discussion as to how the policy should be designed. That means the domestic policy as it stands is effectively a blank sheet of paper. No one should assume that phase 1 RHI (let alone the 2010 consultation) provides any sort of guide as to what will eventually emerge.
One key area that may change will be tariff duration. It seems very unlikely that 20 year tariffs will be offered – 10 or even 5 years are far more likely. I have heard DECC officials raise this with stakeholders and they have generally received a positive response, although it would raise further questions as to how tariffs should be calculated.
Other areas of uncertainty include interaction with the green deal, energy efficiency requirements and whether there should be additional support for community-scale projects.