This week I got dumped. Our ground source heat contractor emailed to say that, despite a start date 2 weeks away, they were pulling out. My initial reaction was to direct all my anger towards them, accusing them of incompetency, laziness, misselling etc. But then I realised that the real culprit here is a government that makes it so hard to be green.
Our ground source contractor is in a pickle because they’ve overstretched themselves in the run up to a change in renewable subsidies. Currently, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) (see my post on Heat from the Ground) is paid on the total annual heating and hot water requirement of your house. For our house this amounts of over 60,000 kwhs and on this basis the RHI payments will just cover the cost of installation. The government, however, has now decided that come April they will only pay the RHI on 30,000 kwhs. Like many people, we are now trapped in a scramble to get our ground source system installed and accredited before 1 April to benefit from the higher subsidy. As my husband keeps painfully reminding me, there’s little financial gain to us having ground source heating so why are the government so intent on making it hard for us? Their argument is that they want to spread the subsidy pot across as many households as possible. But encouraging the most energy intensive properties to switch to renewables is the best way to reduce carbon emissions and support emerging technology. Unfortunately, like many things governments do, their decisions are ill-thought and are having the effect of stopping a fledgling industry in its tracks.
In my post-dump pique I decided to dispense with my green conscience, cancel all ground source plans and buy a lovely big new gas boiler. However, then I realised that I’d have to cancel all my plans for solar panels too because without the ground source our house won’t achieve the Band D efficiency rating required to qualify for the solar subsidies. Not wanting to turn my back on all my renewable plans, I’ve had a frantic few days scrabbling around to find a new ground source heat contractor (Iso Energy have stepped in) and am now back in the race to get it all installed on time.
Three cheers to Westminster for making going green just that little bit harder!