UK extends renewable heating system training program

By Anna Simet | February 12, 2014

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has increased funds available via its Renewable Heating Incentive training support program, due to high demand and interest.

In order to prepare for the spring launch of its domestic RHI program, late last year the DECC made available £500,000 ($800,000) to help expand and maintain expertise amongst the country’s renewable heating engineers. The DECC recently announced it would make an additional £150,000 available to the program.

The initiative is aimed at raising the skillset of domestic heating engineers to enable them to install and maintain renewable heating systems. Funds are being distributed via a voucher program backed up by an apprenticeship that encourages people coming into the industry to develop the necessary expertise to work on domestic renewable heating systems and gain relevant qualification credits, according to the DECC.

The program is being administered by national biomass boiler distribution company GTEC Training Ltd, which opened a state-of-the-art training center in December. The Northumberland-based facility’s training program is aimed at individuals involved in selling, specifying or installing boilers, and the two-day course structure includes both theoretical and practical training.

“We are delighted that the uptake in vouchers has been so positive and we have seen some great feedback from the industry already, we think the additional funding will make sure that the scheme delivers all of its objectives,” said Griff Thomas of GTEC Training.

Training is available on a monthly basis throughout the year and will take place in small groups of no more than 12.

Tens of thousands of renewable boiler installations are expected over the next several years as a result of the upcoming domestic RHI. The program is aimed at homeowners looking to replace their current heating system with a supported renewable heat technology and homeowners who have installed a renewable heat technology since 15 July 2009. Biomass boiler installations will receive 12.2 pence (20 cents) per kilowatt hour.