Will domestic consumers take up the Renewable Heat Incentive? An analysis of the barriers to heat pump adoption using agent-based modelling

Date

2015-05

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

The UK Government introduced the tariff-based domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in April 2014 to encourage installation of renewable heat technologies as a key component of its carbon reduction policy. Of these, heat pumps are considered to be the most promising for widespread adoption and as such are the subject of this paper. Pilot studies prior to introduction of the policy identified non-financial barriers to uptake, such as the "hassle factor" involved, and initial figures indeed indicate that uptake is lower than expected. We analyse these non-financial barriers using an agent-based model and conclude that there is a tipping point beyond which adoption is likely to fall very sharply. We suggest that the RHI's complex and stringent compliance requirements for home inspections and heat emitter performance may well have driven adoption past this point and that further intervention may be required if the key aims of the RHI are to be achieved.

Description

Project name is AMEN from Agent-based Modelling of Electricity Networks.

Keywords

renewable heat incentive, feed-in tariff, agent-based modelling

Citation

Snape, J.R., Boait, P.J. and Rylatt, R.M. (2015) Will domestic consumers take up the Renewable Heat Incentive? An analysis of the barriers to heat pump adoption using agent-based modelling. Energy Policy, 85, pp. 32-38

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)