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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-03170: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 26 September 2016

To ask the Scottish Government how it promotes the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive to businesses.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 27 October 2016

The Scottish Government actively promotes the GB-wide non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Keen to maximise its up-take and its benefits to business, we provide a wide range of support programmes aimed specifically at Scottish businesses.

Resource Efficient Scotland (RES) provide free advice and support to businesses looking to implement energy and resource efficiency measures, to reduce costs and increase economic competitiveness. Loans of up to £100,000 are available through the Resource Efficient Scotland SME Loan scheme, providing finance for the installation of energy and resource efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies. The Green Network for Businesses gives SMEs the opportunity to visit green businesses within their area and experience first-hand the installations that help cut energy costs. Administered by Energy Saving Trust (EST), the District Heating Loan Fund offers low-interest loans to local authorities, registered social landlords, small and medium sized enterprises and energy services companies to support the development of district heating networks in Scotland.

Additionally, we recognise the role of a strong supply chain in facilitating the up-take of renewable technologies. EST delivers our Supply Chain programme, helping Scottish businesses to participate effectively in the supply chain for energy efficiency and renewable measures. This is helping to strengthen the market for renewable technologies, supporting more installations and accreditations under the non-domestic RHI.

The UK Government has recently proposed a number of changes to both domestic and non-domestic RHI schemes, which has resulted in some uncertainty among Scottish businesses, with many delaying capital investment until clarity is given. Despite this, Scotland continues to punch above its weight in its share of both domestic and non-domestic RHI accreditations, accounting for 20% and 19% of UK totals respectively.