The Curmudgeon


Monday, June 30, 2014

Boiler Trouble

Another triumph by the greenest government ever has emerged in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive, a government subsidy for installing low-carbon heating systems. Chris Huhne, when he was the Deputy Conservative doormat at the Department for Energising Climate Catastrophe, described the scheme as "not marginal" and "a big, big scheme"; as might be expected, the scheme has turned out to be not altogether unmarginal, with a small, small take-up. Of course there are good reasons for this. Heating is "the single most important cause of global warming in the UK" apart from scroungers, unauthorised badger activity and the last Labour administration; and under the present religious orthodoxy such important issues are best left to market forces, with government providing occasional minor tweaks to help the middle classes. For example, the Renewable Heat Incentive was touted as an incentivisation for any non-scroungers whom the Osborne economic miracle might have happened to plunge into fuel poverty; so in order to keep the scroungers away, the Government has ensured that no-one who is fuel-poor can afford to be incentivised. In the first two months of the scheme's operation, after a three-year delay in launching, two hundred households applied for the subsidy and seventy-nine were accredited. Out of another eighteen thousand households which already have low-carbon heating systems, one-ninth applied for the subsidy and one-eighteenth received accreditation. It is a triumph of almost Duncan Smith proportions.


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