We’ve been waiting months for the government to announce the details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). So when it finally arrived last week, I was expecting a bit more of a reaction from the timber trade.

The RHI changes the economics of using woodfuel to heat buildings. Thanks to the RHI, companies can install woodfuel heating profitably. And that’s before we consider the increasing cost of fossil fuels: did anyone see the article in The Daily Telegraph about the brick manufacturer in Buckinghamshire that was switching from diesel to woodfuel to power its kilns, because of the rising cost of diesel?

But unless I’ve missed something, the initial reaction from much of the timber trade seems to be “nothing to do with me: I’m a joiner/sawmill/etc, not a fuel provider”.

We think that’s wrong. There’s a massive opportunity for any company in the timber industry to make money from the RHI. We’ve got money to help: one joinery company that we’ve supported has slashed its heating and waste bills by using its own wood waste to heat its buildings.

We’ve supported other businesses to sell wood for fuel. We’d like to support more timber businesses. Is there anyone out there who’s interested?

Gordon Watts
Programme manager
CO2 Sense