DECC RHI Update

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is a government scheme which provides financial incentives for using renewable heating in place of fossil fuels in domestic properties. The Domestic RHI offers eligible participants the chance to receive quarterly subsidies for generating renewable heat in the home from eligible biomass boilers and stoves, solar thermal installations, ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps. The scheme launched on April 9 2014 and, based on experiences and feedback so far, DECC have amended the regulations to make small changes to the policy. The amendments are as follows:  High temperature heat pumps that can operate at temperatures as high as 80oC are now eligible, as long as the product and installation meet all other scheme requirements, including the minimum efficiency levels represented by a Seasonal Performance Factor of 2.5. High temperature heat pumps can be suitable for use in properties where it is not appropriate to change the radiators or use under-floor heating. To check if your product is eligible for the RHI, check Ofgem’s Product Eligibility List.  Some cooker stoves are now eligible for the Domestic RHI. The RHI defines ‘cooker stoves’ as pellet biomass stoves with a back boiler that are predominantly designed for space and hot water heating but can also be used for cooking. If you have a cooker stove that was installed before the amending regulations come into force, including installations before the 9th April 2014, you will have until 31st July 2015 or 12 months after the date your heating system was fully installed and tested (whichever is later), to apply for the RHI. To check if your product is eligible for the RHI, check Ofgem’s Product Eligibility List. o NB: The planned changes to the regulations will not change the current position on permitted fuels in the RHI. Only biomass stoves that are designed and installed to burn pellets are eligible for the RHI. This is because stoves designed for biomass other than pellets can more easily be converted to use multiple and non-renewable fuels. The same rules will also apply to cooker stoves when they become eligible for the RHI.  The RHI regulations have been updated to refer to the new MCS standards for heat pumps (MIS 3005) and solar thermal (MIS 3001) and an updated Heat Emitter Guide (MCS 021). There is a transition period for the MCS standards and if your heating system is installed in that period it can be certified to either the old or the updated standard. The regulations have been clarified to make it clear that heating systems that provide heat to properties with more than one building can be eligible for the domestic RHI. For example, the RHI is available to single dwellings plus garages, sheds, stables and other ancillary buildings. RHI payments will continue to be based on the heat demand on the dwelling’s Energy Performance Certificate, as heat going to the ancillary buildings is not eligible for RHI payments.  DECC required all applicants to the domestic RHI (apart from custom-builders with eligible new builds) to have a Green Deal Assessment (GDA) to provide them with information about efficiency measures that are suitable for their homes. Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), however, tend to be well informed about their properties and are often already engaged in energy efficiency to help reduce their tenants’ bills. RSLs are therefore now able to apply for the domestic RHI without a GDAL. They will still need to have an Energy Performance Certificate that is less than 24 months old so that RHI payments can be calculated. For more information on regulations changes, please see DECC’s information sheet. The deadline for applying for the RHI if you installed your renewable technology on or after April 9 2014 is one year from the date of commission of the installation. However, The Domestic RHI is available to some customers who installed before scheme launch. If you installed an eligible technology on or after 15th July 2009 and before 9th April 2014, you may be eligible for the Domestic RHI as a ‘legacy’ applicant. Legacy applicants must apply by 8th April 2015. The exception to this is if you are installing a cooker stove, as legacy cooker stove applicants have until 31st July 2015 to apply.

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