Welcome to ÖkoFEN’s information service
about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme of Energy and Climate Change, offering a generation of heat used in domestic homes, public buildings, businesses and factories.
Homeowners relying on expensive oil and traditional central heating in their homes are now to be offered payments of thousands of pounds to switch to renewable energy alternatives.
The Domestic Renewable Heat incentive was finally launched April 9th 2014 – part of a government incentive to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the UK. Around 18,000 households have already installed the technologies in recent years and will be eligible to start receiving the payments.
1. About RHI
Essential information about the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
What is it?
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.
People who join the scheme and stick to its rules, receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces.
Who's it for?
The scheme's open to anyone who can meet the joining requirements. It’s for households both off and on the gas grid.
People off mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.
Two schemes: Domestic and Non-Domestic
The Renewable Heat Incentive has two schemes - Domestic and Non-Domestic. They have separate tariffs, joining conditions, rules and application processes. We administer both.
Each application can only be to one of the schemes. To decide which, consider the below information.
The Domestic RHI
Key to joining is that the renewable heating system heats only a single property which is capable of getting a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) open key term pop-up. The EPC is the proof we need that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘dwelling’. Without one, you won’t be able to apply and can’t join the scheme.
An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use, plus recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money. It’s required every time you buy, sell or rent a property. It’s included as part of a Green Deal Assessment, which is a requirement for most to join the Domestic RHI.
The Non-Domestic RHI
Generally, if the renewable heating system is in commercial, public or industrial premises, then you would apply to the Non-Domestic RHI. This can include small and large businesses, hospitals, schools, and organisations with district heating schemes where one heating system serves multiple homes.
Where it’s more complicated
If your property set-up doesn’t quite fit into standard descriptions, or if your renewable system supplies heat to more than one building, it can be more difficult to decide which scheme to apply to. Or, if you’d be eligible to join either.
- properties with a home office within a house that has, or can get a domestic EPC, should be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
- properties with annexes attached to the house are normally covered by one domestic EPC and should be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
- properties with a main house and a self-contained outbuilding (with its own bathroom and kitchen), both heated by a renewable heating system, would normally have an EPC for each. They would not be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
- properties with a main house and other outbuildings all heated by a renewable heating system may not be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
See FAQs for more information Back to top
2. Eligible heating systems in the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
Is my installation eligible for the RHI scheme?
To be able to apply you’ll need to check your renewable heating system is one of the types eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme, as well as the make and model of your heating system appears on the Product eligibility list (PEL).
ÖkoFEN Pellet boilers are eligible to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive!
The OkoFEN pellet boilers shown below are eligible for the RHI Scheme:
Contact us! Back to top
When you’re approved to join the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI), you have to comply with the rules for the seven year payment lifetime of the scheme. Each year you’ll need to submit declarations confirming you've met your responsibilities.
Homeowner responsibilities for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
Your responsibilities cover six main situations:
1. That you continue to own the heating system
If you move house, you and the new owner must inform us. If you're no longer the owner of the heating system your payments will stop. The remainder will transfer to the new owner if they provide proof of ownership, and bank and ownership details are updated in the account.
2. That the heating system is in good working order
It must be maintained in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. If there are any changes to the heating system: if it breaks, needs repairs or replacements or if the heat use changes.
If you move the heating system to a different property, it’s no longer eligible for the scheme and payments will stop.
4. If there is any change in circumstances that affect your eligibility to receive payments including:
The amount of time the property is occupied changes. If the property changes from being occupied for 183 days a year or more, to less than 183 days a year, you’ll need to install a meter. If the property becomes occupied for 183 days or more, where previously it wasn’t, you will already be metered and continue to be subject to it for payment for the remainder of the scheme.
Funding. You’re not permitted to receive public funding for the system once you’ve successfully applied and can’t receive funding from other sources that would fully pay you back.
You can’t apply for the Non-Domestic RHI for a system which has been approved under the Domestic RHI.
5. To use permitted fuels for biomass systems.
To use only fuel listed on the emissions certificate of your product. To provide proof of fuel purchase if requested. To check your product’s emissions certificate, see the HETAS air quality certificate list.
6. To ensure the scheme can be effectively administered and evaluated.
You must meet any administrative requirements or conditions we make or attach to your approval. If you’re overpaid you must repay the extra amount. If you’re selected to provide information or access to your property, for the purposes of scheme evaluation or audit, you must do so.
Annual compliance declarations
Every year, we’ll will ask you to confirm a number of statements relating to you, your heating system and the property it’s installed in. These annual declarations ask you to confirm that you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme and are complying with your responsibilities.
You’ll be sent them by email (or by post if that’s how you applied) and must respond within 28 days, or we may suspend your payments.
If you break the rules
We can withhold payments if we believe someone isn’t complying with the scheme rules, or if their heating system was approved based on incorrect information. People are informed in writing of an investigation. If it confirms the non-compliance, we may suspend payments and/or revoke the heating system’s approval to the scheme.Back to top
Who is administrating the RHI?
Ofgem is administrating the scheme, and is publishing all the details on the scheme. Agents, suppliers and third parties can not apply on behalf of a client, and all applications must be made by the owner of the installation. In the case of hire purchase or similar arrangement, the owner is deemed to be the operator of the installation, even though they are not the legal owner in the contract.
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), supporting the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA), is the government regulator for the electricity and downstream natural gas markets in Great Britain. It was formed by the merger of the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) and Office of Gas Supply (Ofgas).
Before applying to the Domestic RHI
You must have a Green Deal Assessment carried out for your property. This applies to everyone except eligible new-builds. Eligible properties constructed by custom-builders will already be energy efficient because they’re built to recent building regulation standards6. Instead of obtaining a Green Deal Assessment, custom-builders will need to supply a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
To apply for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive you need to complete an application form on the Domestic RHI Register which has to be supported with documents and evidence.
How to apply
This list is a summary of the key eligibility criteria to join the scheme.
- You must be the owner of the renewable technology and own or occupy (or both) the property it’s in.
- You must have made some financial contribution to the renewable technology.
- Your property must have a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – this will be issued as part of the Green Deal Assessment.
- Your property must have a Green Deal Advice Report. The only people exempt from having to carry out a Green Deal Assessment are custom-builders. This is because custombuilt houses must be built to recent building regulation standards.
- If your EPC recommends loft and cavity wall insulation it must be installed, and the EPC replaced prior to applying. There are some circumstances under which you may be exempt from this requirement for which you must submit evidence.
- You must apply within 12 months of the commissioning date of your renewable technology, which is shown on your MCS certificate. If your commissioning date is before scheme opening you must apply by the end of the Scheme’s first year.
- Your renewable technology must have been first commissioned on or after 15 July 2009.
- Your renewable technology must have been installed after the property was first occupied, unless the renewable technology was installed in a new property which was built using the labour or resources of the individual who first owned the property, (referred to as ‘custombuilders’).
- The eligible renewable technologies are: biomass boilers, biomass pellet stoves with liquid filled heat exchangers enclosed within, air source and ground source (to water) heat pumps, flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal (supplying only domestic hot water).
- All renewable technologies must provide heat using a liquid medium.
- The heat generated by your renewable technologies must be for an eligible use – all biomass heating systems and heat pumps must provide space (room) heating and solar thermal systems must provide heating for domestic hot water only
- Your renewable technology must not provide heat for ineligible uses. Biomass technologies must not be designed to generate heat to cook food9. Air source heat pumps must not be designed to use heat that was expelled from the building to generate heat. Solar thermal systems must not provide space heating or used to heat a swimming pool, or used for any
- other purpose than heating domestic hot water.
- Your renewable technology must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified or equivalent.
- Your renewable heating system must use an eligible product. To check which products are eligible, please see the Product Eligibility List.
- The parts of the renewable technology which generate heat must not have been used before the first commissioning date; refurbished generating equipment isn’t eligible.
You need these to complete the application:
- your MCS certificate number
- your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) number
- your Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) number
- personal information and bank details
Things you can prepare:
- if you need to be metered for payments please have your "Metering Questions" provided by your installer to hand
- invoices stating both the cost of the system and labour to install (these will not affect payments or your eligibility)
6. Tariffs and payments for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
What are tariffs?
These set the rate for your Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) payments. You'll receive payment for seven years based on the amount of clean, green renewable heat you make at your domestic property.
Current Domestic RHI tariff rates
|Biomass boilers and
(per kilowatt hour of
Scheme budget management
The government has to keep the Domestic RHI in budget. It does this by reducing the tariff rates paid to new applicants; if uptake of the scheme is higher than expected and more than is affordable. It’s known as ‘degression’.
Tariffs will be subject to review every quarter, although the tariff rate will only reduce if the uptake is above a specified amount. If a tariff reduction is due to take place, we’ll let you know about it through our website a month before it comes into effect.
A tariff reduction only affects people who have not yet made an application. People who successfully submit an application before the reduction takes place will not be affected.
People who installed a renewable heat system before the scheme opened are protected from a tariff reduction and will always receive the original rate.
Will my tariff rate change once I’ve joined?
Once you've joined the Domestic RHI, you’ll stay on the same tariff rate.
The only change will be for annual adjustment, which brings your payments in line with the Retail Price Index. This is announced on 1 April each year.
7. Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) FAQsa.- General FAQs b.- Technical FAQs c.- FAQs for Applicants
Installations over 45kW
1.-Large houses may need more than 45kW. Would it be acceptable to fit two MCS systems with a total capacity of over 45kW and claim the domestic RHI?
Consumers will be able to submit an RHI application if they have more than one heating system installed to heat their home. However, an applicant will only receive support for one space heating system and if there is another space heating system in place, whether it is renewable and MCS certified or not, the system for which RHI payments are to be made will have to be metered.
2.-When do I get a GDA and why?
Is a Green Deal Assessment necessary for all applications? Our air source heat pump was installed as part of a major refurbishment where insulation installed exceeds current building regulations. Building regulation approval included SAP calculations carried out by an On-Construction Domestic Energy Assessor. Will these calculations be acceptable in place of a Green Deal Assessment?
Does a self-builder require a Green Deal Assessment and if so why?
As part of the eligibility criteria we are requiring all applicants, except self-builders, to complete a Green Deal Assessment before applying and to ensure that they have met minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity wall insulation where recommended by the Assessment. This is because renewable heating systems work more efficiently in a well-insulated home.
The Green Deal offers an opportunity for consumers to identify other ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes beyond the minimum requirements set by the RHI. It also offers a way to finance the installation of loft and cavity wall insulation should they require extra funds. For RHI purposes, installation of those measures does not need to be done through the Green Deal, though, if the consumer does not wish to do so.
Self-builders are not required to undertake Green Deal Assessments for RHI purposes. However they will need an up to date EPC for the purposes of deeming the property’s heat load to calculate payments.
3.-What is the situation regarding legacy biomass condensing boilers? Are they excluded or is it just biomass condensing boilers installed after the launch of the scheme which are excluded?
While Government wishes to support the sustainable biomass market in general, concerns regarding the risk of pollutants in the condensate from this type of boiler have been raised. In addition to energy efficiency and carbon factors, technologies supported by the RHI must be consistent with wider government objectives and policies including those pertaining to air and water quality. Defra is currently undertaking appropriate analysis to help us determine whether this technology is suitably consistent.
Currently condensing biomass boilers can be eligible for support through the existing Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme. We will need to review this position following completion of Defra’s analysis, but we do not intend to withdraw existing support while the issue of condensate pollutants is under consideration. We feel that to do so would be damaging to the market and unfair on customers who seek to install such systems
during this period.
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive will launch in Spring 2014. Given that the scheme has not yet launched, and Defra’s analysis is still underway, we must take the position that the technology is excluded from this scheme until we are confident that it meets Government requirements. This is the only way to avoid the risk of consumers making purchases now on the assumption of future Government support, which is then subsequently withdrawn. We recognise that in the interim there may be domestic customers who will not be able to purchase this technology with certainty regarding whether support will be available. However, if Government concludes that this technology meets the RHI requirements then existing customers and new customers between now and the launch of the domestic scheme will be able to apply through the legacy route.
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Work Group for biomass is considering industrial standards for condensing biomass boilers. However, MCS certification does not automatically make a given technology eligible for the RHI. Eligibility for the RHI needs to take into account many other factors, including consistency with wider Government strategy and policies. Any given installation will
need to satisfy these criteria as well as MCS product and installation standards. We are in the process of drafting legislation which will form the binding basis for eligibility of the scheme, and we are working with Ofgem and MCS to develop an online list of products that are eligible for the domestic RHI, that applicants and installers can access. We intend that the legislation and the list will reflect the finalised position regarding condensing biomass boilers.
Heating for swimming pools
4.-Will domestic properties with swimming pools be eligible for domestic RHI?
Ofgem is considering the eligibility of properties with swimming pools as part of the detailed work to underpin the scheme’s regulations. This will be clarified in Ofgem’s guidance which will be available before the launch of the scheme.
Houses with two installations
5.-For a biomass boiler system with solar thermal integrated will you be able to claim for the full deemed space and hot water heating requirement as covered by the biomass and additionally the contribution of the solar thermal system?
If two heat pumps are fitted in one property do we need two MCS certificates?
People will not be able to claim for more than one space heating renewable heating system in the same property. However, where an eligible space heating system is used together with an eligible solar thermal system to heat hot water, two RHI applications can be made – one for the space heating system and one for the solar thermal system.
Unlike heat pumps and biomass, solar thermal will almost always act as a complementary system to other heating systems – either fossil fuel or renewable. This is because a solar thermal system will not normally be able to provide 100% of a property’s heating demand. RHI payments will therefore be made only on the solar thermal system’s deemed contribution to the hot water demand. No metering will be required for the solar thermal system.
Provided the space heating system isn’t bivalent or installed in a second home, it will also receive its full deemed amount and no metering will be needed. If two heat pump units are fitted in a house and are certified as one system under MCS then only one MCS certificate is necessary and one application covering both units can be made to the scheme. If the two units are considered two separate systems then an application for only one of the systems can be made to the domestic RHI, and it will need to have an MCS certificate and have metering equipment fitted.
Second homes / holiday lets
6.-Do applicants have to nominate which home is a second home or is it a question of the timing of the installation or of the number of days in occupation?
What is the eligibility status of holiday lets for the RHI?
Are holiday cottages classed as domestic premises and can they qualify for domestic RHI?
Some seem to be business rated but will they still be classed as domestic?
Applications can be made for a second home. A second home is one which is not a person’s main residence – the exact definition will be part of the regulations, and will be available in guidance before the launch of the scheme. Applicants for second homes will need to notify Ofgem at the time of application that it is a second home, and will need to install metering equipment which will measure the amount of heat used. RHI payments will be based on the meter reading, but only up to the deemed amount applicable to the property.
Some holiday properties that are let out may fall within the non-domestic scheme.
Further guidance on what constitutes a domestic property and what evidence might be required will be set out in Ofgem guidance that will be produced ahead of the launch of the scheme.
Green Deal Assessments
7.-Do Green Deal Assessors know and understand listed buildings and the limitations of the listing?
Will the householders be expected to implement the recommendations of the Green Deal Assessment? If so, how will this work where the building is listed?
What sort of proof will be required to prove a listed building is exempt? How do you 'prove' to Ofgem the exemption for a listed building?
The Green Deal Assessor Organisation is required by their certification to establish prior to the visit whether the building is listed and to ensure that only individuals with the appropriate competences are assigned to the job. A Green Deal Assessment involves a conversation between the householder and the Advisor performing the Assessment. The resulting Green Deal Assessment Report should therefore take into account the listed building status of a property. Even if the Report does not take
it into account, we are working to build into the RHI application process the ability for supporting evidence to be provided should there be valid reasons for non-installation of loft and cavity wall insulation. Final details are yet to be decided, but this could include allowing for correspondence from an applicant’s local planning authority that explains any listed building status restrictions on the installation of loft and/or cavity wall insulation. The process will be confirmed in Ofgem’s guidance ahead of the launch of the scheme.
Green Deal Assessment recommendations
8.-What happens in cases where a measure is recommended by a Green Deal Assessment but it is not appropriate or not possible to install the measure e.g. cavity wall location in an exposed location in the west coast of Scotland?
Ofgem is aware that there may be occasions where an RHI applicant’s Green Deal Assessment recommends loft and/or cavity wall insulation, but the applicant has valid reasons as to why those measures cannot be installed. We are working to build into the RHI application process the ability to provide evidence in support of such reasons. Final details are yet to be decided, but the process will be confirmed in Ofgem’s guidance ahead of the launch of the scheme.
9.-When do I get my GDA?
Before applying for RHI support, all applicants, including legacy applicants, will need to ensure that:
a. A Green Deal Assessment (GDA) has been carried out to find out which energy efficiency measures are cost-effective for the property;
b. Loft insulation (at least 250mm) and cavity wall insulation have been installed where these measures are recommended by the GDA; and
c. Where the GDA shows the required loft and cavity wall insulation is yet to be installed, an updated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is obtained following installation, as proof of installation (or valid evidence is provided proving why installation was not feasible)
10.-If the householder of a legacy heat pump does not have an MCS certificate will they will need to have a reassessment in order to apply for the RHI?
If a householder who owns an MCS certified installation does not have the MCS certificate, they should contact their original installer to get a copy of the MCS certificate – the installer should be able to re-issue the certificate. In order to be eligible for the RHI, installations must have been MCS certified at the time of installation.
11..-Will householders be able to access an on-line calculator to calculate their
An online calculator could be a useful tool to help householders consider the benefits to them of installing renewable heat equipment. However, we need to ensure that in developing such a tool it is robust in terms of the information it provides to people. We are currently working with our delivery partners to consider how we could make an online calculator available by the time the policy launches next Spring.
12.-Will you be running any incentives for community groups to promote RHI?
We expect to use a range of different methods for raising awareness of the domestic RHI for example stakeholder events, website updates, articles in newsletters and other publications and online factsheets. However, we currently do not have any plans to run incentives for community groups to promote the RHI.
Are payments tax free?
13.-Will the income from domestic RHI be tax free like the income for FiTs scheme?
Tax treatment will depend on the individual’s circumstances. However, in general terms we would expect that an individual householder who is generating heat for their own domestic use will not need to pay income tax on RHI income, while RHI income received by a person acting in a business capacity will have tax consequences.
Scottish planning permission for ASHPs
14.-In Scotland the permitted development legislation is complex and for the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps requires obtaining "consent", which may not go as far as obtaining full-blown planning permission. How are you going to confirm that Scottish ASHP installations have met with planning approval if they are "permitted development" but still need the planner's consent, which may have been granted informally by the Local Authority? Whose responsibility is it to obtain planning permission?
The MCS rules require installers to meet all applicable regulations and directives in full, which includes planning permission where applicable. The MCS installers should confirm they have installed an air source heat pump in line with the Permitted Development Rights (PDR) requirements or ensure the customer has obtained the necessary planning consents. This covers all of the UK, so takes into account the Scottish PDR process. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the customer to seek and obtain any necessary permissions for their installations. The MCS installer
is required to have access to the most up to date copies of the planning regulations and so should be able to advise the customer.
New MCS standard for solar thermal
15.-When will the new MCS standard for solar thermal be available I understand that this will detail the calculation for the RHI? Is the current SAP calculation likely to change?
MCS intend to consult on the new standard for Solar Thermal in October 2013. This will include proposals for a revised energy calculation, mainly following Appendix H of SAP. Further information on the consultation can be obtained from MCS directly.
16..-How will deeming work?
The deeming calculation for biomass and heat pumps will be the estimated heat use (in kWh) of a property after the installation of the required energy efficiency measures. Where an applicant already has these installed, the figure will be taken from the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) done as part of the Green Deal Assessment.
Where the Assessment identifies that the measures still need to be put in place, the figure will be taken from the updated EPC completed after their installation. If the heating system is a heat pump, the heat use figure will be combined with the heat pump’s expected efficiency to estimate how much renewable heat should be generated.
The deeming figure for solar thermal will be the estimated contribution of the solar thermal system to the property’s hot water demand (in kWh) that is calculated as part of the installation process and shown on the MCS certificate.
Solar PV running a ASHP
17.-We have an ASHP plus a 4kW solar PV array. If we opt for a metering package, how do we ensure that the metering is accurate, given that part of the electrical energy to run the heat pump will come (at least on some days) from the solar PV?
Our metering requirements specify that the heat pump electricity supply is metered. This won’t distinguish where the electricity is coming from. You might be able to ask a metering and monitoring service package provider to include metering of your PV system (and other items you might have) so that you can tell how much of the electricity supplying different appliances is generated on-site and optimise your control settings accordingly but that isn’t something DECC require.
18.-If someone moves into a new-build property without a renewable heating system and
replaces it with a renewable one will they be eligible?
Assuming the applicant meets the other eligibility criteria of the scheme, they will be eligible. However, you should note that the RHI is aimed at boiler replacements and therefore only provides support to cover the difference between the cost of replacing a fossil fuel system with a like-for-like and replacing it with an eligible renewable heating option. The full cost of the renewable system is therefore not covered. As a result, we would not generally not expect householders to replace brand new heating systems.
19.-For metered heat pump systems, will the tariff be paid on the whole metered energy, or only on the portion which is above SPF 2.5?
For the heat pump systems that need to be metered (which isn’t all of them), the tariff will be multiplied by the measured renewable heat. That’s the part that comes from the ground or air. It’s metered by measuring the total heat output and subtracting the energy input (electricity usually) that goes into creating that heat output.
20.-By making the technology meter ready, is the intention to eventually install meters into all RHI systems or just ones that DECC wants to monitor?
Just the ones DECC wants to monitor. Metering is a good way to check an installation is working as designed though so a householder might like to add metering at some point in the future as well.
21.-For the metering option with there be a list of approved meters or will the meter be supplied. Also will the payments be tiered as with commercial RHI and are there schematics now listed for installers to see showing were the meters are fitted?
Ofgem is currently considering the best way to make sure all the heat meters that are fitted comply with their requirements. A list of eligible meters might help. For the non-domestic RHI lists of eligible meters have been provided by various people/organisations outside DECC. Payments based on meter readings won’t be tiered in the domestic policy because they’re capped at the deemed
22.-I have had my heat pump installed today and would like to be part of the team that meters the performance I have asked one of the info clerks what I should do to apply but they do not seem to know?
Metering is a great way to check it’s working as well as it can. Your installer would be the best person to talk to in the first instance but there may be some time yet before eligible Metering and Monitoring Service Packages are available on the market. We know several companies have already started development on these but our requirements are intentionally challenging so it will take some time.
23.-I wondered if there is the possibility for additional GSHP installers to register as accredited heat meter installers too?
This is something Ofgem is discussing with MCS.
Solar Thermal Metering
24.-I have a small domestic evacuated tube solar thermal system, installed in June 2010, without metering. What meter would you recommend installing & do you have any advice about when this should be installed & by whom?
Metering is never required for solar thermal systems in the domestic RHI.
Metering and Monitoring Packages
25.-How do I install the metering and monitoring service package?
For those sites in which metering is installed, will the readings from these be collected using an automated system or manual meter reads by the householder as per the non-domestic RHI?
As a heat meter is a mandatory requirement of a hybrid system, is the incentive still available as the requirement will add additional installation cost?
Your installer would be the best person to talk to in the first instance but there may be some time yet before eligible Metering and Monitoring Service Packages are available on the market. Several companies have already started development on these but our requirements are intentionally challenging so it will take some time.
Ofgem will be responsible for making payments for metered renewable heat when its required. When the scheme starts we expect that the system will be manual. However, we are doing a lot of work to make sure this is as simple, useful and quick to use as possible. By installing a Metering and Monitoring Service Package (once they’re available on the market), then you may be able to read your meter from anywhere connected to the internet. Yes, but the requirements for Metering and Monitoring Service Packages need to be met. These are more onerous than our requirements for Metering for Payment and therefore the costs will be higher. We published two technical supplements with details of both.
1.-It would seem that the heat output of a heat pump on which the tariff will be payable excludes the electricity used to circulate the heat delivery water through the heat pump. For biomass or solar thermal there is no such deduction. Should not this be
Normally electricity consumption from circulation pumps will be very small. The EST field trial found that it could be a large fraction of the total electricity consumption for some (small) heat pumps though where the control systems rely on a continuous
primary circuit return water temperature reading. We wanted to be fair to all products and encourage use of energy-efficient pumps as far as possible. Where it’s not possible to meter before a circulation pump, we didn’t want to provide an advantage compared with those products that have integrated metering before the circulation pump, for example.
2.-Why can't EN12831 and heat load calculations carried out by an MCS installer be used to determine annual kWh for RHI?
I presume the reason that an ASHP delivering at 55C will not qualify is because the SPF falls below the required (minimum) value?
EN12831 is perfect for determining the power (in kW) required on the design day resulting from fabric and ventilation heat losses. To determine the annual energy consumption (in kWh/year) is more complicated than multiplying the heat loss coefficient (in W/K) by a number of degree days though. That’s why we use RdSAP for that part. If the measurements of walls, windows, doors etc. were combined with the RdSAP assessment of solar heat gains, heat gains from water heating, appliances, people etc. then there might be an even better estimate but there isn’t a standardised, widely-available method for doing that. You are correct about the SPF of the 55oC flow temperature ASHP not reaching 2.5 on the Heat Emitter Guide.
3.-The Heat Emitter Guide does not consider heating water at less than 35°C. Efficient underfloor heating systems use water at 30°c or even lower. Would you see any problem in extrapolating to reward the extra efficiency of such systems?
Ofgem policy is that the SPF for 6-stars is the maximum available.
4.-How will heating energy consumption deemed from an EPC based on reduced data SAP be more accurate than calculating an accurate assessment of heating energy consumption over a year in kWh for spacing heating and domestic hot water using
full heat loss calculations based on actual U-values, EN ISO 13790, CIBSE Guide A and BS EN 12831 as required under MCS 3005 3.1a Clause 4.3.12 c)? Furthermore, surely using reduced data SAP rather than full SAP is even more inaccurate?
Ofgem know RdSAP isn’t the most accurate way of estimating annual heating and hot water energy demand in every situation. But they also need a policy that, for instance, isn’t open to fraud (by changing U-values to higher values, say) and that a sufficient
number of people know how to use.
5.-The MCS heat calculation seems a complete waste of time if it being replaced by the heat generation figure from the EPC. Why can't the two be combined to avoid unnecessary confusion or scrap one and keep the other? The RdSAP is simple compared with the MCS heat loss calculation.
You need to do the MCS BS EN 12831 calculation to determine the amount of power required on the design day. That’s absolutely crucial for the system to work well and not rely on excessive use of supplementary electric heating.
6.-Have the domestic tariff levels been calculated to offer a certain level return based on RHI plus Green Deal support for off grid properties?
A rate of return of 7.5% has been used to align with the approximate cost of finance for the domestic tariff setting and a Green Deal plan is one financing mechanism householders could use for some of the costs. The tariff also compensates for nonfinancial
to FAQs index
Back to top
7.-Our calculations are that the ASHP tariff is too low to encourage retrofit installations, even those currently on oil, as the RHI income & fuel bill savings won’t equal the additional cost of an ASHP compared to a conventional non-renewable heating
system taking into account only the renewable portion of the energy from the ASHP. Please can you comment & provide some information on the figures that you used to calculate the ASHP tariff?
All tariffs are set at the level required to compensate householders for the difference between the lifetime costs of the renewable heating technology and those of the counterfactual heating technology. This is calculated for all household types eligible
to install a particular renewable heating technology and ordered to produce a cost curve. The cost curve represents the tariff required for each of the householders to install a measure. The tariff is set at the median point on the curve to incentivise
uptake. As such, we believe the tariff should provide at least a 7.5% rate of return, and compensation for non-financial barriers to half the households in off-gas grid areas.
FAQs for applicants
1. How do I apply for the Domestic RHI?
You can apply for the Domestic RHI using the online application form on the Ofgem website. Before starting your application, it is useful to read our Essential guide for applicants. This contains detailed information on whether you will be eligible for the scheme, and which documents you will need when you apply.
2. Should I apply for the scheme before or after I install my renewable heating system?
You can only apply for the Domestic RHI after your renewable heating system has been installed. As part of your application, you will need to provide Ofgem with your MCS installation certificate number, which your installer will give you when it is installed. Before you choose a renewable heat product, it is worth checking that it is listed as eligible on the Ofgem Product Eligibility List (PEL). Only those products listed as eligible on the PEL will be accepted on the scheme.
3. What information will I need to provide when I apply?
To complete the application form, you will need to provide:
Your personal information and bank details
A Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate number for your renewable heat appliance
A Green Deal Advice Report number, unless you’re a custom-builder (see qu. 9)
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) number for your property
4. What’s the difference between the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI schemes?
The Domestic RHI is designed for heating systems supplying a single domestic property which must have, or be capable of obtaining, a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
For other situations, including where the heating system provides heat to multiple homes (e.g. flats), you may instead be eligible for the Non-Domestic RHI.
5. Are there any time limits to when I can apply?
To be eligible for the Domestic RHI, you must apply within 12 months of the ‘commissioning date’ shown on the MCS certificate for your product. If your system was commissioned before the scheme launched (9 April 2014), then you will be considered a ‘legacy applicant’. If this is the case, you will have slightly different eligibility requirements, and must apply before 9 April 2015.
If your system was commissioned before 15 July 2009 (when the RHI was announced), you will not be
eligible for the scheme.
6. My application has been put ‘into review’; what happens next?
There are a number of reasons your application might have been put into review. It will usually be because we need you to provide Ofgem with additional information so they can process your application correctly.
7. Can I apply for the Domestic RHI if I live in Northern Ireland or Channel Islands?
The Domestic RHI is available for people with an eligible renewable heating system in England, Wales or Scotland. Those in Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands aren’t covered by the scheme.
8. Do I need a Green Deal Assessment?
Yes, unless your property is a custom-build (see question 9). A Green Deal Assessment provides a good
opportunity for you to assess the wider energy efficiency of your property. The scheme also offers the option of providing financial support for the installation of your renewable heating system, insulation and energy efficiency measures. You will need to install any loft and/or cavity wall insulation recommended on your EPC to be eligible for the scheme.
9. Can I apply if my system is part of a new building?
The RHI scheme is designed to help people make the switch to renewable heating when replacing an
existing fossil fuel product. Where a heating system is installed as part of the building of a new property it won’t usually be eligible for this scheme.
The exception to this rule is where the property was constructed using the labour or resources of the first owner (including any loans that the first owner was liable to repay), and where the first owner and all subsequent owners are individuals, not organisations. We refer to these as ‘custom-builds’.
If you have a property in which a heating system was commissioned during the construction of the
property, but this system is then replaced by an eligible technology after the property was first occupied, then this is not considered as a custom-build.
10. Is second hand or refurbished equipment eligible?
The Domestic RHI is designed to pay for the equivalent of 20 years of renewable heat generation during the 7 year tariff payment period. Using a second hand product increases the risk that it will break down or require replacement before the 20 years has passed. In addition, the tariffs are set based on the cost of new equipment: as second hand equipment is likely to be cheaper, allowing it on the scheme would tend to result in over compensation. As such it was decided equipment previously used to generate heat should not be eligible for the scheme.
Equipment not required for generating heat (such as radiators, fixings, some piping, storage units etc) do not have to meet this requirement.
11. Can I apply for more than one renewable heating system?
You can apply for one space heating system (including domestic hot water) and one solar thermal system supplying domestic hot water only. The rules are more complicated where you have more than one system installed at your property for space heating, or a heating installation that is made up of multiple products.
12. Can I apply if my heating system heats multiple buildings?
If your system heats more than one domestic property, then you will not be eligible for the Domestic RHI, but may be eligible for the Non-domestic RHI. However, if your renewable heating system provides heat to multiple buildings within your property (for example your house and an outbuilding), then you may still eligible for the scheme.
13. Can I still apply to the Domestic RHI if I can’t install the required loft and/or
cavity wall insulation recommended in my Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
If loft and/or cavity wall insulation are recommended in your EPC you must install them before you apply to the Domestic RHI. However, we understand that there are some circumstances in which this may not be possible, for example if your property is a listed building. If this is the case, you may be exempt, and could still be eligible for the scheme.
14. I’ve heard about the sustainability requirements for biomass. When will these be introduced and what do they mean for me?
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) expect to introduce new sustainability criteria for biomass systems claiming the Domestic RHI in Spring 2015. From then on, it's anticipated that you’ll have to buy your fuel from an approved supplier, registered on the Biomass Suppliers List. Biomass suppliers, including self-suppliers, can now register on the list and it is expected that it will be made available to customers in September 2014.
These requirements will apply to both new applicants and those already accepted on the Domestic RHI, so we advise against entering into any long-term contracts with a fuel supplier until the list is available. For more information on the anticipated requirements, please see the DECC factsheet Biomass sustainability requirements for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
15. Are rental properties or holiday homes eligible?
Yes, so long as they meet all the joining requirements. This includes the property having a domestic energy performance certificate (EPC). Any property that’s occupied for less than six months a year (183 days) will have to have a meter installed, and payments will be made based upon meter readings.
16. Am I eligible for the scheme if I’ve already received a grant?
During the application, you will have to declare any funding you’ve received towards your installation which you don’t need to pay back. This does not include bank or other loans, or a Green Deal finance plan, as you are responsible for these repayments yourself. We will ask you to provide evidence of the funding you’ve received, and decide whether or not it’s from a public source. If it is, the amount will be deducted from your quarterly payments in equal amounts over the seven year life of the scheme.
17. What do I need to do if I received Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) funding?
If you received RHPP funding, you must declare it as part of your application. You will be asked to provide your RHPP number as part of the application process. The amount you received will then be automatically deducted from your quarterly payments, in equal amounts over the seven year life of the scheme.
18. What happens if I move home?
Domestic RHI payments can only be made to the owner of the heating system. If you sell your home and, as part of that, you sell the heating system, you will no longer be eligible to receive payments. If you sell your property, the new owner may be eligible to claim payments for the remainder of the seven years. You must notify us before or within 28 days of selling your heating system.
19. Will I need to be metered?
Generally, you will need to install metering:
if you have another heating system installed at the property (renewable or fossil fuel)
if your property is occupied for less than six months a year (183 days), or
if you have a biomass boiler and it does not meet all of the heat demand for your property.
20. How much can I expect to get paid?
If you qualify for the scheme and continue to meet your obligations, you’ll get 28 quarterly payments over seven years. In most cases, these payments will be calculated based on your technology, the ‘deemed heat load’ of your property as stated on your EPC (an estimate of how much heat you use to heat your home), and whether you have received any previous funding for your heating system. If you need to be metered (see question 18), payments will be based on the actual amount of heat you use.
For an estimate of how much RHI payment you might be eligible for, you can use the DECC Renewable Heat Incentive calculator.
22. Can I see how my payment has been calculated?
Once you have applied to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive you can use MyRHI to view and manage your account.
23. How will I be paid?
Once you’ve been approved for the scheme, Ofgen will pay your quarterly payment directly into your bank account by BACS transfer. We can only do this for bank accounts which accept pound sterling deposits. The date of your first payment will be three months from the date you submitted your complete application to Ofgem.to FAQs index Back to top
8. Useful links
For information and advice regarding RHI, please contact our Distributor for Great Britain and Ireland:
Organic Energy www.organicenergy.co.uk
Energy Saving Trust – for free impartial general information on how to save energy in your home.
Green Deal information – how the Green Deal works.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) information – Department for Communities and Local Government website.
Metering information – our Essential guide to metering for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI).
Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) – for a list of MCS certified products and installers, and for information on MCS standards, etc.
Domestic RHI product eligibility list – for information on renewable heating technology products eligible for the Domestic RHI.
Domestic RHI application portal – to begin making an application.
Sign in to MyRHI - after you've set up an account/joined the scheme.
Non Domestic RHI – those not eligible for the Domestic RHI, may wish to consider the Non-Domestic scheme.
Department of Energy and Climate Change – for information on the policy of the Domestic RHI.
DECC’s Domestic RHI payment calculator tool - a tool launched by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to help applicants and installers get an estimate of the payments you might get for your installation.
Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) - for information about the code and problems with installers.
Back to top