Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) launched in November 2011 as the first scheme of its kind in the world and provides a fixed rate for every unit of heat generated by your renewable heating system, including biomass boilers, heat pumps, solar thermal systems and anaerobic digesters (biogas). The UK Government's Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) makes the key policy and energy regulator Ofgem administers the schemes.
The domestic RHI was launched on 9th April 2014 and provides financial support to the owner of the renewable heating system for seven years. The scheme covers England, Wales and Scotland and is targeted at - but not limited to - off-gas households.
On 3 March 2016 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced their intention to make a number of changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.
These changes came into force on 24 March 2016 and key amendments included, but were not limited to, the following:
•New applicants are not required to provide a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR).
•New applicants with self-build properties are exempt from the 183 days occupancy declaration.
•Clarification on Ofgem’s powers to request a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and amend the RHI payments accordingly if needed.
•Tariffs will be subject to adjustment by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) (for participants with a tariff start state from 1 April 2016).
•Ensuring consistency in rounding of tariffs.
•Aligning the RHI sustainability criteria with that set out in the Renewables Obligation Order 2015.
DECC have also published a consultation to seek feedback on the proposed reforms to the scheme. The renewable heat incentive: a reformed and refocused scheme consultation will close on 27 April 2016.
You should keep these changes in mind if you are planning to apply for the domestic RHI scheme or are considering installing an eligible system. This is not an exhaustive list of changes to the scheme and further information can be found in the Renewable Heat Incentive: amendments to scheme eligibility document on DECC’s site.
To be eligible for the scheme you must demonstrate that the heat is used for an eligible purpose, that metering arrangements are appropriate, and that grants have not been received for certain purposes.