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Domestic renewable heat incentive: your questions answered

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 17 April 2014 at 1:14 pm

This blog was originally published on 21 September 2012, substantially updated on 25 July 2013, and updated again on 9 & 19 December 2013 and 10 April 2014 and 10 November 2014 and 5 March 2015.

We hosted a live online Q&A with the Department of Environment and Climate Change on 28 July 2014. CLICK HERE to see the questions and answers.

The renewable heat incentive is the government scheme to encourage the shift to low carbon and renewable heat technologies. It opened for business on 10 April 2014. The details of the scheme are below in question and answer format. 

If you have questions about any of this, or there is something we haven't answered, you can ask it in the comment section under this blog.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE DOMESTIC RHI

Am I eligible for the renewable heat incentive?

The following people are eligible to apply for the RHI:

• Owner occupiers (including second homes)
• Private landlords
• Social landlords
• Self-builders
• Legacy (those who installed eligible renewable heat measures between 15 July 2009 and 8 April 2014)

Other new build housing is not eligible.

The scheme is for a system that heats a single domestic property. Systems that heat more than one dwelling (ie a block of flats or a house with a self-contained outbuilding) may be able to apply to the non-domestic scheme. Payments go to the owner of the scheme. DECC expects the domestic RHI scheme to be open until March 2021.

I’m a private landlord, can I apply?
As long as you own the heating system, you can apply, and you will receive the RHI payments. But you will be expected to get necessary permissions from your tenants, both to install the system, and so you can comply with the requirements on maintenance and possible site visits.

What do they mean by self-builder?
Someone who has built or commissioned a home for their own use, either by building the home themselves or by working with builders.

I have already installed renewable heat. Can I get the RHI?
Yes, as long as you installed it after 15 July 2009, and you have not received any government support since then (other than from the renewable heat premium payment scheme which will be deducted from the RHI payments). You come under the heading legacy installation.

What are the eligibility criteria for legacy installations?
Legacy applicants are people that installed renewable heating systems between 15 July 2009 and 8 April 2014. There are two exceptions to the eligibility criteria for legacy applicants:

1. the installation will need to meet the MCS standards that applied at the time of installation, rather than the current standards;
2. installations will not need to meet the air quality requirements that will apply from the launch of the scheme for new applicants.

ELIGIBLE TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE DOMESTIC RHI:

What technologies are eligible for the RHI?

• Air source heat pumps (ASHP) (initially this is only ASHP that heat water - ie air to water) and, from February 2015, high temperature heat pumps.

• Biomass boilers and wood pellet stoves with a back boiler (installations after 9 April 2014 that don't meet 100% of the peak space heating load may be eligible, but will need to be metered). Biomass technologies installed post 9/4/14 must also meet air quality standards. Biomass fuel standards will come into force in Autumn 2014. Log-fired boiler stoves are not eligible.

• Ground and water source heat pumps (GSHP)

• Solar thermal (hot water) - only flat plate and evacuated tube solar panels will be eligible.

• Cooker stoves (as defined by changes to the RHI in February 2015)

To be eligible the heating system must be MCS (or equivalent scheme) certified and the installer must be  MCS certified and a member of the renewable energy consumer code (RECC). However, MCS registration alone does not guarantee eligibility. A full list of products eligible for the domestic renewable heat incentive can be found on the Ofgem website. 

DOMESTIC RHI TARIFF RATES

What are the RHI tariff rates?
• air source heat pumps 7.3p/kWh
• biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back burner 10.98p/kWh (reducing to 8.93p from 1 April 2015)
• ground source heat pumps 18.8p/kWh and 
• solar thermal technologies 19.2p/kWh

How long will they be paid for?
The tariffs will be paid for 7 years. Payments will be quarterly, in arrears, by Ofgem. The system is currently in development. They rise annually in line with the retail price index (RPI). While paid over a seven year period, the rates have been calculated over the expected 20 year life of the systems.

Is the RHI index-linked?
Yes, tariffs will change annually in line with the retail price index (RPI). Changes will come into effect on 1 April each year.

When will rates change?
A degression scheme, similar to the one introduced for the Feed-in Tariffscheme, will be put in place to manage the RHI budget. This means that tariff levels for new applicants will decrease by 10 per cent once specified amounts of the budget have been spent. The government will check every quarter to see if triggers are met. If they are, a month's notice of the tariff reduction will be given. Degression will be per technology, not for the scheme over all, so that one technology is not allowed to dominate the budget. Formal reviews are planned for 2015 and 2017, but the government reserves the right to hold a review of the scheme at any time.

What will the tariffs be applied to?
Tariffs are paid per kWh of renewable heat generated. The amount of heat generated from your installation will be 'deemed'. This is an estimate of the property's expected annual heat usage. You multiply the deemed heat load of renewable heat by the tariff rate to calculate the annual payments. 

For biomass, hybrid systems and heat pumps the estimated heat use of a property will be calculated after the installation of required energy efficiency measures (see below). This figure will be taken from the energy performance certificate (EPC) done as part of a green deal assessment.

For heat pump installations, the heat use figure will be combined with the heat pump's expected efficiency to estimate how much renewable heat should be generated.

For solar thermal, the deeming figure will be the estimated contribution of the solar thermal to the property's hot water demand. This calculation is part of the MCS installation process. 

What's the thinking behind the tariff rates?
Rates are based on technology and installation costs; technology efficiencies; technology lifetimes, the cost of financing; and the costs of off-gas-grid fuels such as electricity and oil. It factors in a 7.5% compensation for finance of the capital cost of buying and installing the system. 

How soon will my investment pay back?
The domestic RHI has been designed as a 'boiler replacement scheme'. As such, the payments are intended to bridge the costs between the installation and running costs of fossil fuel heating systems and the renewable alternatives. Unlike the feed-in tariff it isn't talking in terms of investment, or payback (do you expect a gas or oil boiler to 'payback'?). 

HOW DO I CALCULATE THE POTENTIAL INCOME FROM THE RHI?

The RHI will be paid on each kWh of renewable heat generated, for seven years. For most heat pump and biomass heating systems this will be an estimated figure (to avoid the cost of metering). It will be taken from the heat demand figures for space heating and hot water on your EPC. The solar thermal figure will be calculated by your installer. 

Biomass calculation of RHI payments:
You install a biomass boiler (tariff rate is 12.2p/kWh) in a home with expected heat demand of 18,000kWh (15,000 for space heating, 3,000 for water heating). 

The calculation is 18,000 x 0.1098 = £1,976.4 RHI payment per year, for 7 years = £13,835

Heat pump calculation of RHI payments:
For this example we'll assume a heat demand of 18,000kWh, and an air source heat pump (tariff rate is 7.3p/kWh). The heat pump has an efficiency rate averaged over the whole year (SPF) of 3 - ie it generates an average of 3kWh of heat for every kWh of electricity used. 

The RHI is only paid on the renewable element of the heat, not the electricity used. To find that figure divide the heat demand by the SPF:

18,000 / 3 = 6,000

In this case 2/3 of the electricity will be renewable

6,000 x 2 = 12,000kWh x 0.073p = £876 per year x 7 years = £6,132 

Solar thermal calculations:
Hot water demand of 2,000kWh, tariff rate 19.2p

2,000kWh x 0.192p =  £384 x 7 years £2,688

Because there is only one tariff rate, whatever the size of heating system installed, and there are economies of scale on installation costs, larger systems will tend to get a better rate of return.

As well as the RHI payments, you will also want to consider any energy savings you get from installing a renewable system in your decision making. These vary considerably between technologies. 

RHI SCHEME REQUIREMENTS

All heating systems and installers must be accredited by MCS or an equivalent scheme. In addition, installers must be members of theRenewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).

What does it mean by MCS or equivalent?
MCS (the microgeneration certification scheme) is the UK’s accreditation scheme. DECC will also recognise certification schemes that meet standards such as European standard EN 45011, or ISO/IEC 17065 which has replaced EN 45011. Your installer must issue you with an MCS compliance certificate. You will need this certificate when making your application for RHI. 

What are the energy efficiency requirements?
Everyone except self-builders will have to have a green deal assessment (including legacy applicants). This records the energy performance of your property, and will give you a list of measures that you could consider installing to increase its energy efficiency. It will include guidance as to how much they are likely to cost, and what savings they will generate on your energy bills. You will be eligible to apply for the RHI even if your chosen renewable energy system is not recommended on your green deal advice report.

If loft and/or cavity wall insulation are recommended by the assessment you must install them and obtain an updated energy performance certificate (EPC) before applying for the RHI. If installing them is not feasible, you will need to present valid evidence of why not. Self-builders will have to get an RdSAP EPC on completion of the property, and the deemed heat load figure will be taken from that.

Why has DECC set energy efficiency requirements?
Installing energy efficiency measures, such as cavity and loft insulation is the most cost effective way to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. If you increase energy efficiency, you will be able to install a smaller (and cheaper) heating system, and it will run more efficiently. 

Why do I have to have a green deal assessment?
Probably to promote the government's energy efficiency scheme. However it is also used as proof that loft insulation (to 250mm) and cavity wall insulation have been installed where required.

Are there any conditions I must meet?
You must have your heating system maintained regularly. You will have to confirm that your system is operating correctly as part of the application process, and will need to confirm annually that it is being maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Will I have to install a meter?
For biomass and heat pumps, meters will be required in two situations:
a. If the renewable heating system is installed alongside another fossil fuel or renewable space heating system (this includes hybrid systems);
b. in second homes.

You can also choose to install a meter under the metering and monitoring package, and this cost will be covered by an additional payment of £230 per year for heat pumps, £200 per year for biomass boilers. This is just for your peace of mind, so you know your system is performing as expected. Your payments will still be on the 'deemed' figure from your EPC.

Why do installations have to be ‘meter-ready’?
DECC wants to check its assumptions about fuel bill savings and renewable energy generation. Selected installations will have DECC’s metering equipment fitted, so all applicants will have to agree to this as part of the application process. DECC is working with MCS to make it an MCS standard to make all new domestic systems meter-ready where possible. It will not apply to legacy installations. This is not the same as getting a metering and monitoring package, and data will not be available for installers and householders to view in the same way.

BIOMASS CRITERIA FOR THE RHI

What biomass heaters are eligible?
You can install either a biomass-only boiler, fuelled by wood pellet, wood chip or logs, or a biomass pellet stove with a back burner (these are sometimes referred to as boiler stoves). It must meet the air quality and fuel sustainability criteria set out by DECC. Condensing biomass boilers are not eligible initially, but this will be kept under review, and may change.

What are the air quality requirements?
Systems must not exceed the maximum permitted emissions limits of 30g per gigajoule (g/GJ) net thermal input of particulate matter (PM) and 150g/GJ for oxides of nitrogen Nox. You will need an air quality certificate when you apply. You can find a list of eligible boilers and stoves on the Ofgem website. Legacy installations (those installed between 15 July 2009 and the start of the scheme) do not need to meet these requirements. Installations will also need to comply with national air quality and planning legislation.

What are the fuel sustainability requirements?
Fuels must be sourced from a supplier registered on an approved list (this will mandatory from autumn 2014, recommended prior to that). You will have to make an annual declaration that you are doing so, and keep receipts as evidence.

I’ve got my own wood supply, can I use that?
Yes you can, as long as you do not also supply to other biomass installations. “Woody biomass feedstocks” (this includes perennial energy crops such as miscanthus as well as wood) grown on the same “estate” as an eligible biomass system will be automatically treated as meeting the sustainability criteria. DECC is also looking at a ‘proportionate approach’ for local suppliers of wood fuel.

HEAT PUMP CRITERIA FOR THE RHI

Can I use my heat pump for cooling too?
No. Any cooling from heat pumps is not eligible.

How do I calculate the ‘renewable heat’ generated by a heat pump?
The renewable heat is the heat taken from the ground, air or water, net of the electricity that is needed to run the heat pump. The more efficient the heat pump, the more renewable heat will be produced.

This efficiency is measured as a seasonal performance factor (SPF). For example: for every 1kWh of electricity used, the heat pump will generate 2.5 kWhs of heat averaged out over a year. To work out how much heat is renewable use the following formula:

Eligible heat demand = total heat demand x (1 – 1/SPF)

So if the SPF=2.5, 1 - 1/2.5 = 0.6 of the heat output will be eligible for RHI payments.

Is there a minimum efficiency for heat pumps?
The minimum SPF (seasonal performance factor) allowable for a heat pump to qualify for the RHI is 2.5. This is based on an EU classification which states that only those heat pumps with a SPF of 2.5 or more are considered renewable.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE DOMESTIC RHI

How do I apply?

Applications opened on 9 April 2014. For most people application is online at the Ofgem website. There are alternatives to make it accessible to all.

Don't be tempted by people (or websites) who say they will do it on your behalf (for a fee). It's designed to be easy, and doing so may jeopardise your eligibilityas the regulations don't allow for third party applications.

If you installed your renewable heating system between 15 July 2009 and 8 April 2014 there is a phased application process to manage the large volume:

9 April - 8 July 2014: New applications and legacy applicants that have not received renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) can apply.

9 July - 8 October: New applicants, legacy applicants that haven't received RHPP and those who applied for a RHPP  voucher before 20 May 2013 can apply.

9 October 2014 - 30 March 2015:  new applicants and all legacy applicants can apply.

Year 2 onwards: new applicants only

All legacy applicants must apply within the first year of the scheme; new applicants can apply as soon as their system is commissioned, and must apply within a year of the commissioning date. 

Is there anything else I’ll have to do?
You will have to declare annually that the system is still in use and meets the scheme requirements; that it is in working order and maintained in line with manufacturer’s instructions; and the current recipient is still entitled to the payments. This is to ensure that you’re not continuing to receive payments for heat that isn’t being generated.

You may be selected for spot checks. Ofgem will be checking some installations while they process applications, and some after they have been accepted onto the RHI. MCS certifying bodies will also be checking to make sure installers are carrying out work to a high enough quality. There is also a checking process in place for green deal advisors, to ensure standards are met.

Some installations will be chosen for metering to provide DECC with information about how the technologies perform. 

If you refuse to comply with any of the above it may delay or prevent acceptance onto the scheme. If you are not meeting the ongoing requirements, your payments will stop.

I have already received a renewable heat premium payment, can I apply for the RHI?
You must declare that you have received the RHPP – or any other public funding you have received for the heating system – as part of your application. It will be deducted from your quarterly payments over the life time of the tariff. The deduction will also be altered in line with the RPI each April.

FUNDING

Is there any help with the upfront cost of installing a renewable heating system?

You may be able to get some part-finance through the green deal, which enables you to pay off the loan through the savings that result on your energy bill. This will not cover the whole cost of any of the renewable heating systems. 

OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DOMESTIC RHI

Who will benefit most from the domestic RHI?

The scheme is targeted at those off the gas grid and living in rural areas. There are about 4 million off-gas homes in the UK, evenly split between rural and urban areas. 

The rural off-gas homes are generally heated by oil, LPG or electricity, and tend to be older, larger, solid walled properties that are not energy efficient. Because they are sparsely populated, and not suitable for heat networks, they are the properties that the tariff rates have been calculated for. DECC hopes to support around 750,000 renewable systems by 2020, predominantly off the gas grid.

In 2011, the average cost of heating a three bedroom house was almost 50% higher for oil, and over 100% higher for LPG, compared with mains gas. 

Can I keep a back up heating system alongside my renewable heat one?

You can have another heating system (either renewable or not), but if you want to claim the RHI you will have to install a meter on your heat pump, biomass boiler or hybrid system. The RHI will then be paid on meter readings (as opposed to deemed heat use). However, payments will be capped at the deemed amount of heat use. You will be responsible for the installation of any required meters, and ensuring they meet the requirements in the metering for payment technical supplement.

The exception to this is if you install solar thermal with a heat pump or biomass system. Then you can make two claims for RHI – one for the solar thermal, one for the heat pump or biomass. Both systems will be paid according to the deemed amount, and will not need to be metered.
Room heaters, such as a wood burning stove (without a back boiler) do not count as another heating system in this context.

What is the RHI metering and monitoring package?

It is similar to a service contract. The meters will enable you and your installer to see the measured performance of your system online. The aim is to give you peace of mind that your system is working properly, and allow the installer to improve performance where possible and diagnose problems as they occur. The payment of £230 per year for heat pumps and £200 for biomass boilers is to reimburse you for the cost of the package over the 7 year life of the RHI payments. This package is not available for biomass stoves. In the first instance, it is only available to the first 2,500 applicants in the first year of the scheme.

What happens if I sell my property?
You must inform Ofgem, so payments can be transferred to the new owner.

What do I do if things go wrong?
If you can’t sort it out with your installer, then the process for complaints is available on the Renewable Energy Consumer Code website.

Can I install a log boiler stove that connects to the heating system?
No, these are not allowed, as there's nothing to stop you burning coal in them too. The only boiler stoves that are eligible are those burning biomass pellets.

More information:
Renewable Heat Incentive Guide
Find a Biomass Boiler Installer

If you have any more questions, please ask them in the comment section below, and we'll do our best to answer them.

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If you are not allowed, please ask them in the comment section below, and we'll do our best to answer them.

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Comments

192 comments - read them below or add one

Arabella Moore

Arabella MooreComment left on: 20 September 2016 at 2:06 pm

Hello, we are currently updating our property.  Stage one is an independent barn conversion with underfloor heating pipes already installed, stage 2 is to link that to the main house with a living room (conservatory style) which will also have underfloor heating.  The main house (3 bed, old granite, thick walls) has solid floors and radiators - that I don't wish to change for reasons of costs and aesthetics. The cost of installation of ground source and biomass is prohibitive for us....so we came up with the idea of fitting our existing large wood stove with a back boiler to provide hot water and heating through the existing pipe work (ie the rads and under floor) as we have a lot of our own logs and always light the woodburner in winter.  Plus we would install solar thermal which would be used to heat both hot water and space heating (if there is any surplus to hot water requirements).  We already have an oil fired Eco Range (Thornhill cooker) as an efficient oil cooker so could fairly cheaply install a new efficient oil boiler - as a back up to the solar thermal and woodburner.  The idea is that most of the time we would only use oil for the Thornhill cooker and the woodburner and solar thermal would do the rest.  We currently only put the oil central heating boiler on in the very cold months anyway and don't even have a back boiler on our woodburner yet.  So we could reasonably expect to use the oil boiler only in super cold times if at all or perhaps when we were otherwise prevented from loading the stove (illness etc) when we would use the oil central heating.  Oil for the Thornhill costs around £350 to £400 a year as it is way more efficient than an Aga for example.  We know we can't get RHI for the log burner - stupid but there it is - we reckon it is still better for the environment if we use it rather than oil and probably cheaper for us as we have the logs anyway.  My ultimate question is: will we be able to get RHI on the Solar Thermal, with this multi-faceted system in place?  Further, does that take into account that the Solar Thermal will feed into the hot water system and the heating system or is it only based on hot water and why?  Oh and any comments on our plans generally from an environmental and cost point of view gratefully received. Thanks, A

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NEF Gabby

NEF GabbyComment left on: 17 March 2016 at 1:54 pm

IzzyBurridge

Thanks for the comment. Unfotunatley I think you will have to speak to Ofgem about this (and soon). I agree that it could look as though you are trying to cheat the system and whilst it does appear justifyable it could certainly be flagged at their end, so you are better to cotnact them sooner and agree a way forward.

Also note that the proposed changes to RHI may bring in a cap for domestic systems and you may exceed this, so you want to get on it straight away.

Cheers

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IzzyBurridge

IzzyBurridgeComment left on: 13 March 2016 at 3:03 pm

Advice needed please:

We live in an uninsulated converted barn and have had an EPC carried out on the property in the last few months which shows a heat demand of 80,000 kwh per year with no conditions on our GDAR regarding loft or cavity wall insulation.

We are planning on having a ground source heat pump fitted with underfloor heating throughout the property, and afterwards totally insulating the house.

The design/sizing for the heat pump has therefore been based on the heat loss calcs for once the house is insulated which will be around 35,000kwh.

The system, therefore, will not be capable of heating the house as it is i.e. uninsulated. Will this be noticed in our application?

I know that the RHI calculations are based on the EPC figure and not the MCS certificate figure but will our application go through successfully with such a discrepancy between the 2 figures?

I've previously read advice that states to get your EPC in place before you insulate to maximise the RHI but our current EPC is so high compared to what will be on the MCS certificate, I'm worried that it will raise alarm bells at Ofgem! 

Do you think this would be classed as fraudulent? We have been told by our installer that this would be an acceptable way forward but would appreciate a second opinion before committing to the cost of outlay.

With the total cost of the heat pump, the underfloor heating and the insulation (all required to make the GSHP a viable and efficient option) we really need to maximise RHI if we can!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Esther Dowling

Esther Dowling Comment left on: 12 November 2015 at 9:41 pm

Hi

I am disgusted!!!

I have just finish building my house which we have built and put in a windhager biomass boiler costing £45,000.00 of our own money and was told we could claim domestic Rhi I rang to get a epc and a green deal assessment done and the lady I spoke to and my fitter renewable innovations of Caerphilly and they both said my house needs to be signed off so it took me a while to get all this done then on 14th October I went on Ofgems website filled in all my details and to my shock it came back I was not eligible i panicked and rang them checked my boiler it was the right one etc then I gave them the date off the MCS certificate and apparently I only had a year to claim I was totally unaware of this and have been told I cannot claim I think I cried for two days and I have since tried everything appealing to Ofgem but they basically said I have missed the deadline!! I have appealed again and I have now emailed Amber Rudd MP from DECC and been in contact with watchdog and local media I am disgusted that wrong information from people who should know about the Domestuc RHI and Goverment incentives clearly don't I am fuming!!!! 

If anyone on here can advice me or help me in anyway I would be most appreciative.

Esther Dowling

 

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JCF

JCFComment left on: 2 June 2015 at 12:33 pm

We are a lecacy applicant for an ASHP RHI payment. An EPC and Green Deal assessment has been completed for the house, and the RHI payment has now been approved.

The EPC made recommendations that would improve the energy performance of the dwelling. Having solid walls, one of the recommendations was for internal or external wall insulation. If we were to carry out the installation of internal wall insulation, at some time in the future, this would effect the houses space heating demand value. Would we need to inform Ofgem of the improvements, and would this have an inpact on our current RHI payments.

Thank you for a great Blog.

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Dr.nutter

Dr.nutterComment left on: 9 May 2015 at 8:12 am

Hi.

We have bought a house with terrible energy efficiency, and plan major renovations to bring it up from its current F EPC status to something a bit better. As part of this, we are considering a wood pellet boiler.

We would like to install this before next winter, but the rest of the renovations will take longer and will be required to get the EPC up to scratch. 

Can we install the boiler while the house is an F, and then apply for the RHI once the house's EPC rating is good enough? Is there a time limit on this? 

We have only just started thinking about these issues, and your site is a goldmine of useful info. Thanks.  :-) 

Dave

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 4 December 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi Roger101

I'll do my best to answer your questions. You're right, it's pretty complicated!

1: Who decides on the KWH of your house. Is it a stadard spreadsheet doen by the green assessor and therefore all the same? I have a 225m2 house, stadnard build, no cavity, has double glaxing and good loft insulation. The origanal EPC i have from when i bought th house states energy req of 55kwh? This seesm insane compared with what i have read?

There will be two calculations. The MCS certified installer will calculate a heat demand figure. This will be used to size the boiler. When you get your green deal assessment done, the assessor will also do an EPC which will have a heat demand figure on it. This will be used to calculate the amount of RHI you get. It sounds as if there's a problem with the EPC that you got when you bought the house, so it makes sense to have it redone when you get the green deal assessment.  

2: I have masses of wood already in my outhouses. Can i use this with a biomass boiler given the new rules. ie if i apply to become a sefl supplier im not really supplying, i would want to use up what i have then clearly buy from an accredited soruce elsewhere.

You can't register as a self-supplier. To do that you need to prove you have are producing wood sustainably - for example show a woodland management plan. However, the regulations don't come in until Spring 2015, and you don't have to meet them until autumn 2015, so until then you can use your own supply. After that you'll have to demonstrate that you are meeting the requirements.  

3: The quotes i have for intalls dont seem to aling with the manufactures views. Appreciate this isnt a surprise, but in reality quotes of 9k for intall of 25kw omly tells me its compl,ex and a lot to go wrong?

This is really a complex area. Hopefully, this blog will shed a bit of light on it.

 

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Roger101

Roger101Comment left on: 3 December 2014 at 5:27 pm

Hi.

Fantastic posts and really informative. I wonder if i may seek some answers to my many questions. Were seriouskly considering a Log boiler but I do have the follwoing which I cant see to resolve:

 

1: Who decides on the KWH of your house. Is it a stadard spreadsheet doen by the green assessor and therefore all the same? I have a 225m2 house, stadnard build, no cavity, has double glaxing and good loft insulation. The origanal EPC i have from when i bought th house states energy req of 55kwh? This seesm insane compared with what i have read?

 

2: I have masses of wood already in my outhouses. Can i use this with a biomass boiler given the new rules. ie if i apply to become a sefl supplier im not really supplying, i would want to use up what i have then clearly buy from an accredited soruce elsewhere.

 

3: The quotes i have for intalls dont seem to aling with the manufactures views. Appreciate this isnt a surprise, but in reality quotes of 9k for intall of 25kw omly tells me its compl,ex and a lot to go wrong?

 

Appreciate this is a lot of questions but I feel thwere a lack of genuine info on the net.

 

Many thanks

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 10 November 2014 at 9:25 am

Hi Beemer

The short answer to this is that I don't know. However, it would certainly be worth asking Ofgem (try @AskDomesticRHI on twitter). Was the biomass boiler installed between 15 July 2009 and the 1 April this year? That would make it a legacy installation, and there would be a good reason for the original owner not to have claimed. You'd need to have all the paperwork, including MCS certificate, and a green deal assessment. 

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Beemer

BeemerComment left on: 7 November 2014 at 6:07 pm

Hi, can you please confirm if the new owner of a house can claim the RHI for a biomass boiler that the previous owner installed ? 

Thanks

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ElaineM

ElaineMComment left on: 6 November 2014 at 6:18 pm

Thank you Cathy,

That gives us a clearer direction and we will investigate.

Best Regards

ElaineM

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 6 November 2014 at 5:24 pm

Hi ElaineM

The RHI payments will be based on the EPC, so you want to get an updated one once you have finished the extensions. In fact, for the RHI you need to get a green deal assessment unless you can persuade Ofgem that you fall into the self builder category. You will also need your EPC (level D or better) to qualify for the higher rate of the feed-in tariff. So once it's all insulated and finished.

2. While you are putting solar PV on it might be worth putting solar thermal too. You can claim it on RHI in addition to your heat pump, and as quite a lot of the costs are about accessing the roof, it should more cost effective that it would be if you were having a stand alone installation. Many solar installers do both. Both solar thermal and PV switch won't give you much in the winter, so you'll probably need an immersion too.

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ElaineM

ElaineMComment left on: 6 November 2014 at 3:30 pm

Hi Cathy et al,

Just bought a 2 bed bungalow with oil fired heating, cavity wall insulation and rubbish loft insulation. Have EPC (E rating) but no historic energy data. Property remains vacant as plan to add 2 x extensions and convert loft AND replace heating system with ASHP feeding thermal skirting, a log burner in the lounge  (should keep hubby and I toasty enough in winter) and PV's for electricity.Queries:

1 We won't have before and after in terms of EPC status and we wont be comparing apples with apples. To qualify for RHI which assessments do we need and when?

2 Any advice on best provision of hot water (cheapest, reliable and efficient) ? Understand utilising ASHP might diminish efficiency of heating and have considered PV switch but need back up/top up system.

Any advice gratefully received from a non techie but ardent sustainability supporter!

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 3 November 2014 at 10:02 am

Hi Value Oils

Please don't promote your company on this blog. We will always remove the link and/or delete the comment.

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valueoils

valueoilsComment left on: 31 October 2014 at 12:10 pm

Well a very nice article to read and it will help many people, I am using Heating Oil in Belfast for almost ten years now.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 22 October 2014 at 5:35 pm

Hi Paul

I suspect that the back boiler would be counted as another heating source, and may cause lower payments or metering - although you'd be best off checking with the domestic RHI team at Ofgem as they are the ones who ultimately interpret the regulations.

However, with a wood pellet boiler, solar thermal and an immersion I wonder whether a back boiler wouldn't be overkill. You'd be pretty unlucky if all three other options were knocked out at once.

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paulb1257

paulb1257Comment left on: 22 October 2014 at 10:15 am

Hello All,

My elderly parents currently have an old coal fire providing central heating and hot water. I would like to replace this with a pellet boiler but I worry about my parents being dependant on a single heating device. To avoid this I would also like to be able to heat one room and still produce hot water in the event of a winter time boiler failure or power cut.

Firstly I am thinking of installing a wood pellet boiler with an internal “heating water” buffer and a "fresh hot water" coil. This would provide one hundred percent of the required space heating via existing radiators and also domestic hot water via the coil. It is my understanding that they should get RHI payments for both space and water heating. This device would probably be turned off during the summer months.

Secondly I would like to install a solar thermal panel for the sunnier months. It would heat a cylinder dedicated exclusively to domestic hot water. I believe that I can have "an immersion heater for domestic hot water cylinder or any other plant that solely provides domestic hot water" connected to the hot water cylinder, without effecting RHI payments or requiring metering. I believe there would be a RHI payment for the solar panel.

Thirdly I would like a small multi-fuel stove capable of heating a single room in the event of no other heating being available. It is my understanding is that this would not effect any RHI payments.

Fourthly I would like a back boiler on the stove to heat the domestic water cylinder in the event of no other heating being available due to pellet boiler or power failure. The back boiler would make no contribution to space heating via the radiators.

So my questions are

a) Would the back boiler qualify as "plant that solely provides domestic hot water" to the dedicated hot water cylinder just like an immersion heater?

b) Would any RHI payments be lost or any metering be required due to the back boiler in this case?

Many thanks

Paul

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 8 October 2014 at 10:08 am

Hi Sultry1

The reduced SAP process which is used to calculate heat demand for the RHI tends to come up with a significantly different figure than the detailed heat calculations that an MCS installer must do for both biomass and heat pumps. When the RHI plans were consulted on there were plenty of people in the industry who thought that the MCS calc should be used. However, for whatever reason - and often that's difficult to understand, DECC chose to go down the EPC route. So, while it may not be accurate, it is standard, and that's what everyone's getting! I don't imagine this answer helps much, but hopeful it explains a bit!

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Sultry1

Sultry1Comment left on: 7 October 2014 at 8:24 am

Thanks Gilly,

I have already been back to the assessor to check the accuracy of the data. He tells me - and I believe him - that he has completed the inputs to the SAP correctly.

As I mentioned, the issue appears to be that the underlying heat demand calculation assumes this Standard Occupancy model which is not appropriate for heat pumps. The assessor tells me - and again I believe him - that he has no way of varying or overriding these standard settings which therefore must always result in lower heat demand figures. If this is all correct (and that is my big question) then everyone applying for RHI for heat pumps used in the recommended way will be getting lower RHI payments than should be the case.

I must surely be missing something or have something wrong because this seems too obvious to have been overlooked.

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 6 October 2014 at 4:54 pm

Hi Sultry

Contact the assessor – their details should be on the EPC – and ask them to re-assess your property based on your concerns. Whilst mistakes can be made, it should be up to your energy assessor to put this right.

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Sultry1

Sultry1Comment left on: 6 October 2014 at 9:47 am

Hi,

i have some issues with applying for RHI for our air source heat pump.

The scheme requires that we obtain an up-to-date EPC for our property showing the heat demand figure, which is then used to calculate RHI payments. We have done this but now find that the heat demand figure on the EPC is around 30% lower than the heat demand calculated by the MCS approved installer as part of their original system design calculations. 

The installer's figure is based on room by room calcs which I have been through, and assuming the base u value data is correct, the calcs seem accurate.

So I've turned back to the EPC heat demand calculation and obtained from my assessor the document that describes the underlying SAP calculation (200+ pages if anyone is interested!). From that, the one issue that stands out is the Standard Occupancy part which effectively defines the duty cycle assumed for the heating system. Specifically, it appears to assume 16 hours of operation at the weekends and 9 hours (2 am, 9 pm) weekdays. Clearly that is not correct for most heat pump installations and especially those with u/f heating and modulating heat pumps which will be run 24/7. This could easily account for the 30% difference we are seeing.

Am I talking nonsense or is this a fundamental error in how RHI is calculated for heat pumps?

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 23 September 2014 at 3:44 pm

Hi Chris135r

I believe what you are talking about is a thermal store which unfortunately would render your solar thermal system ineligible for RHI. 

It's something that the department of energy and climate change are currently looking at amending but I understand discussions are still in their early stages. 

Have a look at this blog for more information. 

Tasha

YouGen editor

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Chris135r

Chris135rComment left on: 23 September 2014 at 3:07 pm

Hi all,

 

Perhaps you can help.  I am planning on installing a biomass boiler and a solar thermal water heating system.  I understand that I can make dRHI claims for both.  However I am planning on fitting the solar thermal system to the accumulator tank connected to the biomass boiler rather than directly to the domestic hot water cylinder.  This would mean that I would get maximum gain from the solar collectors and avoid any stagnation period if the tank were up to temperature, and also suppliment the heating of my property too.

Would this setup make any part of the system ineligble from a dRHI point of view?

 

Would I need to install metering?

 

Would I be able to claim any dRHI?

 

Many Thanks

 

Chris

 

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 11 August 2014 at 9:26 am

Hi Liz

If you install solar thermal with a biomass system you can make two claims for RHI – one for the solar thermal, one for the biomass. Both systems will be paid according to the deemed amount.
 

 

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Litz

LitzComment left on: 8 August 2014 at 4:53 pm

Hi   If you have a separate DHW cylinder for the solar thermal but you also have biomass, do you get paid on the space and water heating figures for biomass, as well as the MCS figures for the solar thermal, effectively being paid twice for the hot water even though the biomass isn't heating the DHW?  Also, can you use a thermal store for both but only get paid on the space heating from the EPC and solar thermal from the MCS (and not the water heating from the EPC)?   Many Thanks   Liz

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 23 July 2014 at 12:19 pm

YouGen ARE HOSTING A LIVE ONLINE Q&A SESSION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON MONDAY, 28 JULY 2014. IF YOU'D LIKE YOUR QUESTION ANSWERED DIRECTLY BY A DECC RESPRESENTATIVE PLEASE CLICK HERE AND POST YOUR QUESTION BEFORE OR ON 28 JULY 2014.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 21 July 2014 at 11:06 am

@neilh250

No you wouldn't have to let them know. The only time you'd have to let them know is if you change something that is obligated under RHI eg if you REMOVED existing loft or cavity wall insulation.

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neilh250

neilh250Comment left on: 17 July 2014 at 8:08 pm

Hi

Do you know what would happen to my RHI payments if I subsequently installed external wall insulation?  Would I have to have another EPC done which would show a reduced heat demand, and therefore reduce the payments that I would receive?

Thanks!

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 17 July 2014 at 10:02 am

Hi FrankZappa1

This is the subject of much discussion in the department of energy and climate change at the moment and we've scheduled a blog on it for tomorrow - I'll post a link here when it goes up.

(Update: Here's the link)

In short though, the rules for RHI state that in order to qualify you must own both the property - and the installation. Therefore the rules currently don't allow for third party owners. This hasn't stopped some companies from trying to find a way around it and various free biomass boiler offers are currently being made. There are numerous pitfalls you need to be aware of. What happens to the boiler after the seven years of RHI payments are up? How do you know you're getting the best installation for your property - rather than the cheapest one the company can install? If the company go out of business what happens? Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?

I'd be interested to hear more about what you've been offered and by whom - drop me a line via the email address at the bottom of the Contact Us page if you feel like sharing.

Tasha (editor)

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frankzappa1

frankzappa1Comment left on: 16 July 2014 at 7:51 pm

How does it work when a company offers to instore a biomass boiler for nothing and they keep the RHI payment?

As much info sas possible needed please

Thanks

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 16 July 2014 at 11:14 am

@Talwrnglas

Have a look at this blog which asks a similar question. It seems as though the nub of the question is whether your properties are covered by one EPC or two. I suspect that since the two properties can be treated as one that you will have one EPC and will therefore fall into the domestic category. 

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Talwrnglas

TalwrnglasComment left on: 14 July 2014 at 9:13 pm

Hello 

We have an ASHP which was installed in October 2012. It heats our house as well as a holiday let (converted barn) attached to the house. It is one building which is all interconnected, but can also be split. There is a oil boiler back up.

I'm unclear whether we can apply for a domestic RHI?

Many thanks

Raymond

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 30 June 2014 at 11:11 am

Hi PeterS

Yes it's possible that an EPC done to full SAP would have a more accurate heat demand figure. However, our SAP expert Linn Rafferty explains, the results might not be what you hoped for. She writes:

"There might be a difference between the two, since RdSAP is a slight simplification compared to SAP. However it’s unlikely to be a major difference. In general, RdSAP will underestimate the energy efficiency of the property compared to SAP, ie overestimate the heat demand.  So, the difference might be that the SAP calculation actually comes up with a lower heat demand.

If he still has the plans and specifications, he could pay a SAP assessor to get a full SAP done, but he might be disappointed by the result.

The SAP calculation is based on Standard Occupancy (an assumed pattern of heating, hours of heating/temperatures, and an assumed number of occupants dependant on the size of the house).  His own use might differ from Standard Occupancy. Of course, his meter readings will reflect his own occupancy, so they are quite possibly going to be different from the SAP/RdSAP figures."

 

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neilpaignton

neilpaigntonComment left on: 25 June 2014 at 12:29 am

I have read on the internet that it helps prepare for the Green Deal assessment and the EPC assessment to obtain the most accurate assessments before the assessor arrives. If nothing else it helps focus your mind on what they are looking for. The assessor can also use your information to speed up the process. Also have clear physical access to Electricity and Gas meters and PV generating inverter and export meter. I had ready photos of my installation and thermostat controls and copies of previous installed solar device MCS certificates. Your houses build date may be useful and levels of insulation in the loft and I eventually found evidence of my cavity wall insulation being installed on the NHBC documents that came with the house.. I have also read that you should have a year worth of fuel bills ready for the Green deal assessor.

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neilpaignton

neilpaigntonComment left on: 24 June 2014 at 11:58 pm

On applying for RHI(Renewable Heat Incentive) as a legacy install. When I read Ofgem's instructions I thought the Green Deal assessment and EPC(Energy Performance Certificates) were two separate products to purchace. I had the EPC survey done only to find the Green Deal assessors also includes a EPC assessment in their charge to me for the Green Deal assessment. Ofgem`s misleading instructions has cost me an EPC survey which will be likely be overwritten with the new one a week later. What a waste of time and cost to me. Can Ofgem change their guidance to reflect this. Pehaps Ofgem should also refund people for the unnecessary cost of the extra EPC as in my case?

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PeterS

PeterSComment left on: 24 June 2014 at 4:08 pm

I am due to submit my application for RHI on my legacy heat pump commissioned in December 2009 during a self-build barn conversion.

A recent RdSAP shows a much lower than expected Heat Demand for the property. This would cut expected payments in half.

I never had an end of construction SAP done as the local authority never asked for one.

Could I get one done now and then submit the full SAP rather than a reduced data SAP to support my RHI claim? I am assuming that the heat demand calculated in the full SAP will be nearer the figure I was expecting, which is the figure for annual generation in kWh shown on my MCS installer certificate. I happen to have installed a meter on my heat pump system and the readings taken (when considering too the SPF efficiency of the heat pump) show that the estimated heat generation figure on the MCS is correct.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 23 June 2014 at 2:50 pm

Hi Lee

Good news for you:

You will be paid for the total sum of your space and water heating demand for your biomass boiler and you will also be paid for the hot water produced by your solar thermal. Just to be clear, you will need to do two RHI applications, one for each installation, but this seems to be a price worth paying! 

Sounds like you've got an interesting project on the go. Keep in touch and let us know how it goes!

Tasha - YouGen editor

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 23 June 2014 at 12:02 pm

@Neilpaignton Email domesticRHI@ofgem.gov.uk with any questions about your application - it's probably best not to fudge it as the accuracy of your application will be checked against records from MCS and so on. Also accurate information ensures you get an accurate payment! Feedback below about their email enquiry service seems to suggest it's very good.

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 23 June 2014 at 9:35 am

@Neilpaignton comment

I have had the Solar Thermal since April 2010.

On trying to apply for RHI as a legacy install the application would not work.

I tried over and over. 

Perhaps I have not used the correct application form online but I could not locate another. It was a case of fudging the application to make it send. Looks like a shambles from my point of view for legacy applicants. Hopefully the staff at Ofgem can pick up the application and process it anyway. Has anyone else had difficulties applying as a Legacy install?

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Lee Myers

Lee MyersComment left on: 22 June 2014 at 6:54 am

Hello Cathy

I have a question about Solar Thermal RHI.

My EPC estimate is 4242 kWh for hot water. It seems that a 4 m2 Solar thermal collector area will provide about 1700 kWh contribution to the estimated 4242 kWh requirement per year.

That will leave about 2500 kWh of heating requirement taken up by a biomass boiler.

Will the difference be paid at 12.2p or will I lose RHI payments for this extra heating.

Or will I get RHI for the Biomass heating and DHW and then additional RHI payment for the Solar Thermal?

If I do lose payments then is Solar Thermal still worth the additional costs?

I am close to getting all of my planning permissions and listed building consents in place and do not want to commit to works until I know the figures add up.

Thanks

Lee

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 May 2014 at 10:14 am

Hi Jon I haven't seen anything in writing that says you can have multiple room heaters. However, I did speak to the DECC press office some time back to find out whether a wood burning stove in one room was a problem - and the answer was that it isn't. 

I don't see how they could control for this, as lots of people have still functioning (albeit often unused) fireplaces in older properties. DECC/Ofgem aren't going to be able to run around poking up the chimney to see if you've used it recently. Similarly, there's nothing to stop you claiming the RHI, then going out to buy an electric heater. 

But if you want it in writing, I suggest that you ask Ofgem. Try @AskDomesticRHI

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jonwalker

jonwalkerComment left on: 27 May 2014 at 6:27 pm

Cathy,

I was very interested to read your entry of 20th March regarding room heaters in conjunction with a dRHI main heating system. You seem to be saying what I'd like to hear;  that you could have a wood pellet boiler plus any number of individual wood stoves, coal fires, electric fires, without metering, so long as they are not a 'system'. But this sounds too good to be true but I can't find anything in the OFGEM literature which spells it out clearly. So before advising clients to this effect I wonder whether you've seen anything in writing that clarifies this issue of multiple secondary individual room heaters?

Jon Walker, 1 World Solar Ltd

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dch_control

dch_controlComment left on: 15 May 2014 at 10:49 am

Cavity Wall Insulation difficulties - an update.

My earlier post explained how my Energy Performance Certificate identified a requirement for cavity wall insulation even though it was already installed.  Amazingly I managed to find a 35-year old job file containing all the invoices from the time when we built our house.  I supplied copies of the architect's design for the cavity walls together with invoices for the insulation materials to my Green Deal Assessor.  He checked with his professional body, STROMA, to get their confirmation that the evidence of insulation was sufficiently robust and then (on payment of another £35) re-issued the EPC.

Ofgem then cancelled my original application and asked me to re-submit using the new EPC.  The application has apparently succeeded although because of OFGEM system software issues it has gone into a kind of limbo so I still don't know what payments will be made or when.

Because of these issues I'm in pretty frequent contact with OFGEM and I must say I'm still impressed by the prompt, helpful replies I receive even though they can't yet find a way through their system difficulties.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 13 May 2014 at 9:35 am

Hi Ellwood

Manufacturers have been slow to get their air quality certification. Now that the dRHI is up and running I'm sure minds will be concentrated and they will be getting on with it. So keep your eye on the list. I'm sure that it will grow.

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ellwood

ellwoodComment left on: 11 May 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hi Cathy,

I' m in a smoke control area and so should only install a biomass system that is on Defra's exempt appliance list. There seem to a number of rhi approved boilers that are not on Defra's list (last updated end April 2014).  Are the air quality requirements the same and should all the rhi approved boilers be on defra's list ?

 

 

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 9 May 2014 at 2:22 pm

Hi Jane

Here is Ofgem's product eligibility list for RHI. If you still can't download it, send me the exact model of your system and I'll look it up for you.

Good luck! 

Tasha

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Jane555

Jane555Comment left on: 9 May 2014 at 1:26 pm

Hi Cathy,

I have been told by an installer that a high temperature air source heat pump (specifically Daikin Altherma HT system) is not eligable for RHI payments as the water temperature it achieves is too high and only the low temperature system is eligable. Is this correct? I have tried looking on the ofgem website and cannot download their eligable products list to check.

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 8 May 2014 at 10:09 am

@philsmith If you scroll down and read the conversation started by @Pepi Thomas on 25/4/14 I think you will find the answer to your question.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 8 May 2014 at 10:06 am

Hi Jeff (via Gilly) This figure is something we have recently had corrected by Ofgem.  In fact biomass installations must meet 100% of the heating demand. This stipulation applies to new applications from 9 April 2014, but not to legacy installations. 

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philsmith

philsmithComment left on: 7 May 2014 at 3:26 pm

I am a DEA/GDA. I did an EPC in Sept 2012 and the householder now wants a GDAR for RHI. I thought I could use the "old" EPC as it is post-April 2012. However because I have to log in to the software under another user name and password I had to re-enter all the EPC data manually before doing the OA. When I checked the output the EER/EI were all the same but the costs has increased. OK I thought but then I noticed that the home heat demand ( space heating ) in kWh per annum had dropped by exactly 8%. I had thought it would be be same since nothing has changed.

It seems that it might be better to use the "old" EPC! Has the calculation methodology changed from SEPT 2012 to now?

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 6 May 2014 at 4:49 pm

Jeff asks: You state in the intro to RHI section that Biomass boilers and wood pellet stoves with a back boiler must meet 99% of the peak space heating load to be eligible for RHI. I am presently applying for my RHI and my new pellet boiler falls short of this by about 12%. Have been in touch with the scottish energy trust and my installer amongst others and they have not heard of this or are not sure if this is the case. I cannot get in touch with OFGEM to confirm or not. Can you shed some light on this before I apply for my RHI.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 May 2014 at 3:55 pm

Hi Litz

My understanding is that the GDA can be done before or after the installation of the renewable technology. I suggest to people that if they have unfilled cavities or loft, then they insulate first, so they don't have to get another EPC.

The rules on the EPC are the same whether or not you are using it for an RHI application.

Another question we're often asked is whether the renewable technology has to be recommended on the GDAR for people to claim the RHI. The answer is no.

I haven't heard that there's a problem with thermal stores and application to the RHI, but will check and get back to you on that one.

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Litz

LitzComment left on: 30 April 2014 at 11:36 am

I am a DEA and relatively newly qualified GDA.  I am starting to be asked about Green Deal Assessments for RHI applications.  Ofgem don't seem to be able to answer all my queries and I want to make sure I get it right for the customers.  I am hoping you can help.

Does the Green Deal Assessment have to be carried out after the installation of the renewable technology or can it be done before?  In theory, the heat demand on the EPC shouldn't change.  Some people already have an EPC, can this be used?  For a normal Green Deal Assessment it could be, but can it be used if the purpose of the assessment is for an RHI application?

Also, another question I was recently asked, can a thermal store be used with a biomass installation, as it would be possible to heat the radiators from the immersion?

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Caitlin Moran

Caitlin MoranComment left on: 29 April 2014 at 4:11 pm

@Pepi Thomas we emailed Linn and this is her response, not sure if this explanation of primary energy will help, it's quite long and complex, but we hope it helps...

''Primary energy is higher than useful energy due to conversion & other losses. In simple terms, Primary energy is the energy ‘input’ to the power station. The output from the power station is smaller, due to the losses at the power station – this is secondary energy. A similar effect applies to gas supply, where the losses are from processing and distribution, rather than at the power station.  Then in the home, this secondary energy that arrives at the meter is converted into useful energy, which is smaller still due to the losses in the energy using systems in the home.  Finally, the other difference is that the primary energy shown on the original EPC included not just the heating, but also the hot water and lighting.

In this case, as the heating is by heat pump, which is notionally 250% efficient (that’s the simple interpretation of a CoP of 2.5), it gets complicated. It is perhaps possible that the Primary energy to deliver the space heating could be less than the heat demand, because of the efficiency of the heat source in the home being more than 100%.  However, the primary energy on the first EPC would include the losses at the front end – extraction of the fuel, power station, distribution – and also includes energy used by all the other energy using activities (eg lighting, hot water) covered by SAP.  On the whole, it’s very difficult to get a feel for the true value of the primary energy without using software, due to all these variables.  

I think this is as much explanation as I can give without being able to analyse these two EPCs, which would need access to the underlying software. I wonder whether the accreditation scheme which accredits the DEA who produced the newer EPC might be able to help further? This is something that the accreditation scheme might be prepared to do, but they are not obliged to.''

Caitlin - The YouGen Team

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Pepi Thomas

Pepi ThomasComment left on: 28 April 2014 at 11:06 am

Hi Cathy,

Re:" @Pepi Thomas I asked our expert Linn Raffety to answer your question. This is what she says:

The change in the EPC format that was introduced to underpin the Green Deal altered the EPC design significantly. It also changed the way the energy was reported.  In the old version (as used for the SAP EPC for the newbuild, in 2011) the energy reported on p1 of the EPC was the estimated primary energy use for space heating, hot water and lighting, and the new EPC reports something entirely different – the heat demand.  Heat demand for the property is the useful heat needed, regardless of how that heat is delivered.  So, the two figures are so different, because they don’t measure the same thing – they are not comparable."

Linn's reply only makes it more mysterious.  I have an airsource heat pump and this was factored in when the SAP was done.  Even with a conservative COP of 2.5, one would expect the primary energy use (original EPC)to be lower than the heat load ( second EPC).  Could Linn comment on this please.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 27 April 2014 at 3:49 pm

@Caro I'm afraid I don't personally, but we tend to recommend that people get an independent advisor, not one tied to a particular green deal provider. The Green Deal Advisor Association may be able to help you find one if you tell them what your requirements are.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 27 April 2014 at 3:46 pm

@Pepi Thomas I asked our expert Linn Raffety to answer your question. This is what she says: 

The change in the EPC format that was introduced to underpin the Green Deal altered the EPC design significantly. It also changed the way the energy was reported.  In the old version (as used for the SAP EPC for the newbuild, in 2011) the energy reported on p1 of the EPC was the estimated primary energy use for space heating, hot water and lighting, and the new EPC reports something entirely different – the heat demand.  Heat demand for the property is the useful heat needed, regardless of how that heat is delivered.  So, the two figures are so different, because they don’t measure the same thing – they are not comparable.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 27 April 2014 at 3:44 pm

@3guineas Your builder receiving the RHPP shouldn't mean that you can't apply, just that you can't apply yet. To manage the legacy applications, Ofgem has set a timetable for applications which you can see here.

I'm sorry to hear that the heat pump is proving so expensive. Before you go to the expense of ripping it out and intalling a boiler I'd get an expert in to check that the settings are right on it, and that it's not heating the hot water to too high a temperature regularly. Either the installer, or someone from the manufacturer should be able to help you.

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Caro

CaroComment left on: 25 April 2014 at 10:57 am

 

Hi Cathy

We're about to apply for the domestic RHI after years of waiting. We have installed a biomass boiler and solar thermal as part of the major renovation of our extremely old house. So the first step is to get the Green Deal Assessment done but I'm worried that the assessors will have no idea how to evaluate our grade II listed house and no amount of searching on the internet has thrown up a likely contender.  Do you know of a certified assessor familiar with old buildings?

 

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Pepi Thomas

Pepi ThomasComment left on: 25 April 2014 at 10:42 am

I completed a self build in March 2011 with underfloor heating driven by an ASHP and a MV&HR system.  The EPC issued then gave the energy need for the house at 113kWh/m2 per annum.  Because the domestic RHI uses a different, newer format EPC I had to get it re-issued but it was based upon the same full SAP.  The reissued EPC now says that the heating and hot water energy consumption is 47.7 kWh/m2 per annum.  Although the latter figure does not include lighting and cooking I am at a loss to understand how the figures can be so different.  The difference in these numbers is very significant in respect of the domestic RHI which I will be claiming as soon as they fix the faults in the on-line application system.  Do you know why there is this big difference between the old and the new EPC figures?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 24 April 2014 at 5:05 pm

Dear @3Guineas

We're going to ask Ofgem a few questions before we can answer this question. 

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3Guineas

3GuineasComment left on: 24 April 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hi

I bought a house two years ago from a small local builder - it has an ASHP and underfloor heating. Promises of cheap heating have not come true - quite the reverse. However the promise of RHI has kept me going.After paying £90 plus VAT for my MCS I logged on and filled out the application scheme.  I was refused as it said the builder had received an RHPP grant. After a few emails and phone calls I am told I am eligible by one person and ot eligible by another.  Can you help? the house is really well insulated but I fin it ludicrously expensive to heat and have even considered taking the ASHP out and putting a gas boiler in - I reckon it would halve my heating costs.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hi Monty Whatever you receive in grant for the solar thermal will be deducted from the RHI payments.

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monty

montyComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 4:50 pm

Cathy,

I was hoping you could help. I have the Broseley Evo 26boiler stove  and 40 solar thermal tubes, and I applied and received the Biomass grant (i'm in Northern Ireland so I actually got £2500), which was great. I believe I will not get the RHI payment now as the Broseley stove is not eligible. My query is I never applied for the grant for the solar thermal, I plan too but if I receive the RHI payment will they be reduced as I received the inital grant for the Broseley stove, or would the panels be classed as a completely separate application?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hi Ivy

I'm not 100% sure on this one, but I think that if you have more than one heating system then it will need metering. If you don't have the back boiler on the stove, then it would be fine. But if you do I suspect not. If you are on twitter, you can ask @DomesticRHI

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 11:25 am

HI Cathy

I didnt mean a fossil fuel boiler, I meant having both a pellet boiler and a seperate log burner with a back boiler both doing space heating? I know the log stove wouldnt qualify but would it need to be metered if using both for the central heating?

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 10:15 am

Hi Ivy

If your pellet stove with back boiler was your only heating system, then you would not need metering. If, however, you keep a fossil fuel boiler as back up, then the pellet stove would have to be metered.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 10:13 am

Hi Hextol

As far as I'm aware there is no requirement to inform Ofgem of improvements you make to the energy efficiency of your home after the installation of your renewable heating system. It's not something I've heard mentioned at any time, or read of. There is a detailed guide to ongoing obligations on Ofgem's website that you can look through. In an ideal world you'd probably do the windows first, as it would then mean you need a smaller heating system. 

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 17 April 2014 at 9:59 am

Would I need metering if I install an accredited pellet stove for the RHI hooked up to a thermal store with a log stove with a back boiler to help with the heating?

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Hextol

HextolComment left on: 16 April 2014 at 12:42 pm

Hi

We are in the process of applying for the domestic RHI with a view to installing a wood pellet boiler.  We came through the EPC without any work to do prior to making the RHI application.  However, the house was built in about 1880 and the original windows are in a poor state. We are planning to replace these with new wooden energy efficient sashes. 

My question is, once we have installed the new system on the basis of the current EPC, if we then install new windows will we have to declare this as it will affect the energy consumption of the house?  I have read though the obligations parts of the RHI and it seems that there is no requirement to do so. I rang OFGEM and they seemed a bit unsure but, after asking around (not very reassuring), said not.   

I ask here for confirmation because I understand the commercial RHI does have such an obligation as part of the annual declaration of continuing conformity. The only part of the domestic RHI rules that made me wonder are those that deal with information where it gives the example of having to provide a new EPC.  I can't imagine what the circumstances for a new epc would be other than say, major alterations to the house or, possibly, installing new windows? Thanks    

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 14 April 2014 at 10:32 am

@ DCH_Control Here's some feedback from our expert Linn Raffety:

The DEA can’t include this extra wall insulation in the assessment unless there is documentary proof. As the house was built 40 years ago, I suppose it’s likely that the owner won’t have the documentary proof any more. Without the proof, the EPC will assume the house has empty cavities with a U-value of about 1.5, ie what was typical 40 years ago.  The ‘empty’ cavities will trigger the CWI recommendation. If the owner does have proof, he could get the DEA to re-issue the EPC.  If this is done, there will probably not be a recommendation for CWI.  Appendix T (the logic for recommendations) says that CWI is recommended where ‘Wall U-value (as entered by assessor or assumed from RdSAP tables) > 0.6’ so if the actual U-value achieved was better (lower) than 0.6, the DEA enters this value, and CWI shouldn’t be recommended.  You can see that the owner needs to be able to provide proof of the construction, and either a U-value calculated at the time, with documentary proof, or pay for a U-value calculation to be done now.  Unless the DEA is qualified to do U-value calcs, he can’t do it himself. It is a bit odd that he says the 2nd page says CWI is installed – but I’d need to see the EPC to identify what he means by this. If my guess is right, and there’s no documentary proof of the better insulation installed when the house was built, the standard software would indeed produce the CWI recommendation.  the DEA would have the option to delete the recommendation, but you’ll appreciate that this could lead to accusations of fraud, especially for RHI applications.  For this reason the EPC conventions prevent the DEA from removing any recommendation unless there is documentary evidence supporting their removal.  Again, the DEA can’t do anything unless the customer can provide the documentary proof.  Otherwise, he could be risking his accreditation, and if he loses that he loses his ability to earn a living.  I think it’s a simple get-out for Ofgem to say the assessor may have made a mistake.  I wouldn’t expect them to fully understand the ‘rules’ DEAs have to work to – it might not be a mistake, but just a case of the DEA following the rules.  Perhaps Ofgem should be given the support to understand these issues, so they could be more flexible in cases like this?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 14 April 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi Anne

Bad news I'm afraid. They are not likely to be included in the renewable heat incentive because they can also be run for cooling and the government doesn't want to incentivise that.

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Anne Langley

Anne LangleyComment left on: 11 April 2014 at 9:59 am

Hi,

We had air to air heat source pump system installed last year in our home and an adjacent cottage. Apart from some teething problems in the cottage, culminating in the the head being replaced - then the outside unit also having to be replaced as both were faulty (Fujitsu). The ones in the house have worked efficiently from the start(Daiken). We are delighted with them but are wondering if and when they are going to be included in the RHI payment scheme.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 10 April 2014 at 5:06 pm

David

It does seem bonkers, and I'm surprised that the Assessor can't amend it if there's proof of cavity wall insulation. I've contacted someone with more knowledge than me, and will update you when she gets back to me.

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dch_control

dch_controlComment left on: 10 April 2014 at 4:34 pm

Hello,

  Because I'm a legacy applicant for a Ground Source Heat Pump installation I was all ready to submit my application on the day the scheme launched (yesterday).  However, you might be interested to see how I've ended up in a Catch-22 position which seems to make it impossible for my application to succeed.

We built our house nearly 40 years ago and wanted it to be as energy-efficient as possible.  To that end, the walls were constructed with extra wide cavities filled with Rockwool, underfloor heating was installed on a well-insulated ground floor slab and the loft insulation exceeds the latest requirements.

The problem arises from the Green Deal Assessment because my Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) recommends having cavity wall insulation installed even though on the second page it acknowledges that cavity wall insulation is installed.

Ofgem say they can not process my application until I provide them with an EPC that does not recommend installing insulation.  My Green Deal Assessor says he is unable to provide a different one because that's what the standard software produces.

Is it only me that's going mad or is it really the rest of the world?  Any suggestions as to a way out of this mess would be most welcome.

David.

Since posting the earlier comment I have had a number of responses from Ofgem.  In fact I've been quite impressed with the promptness of their replies to emails and phone calls.

They still say they can not proceed at the moment and my application has been placed under review.  They have stated that they believe the Green Deal Assessor probably entered some of the data incorrectly so suggest I try to get him to issue an updated version.   My Assessor is out of the country for a couple of weeks so I can't pursue this immediately. 

Apparently there is a possible alternative route we can follow if the Assessor is unable or unwilling to comply, which I think involves getting a Chartered Surveyor to confirm that cavity wall insulation is already in place.  Obviously this would involve additional professional fees.

So all in all, it seems that Ofgem are bound by inflexible rules but are prepared to be as helpful as possible within the framework of those rules.

I now feel rather less pessimistic than I did this time yesterday.

David.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 7 April 2014 at 9:01 am

Hi Tim The RHI isn't open for applications yet. As soon as the date is announced we'll post it here.

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Tim

TimComment left on: 5 April 2014 at 10:11 pm

Hello Cathy,

Thanks for a very informative post.

Is the domestic renewable heat incentive open for applications?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 April 2014 at 3:10 pm

Hi Mike

To take your second question first, there's no problem applying for biomass and solar thermal - in fact, it's encouraged as they complement each other. Similarly a heat pump and solar thermal is OK. But you can't apply for biomass and a heat pump.

Your first question is more difficult. The most recent regs say quite clearly that only wood pellet stoves with a back boiler are eligible. As a legacy applicant it may be worth your while getting in touch with Ofgem when the scheme opens, but I wouldn't hold out much hope. If I remember rightly, the original 2009 document for RHI didn't mention wood stoves at all.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 April 2014 at 2:31 pm

Hi Martini

What a coincidence, I'm just in the middle of writing a blog on this subject to answer a similar question from another reader. (It will be posted later this week). The key decider is whether or not your annex is covered by one domestic EPC or separate ones. The two key paragraphs on Ofgem's factsheet Domestic or Non-domestic are as follows:

1. properties with annexes attached to the house are normally covered by one domestic EPC and should be eligible for domestic RHI

2. properties with a main house and a self-contained outbuilding (with its own batroom and kitchen), both heated by a renewable heating system would normally have an EPC for each, and would not be eligible for the domestic RHI. They may be for the non-domestic scheme.

It goes on to say "as a starting point, you could check for what buildings your EPC was issued with your EPC advisor" (if you've got one). Ofgem will be publishing more information once the scheme is launched, and this is the sort of query that its customer support team will almost certainly be answering.

I realise this may not fully answer your question, but I hope it sheds some light on the situation.

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martini

martiniComment left on: 1 April 2014 at 1:28 pm

Hi Cathy,

My old heat pump packed in and I am getting a new one that is MCS accredited (as is the installer). I have an annex for friends and family to stay in and have to pay a second council tax for this. The pump heats both house and annex. Should I apply for the domestic or non-domestic RHI as I have had conflicting advice from people?

Regards,

Martin.

 

 

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mikepepler

mikepeplerComment left on: 27 March 2014 at 11:37 am

Hi Cathy,

I've read the posts about woodburners, and understand that any that can burn coal as well as wood are not eligible. However, the system we had installed in 2010 is:

- Woodwarm Wildwood 9kw, which can ONLY burn wood, as it has no grate. (I got the 5% VAT rate on it because of this)

- boilers in the above stove, which run all the radiators and also heat water

- solar thermal for water heating (this is MCS approved, soI know I can get RHI for it)

- no backup, other than an immersion heater (which I've never used)

So, I have two questions:

1. Is my biomass system likely to be eligible? It's not MCS approved, but as it is a legacy system I thought maybe it doesn't need to be, as there weren't any MCS woodburners in 2010? I have a HETAS certificate for it, which was the standard in force at the time I think?

2. Is there any problem applying for both the solar and biomass, given that they both heat water?

Thanks for your help, Mike

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 March 2014 at 5:40 pm

Mike - it's designed so that the owner of the system does the application. Third party help is pretty well impossible I think, so hopefully it will all go smoothly and easily.

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MikeHowles

MikeHowlesComment left on: 20 March 2014 at 5:33 pm

Hi Cathy

Thanks for the response, hopefully the process will be simpler for domestic users, I have spoken to one chap who currently assists with commercial applications and has a very high success rate and he is starting to build up a list of domestic users who will be claiming, his charges are moderate but I think it would be wise to wait until the scheme is launched and we can have a look at the process to see if it really is going to be as simple as they make out!

Watch this space!!

Mike

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 March 2014 at 5:03 pm

Hi Mike

Am I right in assuming that you are talking about a domestic installation? If so, anything you have read about applications so far is irrelevant as it will be about the non-domestic scheme which certainly had some "teething problems".

The application process for the domestic scheme has been designed from scratch with the aim of making it as easy as possible, and a number of YouGen readers have been among the user testers giving feedback along the way.

Most people will be able to apply online at the Ofgem website. All you need is your MCS certificate and the EPC number from your green deal assessment and your bank details for the payments. The aim is that most people will be able to fill it out without problems, but Ofgem has recruited a team of customer service advisors who will be available to help if needed. It has also pulled out all the stops to produce a range of customer-friendly guidance material (not something it's been particularly good at in the past!). 

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MikeHowles

MikeHowlesComment left on: 20 March 2014 at 3:54 pm

We installed ASHP, UFH and a Solar collector in 2009, commissioned in October 2009 and it qualifies by date and installer.

We would like some assistance in claiming the RHI payments, just wondered if anyone can recommend anyone that can provide assistance in making the claim as I have read about the very low acceptance rate due to poor quality claim documents and I have also taken a look myself and it certainly looks like a minefield so any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 March 2014 at 9:19 am

Hi Alice

Individual room heaters are allowed under the RHI however they are powered. I'm assuming you're asking whether you'd have to meter the electric heaters. If so, the answer is no. As long as the ASHP is the only 'heating system' (as opposed to individual room heaters) you will not need to meter that either. However, you can sign up for the metering and monitoring package which is intended to give you peace of mind that the heat pump is working as expected.

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Alice1

Alice1Comment left on: 19 March 2014 at 11:16 am

We are planning to self build. We have the idea to put in UFH using an ASHP downstairs. We will also have a woodburner downstairs. As I understand it, we may not need much heating upstairs and so we were plannning on using individual electric room heaters upstairs in very cold weather. Would having individual electric room heaters upstairs affect our RHI payments. As I understand that wood burners do not affect the RHI as they are individual room heaters. would we need to install an electric meter?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 6 March 2014 at 6:02 pm

Hi Ivy. My guess is that they won't add them at a later stage, but trying to second guess policy decisions is not an exact science. There will probably be some lobbying by stove manufacturers for them to be included, but if I were a betting woman I wouldn't put money it.

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 5 March 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thanks Cathy. I had email off energy saving trust as havmt claimed my RHPP voucher yet saying that log stoves won't be eligible for the RHI at the launch of the scheme due to potentially being able to burn fossil fuels. Does this mean that they may add these stoves at a later date?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 4 March 2014 at 11:47 am

Hi Ivy Just to add to what Tasha said, if it has a green tick under the heading 'available with green deal' then you will need to do it to get the RHI, otherwise it's up to you.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 4 March 2014 at 11:40 am

Hi Roger 

The RHI is about reducing carbon emissions and as explained here, while solar switches are great financially for the solar PV owner, they aren't necessarily the lowest carbon way to heat water.

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rogerhoward

rogerhowardComment left on: 1 March 2014 at 8:35 pm

Why hasn't the 'trade' for domestic solar installers or anyone else lobbied for the inclusion in the RHI & Green Deal of PV immersion-switching by propertionate controllers (like the 'Intelligent Immersion', etc, etc.)? It's (a) the only way for the trade to justify some of the optimistic electricity savings oft-quoted nowadays to householders - see 7 to 9 of http://www.microgen-database.org.uk/gallery/smart-meters-solar-usage-export? (b) capable of giving a short-in-the-arm for the PV domestic installation trade, (c) cheap for all concerned with fast payback, (d) a more efficient use of oft-limited roof space for electricity, as well and hot water utilisation of all the spare solar produced (unlike Solar Thermal which ONLY provides hot water), (e) avoids the clear bias towards other such technologies in the RHI, etc. Indeed how can it really be justified to include heat pumps in the RHI - which DO put further winter strain on the national grid, but exclude this technology which DO NOT? Isn't it high time that someone highlighted all this?

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 February 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hi Ivy

Where loft insulation is recommended in the green deal assessment this must be installed in order to apply for RHI.

Hope that answers your question. 

Tasha

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 February 2014 at 5:13 pm

Hi rippa700

The draft regulations for the domestic RHI were laid before parliament on Feb 11 , 2014 so it's now a matter of when not it. 

Before you settle on a boiler have a look at this blog about eligibility criteria for biomass boilers under RHI.

Hope these help. 

Tasha

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 28 February 2014 at 4:31 pm

Hi Cathy

My green deal report also recommended topping up loft insualtion to 270mm (three storey house with no insulation in the rafters or floor joists) yet there is no loft insulation recommended on the EPC? Would this mean I don't have to install insulation in the rafters to qualify for RHI?

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rippa700

rippa700Comment left on: 27 February 2014 at 6:29 pm

I am really keen to install a biomass log boiler. I can't afford it without the domestic RHI. Am I now sure it will happen or is it best to wait until it actually launches (but try to beat the tarrif reductions)?

Thanks, Ian

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 27 February 2014 at 4:41 pm

Hi Stanno The benchmark is whether a measure has a green tick beside it. If it's not projecting any savings for the additional loft insulation, then it probably won't have a green tick by it (that means it's eligible for a green deal loan & you can pay from it out of savings). If loft or cavity wall insulation don't have a green tick, you don't have to do them.

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Stanno

StannoComment left on: 27 February 2014 at 4:28 pm

Hi, I have a question related to the green deal report that is required to qualify for the RHI payments.  The guidance states that the if the report recommends installation of loft insulation or cavity wall insulation, then you need to get that work done, and then get another report.  In my case, I have 200 mm of loft insulation installed alreadty in my property, and the person who carried out the report told me that was good, but the report itself contains a recommendation to increase loft insulation to 270mm.  It doesn't project any savings for this action, but I am concerned I will need to carry out this action and get another report done.  Is there any guidance on this? 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 25 February 2014 at 10:53 am

Hi Ivy

No you won't. individual room heaters are ok. It's when something else is connected to the central heating that you need a meter.

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 25 February 2014 at 10:50 am

Hi Cathy

If you have a dry log burner stove as a room heater heating one room will you need a meter for your biomass boiler?

Thanks

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 25 February 2014 at 9:01 am

Hi Ellwood

In this situation, the output of the biomass boiler will need to be metered. Your RHI payments will be on the metered amount, and not deemed.

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ellwood

ellwoodComment left on: 24 February 2014 at 2:33 pm

Hi Cathy,

If I keep my oil boiler as a back up to my biomass system, which includes a solar thermal system. Can you confirm which part/parts of the system need to be metered, if any.

 

Thanks

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Mikel

MikelComment left on: 11 February 2014 at 4:14 pm

Cathy,

Thank you for pursuing my question.  

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 11 February 2014 at 12:23 pm

Hi Mikel

Sorry for the delay answering your question about metering and monitoring. I've finally got a definitive answer from Ofgem.

If your heat pump meets the eligibility criteria for deeming, then the RHI will be paid on the deemed amount whether or not you take up a metering and monitoring package. In this case, the package is for reassurance that the heating system is working as expected.

If your installation requires metering (for example, you keep a back up boiler) then you can use the metering and monitoring package to supply the metered readings.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 30 January 2014 at 9:55 am

@Martin: Yes, but since July last year we've known what the eligibility criteria for the RHI are, so you may still get RHPP on this product, but I suspect you'd be taking quite a big risk in assuming that anyone installing it after the eligibility criteria were published would definitely get the full RHI.

Getting a definitive answer out of anyone on this is pretty much impossible (believe me, I've tried).

The key bits of the legacy criteria that you quote below are (in my view):

"providing they meet all of the elibibility criteria'. The Klover doesn't.

The MCS accreditation is neither here nor there, as I have it in writing from DECC that while MCS accreditation is mandatory, not all MCS products are eligible.

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martin cutlan

martin cutlanComment left on: 28 January 2014 at 6:10 pm

This still is unclear. The Klover Bi fire has MCS accreditation after July 15th 09.

It is likely not to meet RHI elegibility from 1/4/2014. However,

In line with para 23 Decc policy document, why therefore is it not elegible as a legecey application.

Where/what information does not support this?  Please would you suppy reference.

Many thanks, Martin

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 January 2014 at 3:12 pm

Hi Martin

The eligible types of biomass technologies are:

- biomass-only boilers (covering all solid biomass, including logs and chips)

- biomass pellet stoves with back boilers

Stoves that burn logs as well as pellet don't fit in the latter category.

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martin cutlan

martin cutlanComment left on: 28 January 2014 at 2:35 pm

Could you let us know what eligility requirements are missing ?

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 January 2014 at 2:13 pm

Hi Martin

Thank you for this addition. My reading of that is that the Klover is not eligible as it does not meet all of the eligibility requirements. 

The fact that it is MCS accredited is not enough to make it eligible.

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martin cutlan

martin cutlanComment left on: 27 January 2014 at 5:20 pm

I have been making enquiries as to the Klover Bi fire elegability for RHI and was directed by Ofgen to the Energy Saving Advisory Service, who are answering their quiries for domestic installations.

They conformed the following to be correct.


*****Legacy installations

23. Owners of renewable heating systems installed between 15th July 2009 and the scheme launch (legacy applicants) will be able to apply to the scheme providing they meet all of the eligibility requirements. The only exceptions to the eligibility criteria are as follows:

·         The installation will need to meet the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) standards that applied at the time of installation, rather than the current standards.

·         Installations will not need to meet the air quality requirements that will apply from the launch of the scheme for new applicants

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 24 January 2014 at 10:48 am

Hi Ivy rather embarrasingly I'd got the date wrong, so there was no meeting. I'm chasing on this, but I'm unlikely to get a date for the list, as government never gives firm dates for anything. The official line is "before the launch", and the launch is in "spring". My informed guess is that the Klover won't be included and neither will anything product that isn't exclusively fired by wood pellet. If you want to be 100% certain I'm afraid you're going to have to wait for the list

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 24 January 2014 at 10:38 am

Hi Kathy

Did you manage to find out about the Klover after your meeting and when the list of products will be available?

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 24 January 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi Nick

The insulation criteria for the RHI state that you have to have loft and cavity wall insulation if appropriate. This is measured by a green tick on a green deal assessment. From what you say, your property wouldn't get a green tick for cavity wall insulation - as you say it would be completely inappropriate - and presumably your walls don't have cavities anyway.

I don't know the answer to your question about the separate structure off the top of my head, and I'll make some enquiries and get back to you on that one. 

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Nick Richards

Nick RichardsComment left on: 23 January 2014 at 7:20 pm

Great article, Cathy, thank you.

I live in a Tudor listed building which will spectacularly fail any green deal assessment (most required alterations, such as cavity wall insulation, would leave me liable to prosecution).  However, I have a completely separate structure housing an indoor pool, which is heated by an air source heat pump which was installed in 2012.

Could I have a green deal assement conducted on just that structure, which is modern and thermally efficient?  It's a highly efficient 28KW heat pump and I'de dearly love to get it included in the RHI.  The property is residential, it doesn't qualify for commercial RHI.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Nick

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 21 January 2014 at 11:17 am

@lola2002uk I'm at a meeting with Ofgem tomorrow, and will be bring it up then. However, I think it's very unlikely to be eligible. My understanding is that unless wood pellet is the sole fuel, they won't be eligible. 

A list of eligible products will be published before the RHI scheme launches. I hope to find out more about that too.

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lola2002uk

lola2002ukComment left on: 20 January 2014 at 9:14 pm

Hi Cathy

Very interesting, thanks. Have you spoken with Ofgen yet with regard to Ivy's question about the Klover bi-fire? I am interested in this too as I have a free source of wood.

Thanks

Janice

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 January 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi Mikel

Good question. The DECC document on the RHI says: "The data collected by metering and monitoring service packages may be required to be submited to DECC, Ofgem or a nominated third party in a standardised format on requiest, to help evaluate the effectiveness of the RHI scheme." 

From this it looks as though payments will still be deemed. However, I have put a call into DECC to confirm this, and will add another comment here as soon as I get an answer.

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Great summary covering most of the pit falls. If you take what you need to have an MCS certificate and follow that you are not far wrong on RHI eligibility.

One thing to note is the requirement for planning, DNO forms etc before you start work which is now being enforced.

 

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Mikel

MikelComment left on: 15 January 2014 at 10:02 am

Cathy,

I have an eligble legacy GSHP system. This will have an assumed SPF of 2.5 for RHI payments. It appears that I can have a heat meter fitted and qualify for the additional payment of £230 pa.

However, it is not clear whether the payments will still be based on the deemed heat load from the EPC or whether the payments will be based on the actual heat meter readings.

Do you know which it is?

Mike

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 14 January 2014 at 9:35 am

Hi Ivy  It may well be that the stove is eligible for the RHPP, and interim measure while the RHI was being developed. This is a grant for £2,000 to help with the purchase of a biomass boiler. If you go on to claim the RHI (which I don't think you'd be able to with the stove you have in mind) it would be deducted off the RHI payments over the 7 year life of the incentive. 

The RHPP is administered by the Energy Saving Trust and I'd check with them that the boiler stove is eligible before you go ahead. Find out more here.

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 13 January 2014 at 11:50 am

Further to my question about the Klover bi-fire, the installer we had a quote off said that if we were to install before 31 March 14 then we would qualify for RHI with this product as we won't have to produce an emissions certificate prior to 1 April 14?

Is this risky until the details are final?

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 9 January 2014 at 1:22 pm

This is the pellet stove which is MCS accredited:

http://www.stovesonline.co.uk/wood_burning_stoves/Klover-BiFire-Mid-Boiler.html

 

Thanks

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 9 January 2014 at 11:14 am

OMG - the complications continue... @Ivy, the straight answer is that I don't know, but I'll put it to Ofgem at the next meeting in two weeks. Does it have a back burner? If not, it definitely won't be.

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 9 January 2014 at 11:08 am

Now the Broseley product won't be included I was looking at a Klover dual pellet stove that one side you can use pellets and the other burns logs. Is it likely this will be included as it is MCS accredited?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 9 January 2014 at 9:05 am

There seems to be quite a groundswell of discontent over this issue. It may be worth writing to MPs and to the relevant minister, Greg Barker, at DECC. It probably won't change minds, but you never know.

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epic_traveller

epic_travellerComment left on: 8 January 2014 at 12:31 pm

Its such ashame the evolution 26 will not be included! Makes no sense as already stated you need to keep a log of all your wood purchased! Also as coal burns rather differently than wood such as burning much hotter it is likely burning coal would damage the fire. Would you really risk that on a 4k fire? Especially as it will likely invalidate your warranty too!! I cant fit a big log boiler in my house and am unlikely to install a pellet boiler so it looks like it will be a few more years till I can afford my green heating system!! :-(!!

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 7 January 2014 at 3:55 pm

Comment from email:

Broseley confirmed that the government won't include their stove in RHI due to the potential that people could use coal on them. Doesn't make sense as you have to keep audit trail of biomass purchases. They are continuing to fight the decision.

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 6 January 2014 at 9:46 am

Happy new year everyone and thanks for all your questions.

@jontybutts MCS product accreditation is expensive to achieve, so I imagine that many manufacturers chose to wait until the detail of the RHI was announced before deciding whether or not it was worth bothering. Given that the criteria for the RHPP were broad, Broseley may have taken a punt hoping that wood burning boiler stoves would also be included in the the domestic RHI.

However, it's a dangerous business selling on something that isn't definite, and there are bound to be people who have had their fingers burned buying them in expectation of RHI who are going to be at best disappointed, or maybe heading for the small claims court. (Stoves Online are still saying it's eligible). But the detail of the RHI announced in July was clear that the only stoves that are eligible are wood pellet stoves with a back boiler. Whether that makes sense or not is another matter...

@Galfredus If you're a self builder and you have an EPC and an MCS certificate you are ready to apply when the scheme launches. Applications will be on a new website run by Ofgem. I suspect that you will have to repay the LCBP grant - I'll check at the next user group meeting later this month. It will be deducted from payments over the life of the tariff.

@PeterF I put those questions to the Department of Energy and Climate Change and so they are the source.

 

 

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 3 January 2014 at 3:24 pm

Hi all 

Thanks for your questions. Cathy is on leave for the whole of the festive period but will be back on duty next week and will tackle your questions as soon as she is able. 

Thanks for your patience!

Tasha

 

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PeterF

PeterFComment left on: 2 January 2014 at 9:43 am

Hi There,

I noticed you mentioned above that

"Your woodburner and open fire place count as secondary heating (not alternative) and so you don't have to worry about them." you also said

"Room heaters, such as a wood burning stove (without a back boiler) do not count as another heating system in this context."

I am looking to confirm these statements are correct but cannot find any specific reference to this in the RHI documentation. Are you able to help point me to the information?

Regards,

Peter

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Galfredus

GalfredusComment left on: 25 December 2013 at 11:08 am

...and one other quesrion from me.  I received a grant from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme of £1500 when my installation came in.  Is that the same as the Renewable Heat Premium Payment?  I assume that that money will have to be deducted from my money from the RHI regardless?

 

Thanks!

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Galfredus

GalfredusComment left on: 24 December 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for your quick answers to my questions, sorry for my very slow response to yours, and (very nearly) Merry Christmas!

To answer you question, my heat pump was installed when my house was (self) built in 2009-10.  The heat pump went in and was commissioned in the summer fo 2010.

I have already been in touch with my old Code for Sustainable Homes assessor, who was quite happy to tell me that I DO need a Green Deal Assessment to claim through the RHI, in spite of the EPC they did for me three years ago.  As they have a vested interest in another fee, I thought it wise to ask the question for an independent expert, so I'm very interested to have your advice that a GDA is not necessary.

I know the floor area and all the u-values of my house.  In fact I did my own heat-loss calcs when the heating system went in, so I probably know it better than any GDA assessor would be able to work it out from first principles.

So, am I correct in hoping that all I need to do is create an account on the RHI website and get my installation into the system and then wait?  I've been waiting three years already, so a little bit more is no big deal.

Thanks very much for your helpful advice.

Galfredus

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jontybutts

jontybuttsComment left on: 23 December 2013 at 8:30 am

Cathy,

Sorry, I was meaning "manufacturer" in the old fashioned way of a company involved in the design and building of a product rather than just retailing it.

You have two of the largest UK Stove Manufacturers based in Devon in Stovax and Arada, both have leading brands of boiler stoves. What are they saying about MCS and why they have not gone through the process with their products?

I guess it can only be that they either don't see an ROI, or that boiler stoves were never to be included in the 1st place.

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David Mills

David MillsComment left on: 20 December 2013 at 3:48 pm

Actually Broseley are not the only manufacturer to pin there hopes on the domestic RHI including boiler stoves as a company near to us, Ashburn Stoves, have a very nice and sensibly sized Verner 13kw boiler stove with MCS approval. After talking to them they, and I for that matter, feel that the government have missed the point with this issue as it would be possible to burn coal on one of their gasification boilers just as easily as a boiler stove - obviously doing this on either would risk destruction of the appliance as they are both only made to burn biomass fuel.

The lady I spoke to at Ashburn Stoves said that as sole distributor for Verner they would petition for their inclusion as they are as efficient as most gasification boilers anyway. Let hope the government see sense!

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jontybutts

jontybuttsComment left on: 20 December 2013 at 1:55 pm

I would expect Broseley to fight the decision as they are the only stove manufacturer who gambled on the products inclusion. No other manufacturer chose to go down this route for good reason.

I feel for the few who purchased the product believing the advertising of some of the retail outlets selling the product and wonder if they have any recourse for false advertising, although I also note most of the advertising has now been changed.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 19 December 2013 at 9:13 am

@Ivy My guess is that they won't win that argument. The other option is to get a wood pellet stove with a back boiler.

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 18 December 2013 at 8:02 pm

Broseley confirmed that the stove won't qualify for RHI due to the possibility of people using coal on the stoves.  Doesn't seem right as you will have to keep audit trail off your biomass purchases and not everyone has room for a large log boiler outside.

They are trying to fight the decision.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 18 December 2013 at 4:17 pm

@Ivy Good question - but not one I can answer as I don't know why the government chooses to include some products and exclude others. 

As to a definitive list of products, there will never be one. New products will be added all the time as manufacturers apply to get them accredited. However the basics are known: 

Subject to the air quality and fuel sustainability criteria set out below, the eligible types of biomass technologies are : 

· Biomass-only boilers (covering all solid biomass, including logs and chips) 

· Biomass pellet stoves with back boilers

These must also be MCS accredited.

Boiler stoves come under the second category above, not the first.

 

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Ivy

IvyComment left on: 17 December 2013 at 7:55 pm

Why won't they include log stoves with back boilers if they want to get people off oil? When will the list of products that qualify for the RHi be available?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 17 December 2013 at 4:02 pm

I've just had confirmation from DECC on the boiler stove issue:

"Biomass pellet-only stoves with integrated boilers (or Biomass pellet stoves with back boilers) are the only ‘boiler stoves’ that will be eligible under the domestic RHI (renewable heat incentive)."

As @jontybutts says in the comment below, some of this kit is still eligible for the RHPP until the end of March next year. To be absolutely sure that the product you are thinking of installing is eligible, I'd check with the Energy Saving Trust which administers the scheme before you commit to anything.

 

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jontybutts

jontybuttsComment left on: 16 December 2013 at 11:44 am

I am hearing that the Evolution 26 is dead for the RHI, but does still come under the RHPP until March. If you ring Broseley technical line they will confirm.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 10 December 2013 at 1:19 pm

@hamper I'm still chasing this one, and will put a new blog and a post on this one as soon as I have more information.

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hamper

hamperComment left on: 10 December 2013 at 12:49 pm

Hi Cathy

Any update on the Brosley evo 26 Boiler stove and its eligibilty for RHI, i am getting 2 quotes for installing one next week and very interested if you found out anything more about this

 

thanks

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 November 2013 at 9:19 am

@Galfredus

First a couple of questions:

Was the GSHP installed at the time of building? And was your house a self build? If so, you will only need an EPC. But it's also crucial to know when the GSHP was commissioned. Heating systems installed from 15 July 2009 are eligible. Ones before that aren't.

If it was retrofitted, then you will need a green deal assessment. You don't need to worry about occupancy, as the heat load figure is based on floor space. However, you will have to declare whether it is your main residence - and there may be a minimum amount of time per year that you spend there for it to be unmetered.

Your woodburner and open fire place count as secondary heating (not alternative) and so you don't have to worry about them.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 November 2013 at 9:11 am

Hi @confused

It's up to the manufacturer to get the MCS accreditation for their products. If they want to sell into the domestic market in the UK, they would be stupid not to, as they are unlikely to do well if their customers aren't eligible for the RHI.

The final details of standards for the domestic RHI scheme are currently being finalised - I'm expecting some sort of announcement next week. There is likely to be a period of uncertainty in this interim period as to what equipment will and won't meet standards. The only way to be absolutely certain that you will be eligible for the incentive is to wait until the standards are agreed - or to install a boiler that already has MCS accreditation. As I've mentioned before in this thread, if you're installing a boiler stove, I'd wait until the regulations are published so that you are clear what is and isn't eligible.

 

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Galfredus

GalfredusComment left on: 27 November 2013 at 8:19 pm

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for your very thorough and helpful overview.  There are just a couple of things I would like to ask you about.

I have a legacy GSHP installation in my house, which was built new in 2009.  It's existing EPC clearly shows that it meets the insulation requirements of the RHI, but I understand that the requirement for a Green Deal Assessment is non-negotiable.

I full expect that the GDA will find the insulation to be adequate, but will any of their other findings be taken into account?  For the next few months the house will actually have very little occupancy but that is set to change from next summer.  I'm worried that the GDA might conclude that my current energy need will be very low, and this will affect the deemed payout from the RHI?

On another subject, my house has a fire place and a woodburner (in sitting room and dining room/hall respectively).  Do these count as an alternative heating system, and would I therefore be required to fit a meter to my heatpump?

Thanks for your help!

 

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confused

confusedComment left on: 27 November 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hi there

I own and am having installed a 

Aquatherm ECoF34V Boiler Stove‏ which seems an extremely substantial piece of Italian kit that should meet MCS criteria but the machine is not MCS certified. When I spoke to MCS they told me the European standards you mention above are only the standards that alternative testing systems need to meet and none are yet DECC approved. There is a considerable amount of money at stake for me personally, and I'm sure the machine will do it's bit for renewables as much as any other. It seems against the EU principles that a machine that meets it's local equivalent standards should be prejudiced against by not having a British accreditation. I will speak to DECC but what are your thoughts or experience? Thankyou

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 21 October 2013 at 10:17 am

@Ellwood See my previous answer below to @AndrewNE_Scotland for an update on boiler stoves and RHI 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 21 October 2013 at 10:14 am

@AndrewNE_Scotland The Green Deal assessment for the RHI has two purposes: one is to check that you have loft and cavity wall insulation (if appropriate). The other is to take the heat demand figure from the EPC. This is what the RHI will be paid out on. 

From what you tell me the measures your architect proposes will go considerably beyond the minimum standards set for eligibility for the RHI, so really the only reason you need the GDA is for compliance purposes. I'd do it afterwards.

On the question of boiler stoves and RHI, I'm having difficulty getting an answer, and that's probably because the final details are still being drawn up and consulted on. I'd proceed with caution here. Either wait until the detail is finalised (which I'm told is likely to be early December), or take the safe route of a gasification boiler. 

One thing I do know is that while MCS accreditation is mandatory for products to be included in the RHI, not all MCS accredited products will be eligible.

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AndrewNE_Scotland

AndrewNE_ScotlandComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for your reply Cathy (and hope you had a good holiday),

Just to let you know I've got an experienced architect on-board for my old NE Scotland house renovation - he has written papers on "hard to treat" existing built-environment homes and specifying air tightness and I have a strong sense of confidence in his ability to specify the best fit-for-purpose wall / roof / underfloor insulation and air tightness measures.  My concern is that a Green Deal Assessor, probably with lesser experience, could at a future date after I've undertaken modifications want something different and/or supplemental from what my architect specified. My sense is that I should run my plans by the Green Deal Assessor before I install anything so they are "on-board" from the start thereby avoiding any unpleasant surprises later!

I'm keen to know anything else you may learn on the process in the upcoming weeks / months.

Many thanks for your help,

Andrew

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 9:38 am

Hi Xixal

have you searched for installers in our directory? Click find a in the menu bar. Also it's worth saying where you are based, then I can tweet your request and maybe help find someone who can help.

Cathy

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Andrew

Sorry for the delay, I was on holiday and missed your question. I'm going to check up on the boiler stove next week to make sure that MCS accreditation is enough to qualify their inclusion.

The timing of when you have the green deal assessment depends on what you want from it. If you just want the qualification for the RHI, then wait til the end. However, if you want some advice on options for making your house more energy efficient, have it at the beginning. Given that your house is old, I'd recommend careful questioning of advisors before you take them on to ensure that they have experience and training in working in period properties. Alternatively there are specialist consultants who will work to your goals, rather than the rather rigid framework of the green deal.

If you go down the route of having a green deal up front, then you will just need to get an updated EPC once the work is done. I don't know if green deal providers include this in the package if you get work done through them, or you have to pay extra. I'll try and find out.

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AndrewNE_Scotland

AndrewNE_ScotlandComment left on: 2 October 2013 at 8:54 am

Hi Cathy,

You may have missed my September 12 posting?

I think I may now know the answer to my Question 1.  There are log boilers ("in the house" variety as opposed to log gasification boilers) which would qualify for RHI - it's a matter of ensuring that an MCS accredited one is selected and that it's connected to a CH system.

I'm no further ahead right now in terms of my Question 2 regarding the timing of a Green Deal Assessment.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Beemer

BeemerComment left on: 1 October 2013 at 6:11 pm

Ok great thanks,  so the big question that cannot be answered yet, is when is the deadline.

I don't believe the new build extension  will be completed before rhi arrives next Spring - but not sure if that would count as a cut off date or not.

The problem is, the biomass boiler has been calculated to heat the new non built area, as well as the exisiting building and is therefore very big and as such, the RHI would be required on the whole area if possible [old and new].

I am sure you will be helping us keep up to date with what the deadlines may be.

Thanks again.

 

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Beemer

BeemerComment left on: 1 October 2013 at 4:30 pm

Hi Cathy, Could you get back to me please ref my question posted previously about if you can include a larger area in a new epc, for a new build, to ensure any rhi payment is made on the overall area and not just from the original build area.

[the biomass has been fitted to supply both exisisting and the new areas once built].

Thanks

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 October 2013 at 4:09 pm

Hi Beemer

Sorry, I thought I'd answered it elsewhere, but I may just be getting confused! 

I think the answer is as follows:

The extension must be finished before you get a new EPC. 

There will be a deadline (yet to be decided) before which all legacy applications must be submitted.

If you have finished your extension before the deadline and the biomass boiler will be heating the whole building, then it would be appropriate to get a new EPC and submit that with your application (I'm not sure whether you'd need a new green deal assessment too). If you haven't finished the extension before the deadline it will be old EPC or nothing.

I hope that makes sense.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 October 2013 at 1:37 pm

Hi Ellwood

You're right - stoves are only eligible if they burn pellets and have a back boiler. If it's a log boiler, then it would be eligible. The easy way to check is to look on the MCS website to see if the product is MCS accredited.

I did the search myself and the only Brosely product accredited is the eVolution 26 boiler stove, which connects to a sealed heating system. My guess is that this comes under the heading boiler, rather than stove, as 26kW would be much too much just for a room heater. But I will try and do more checking on what the difference is when I visit Ofgem next week.

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ellwood

ellwoodComment left on: 1 October 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi Cathy,

Just discovered a log burning stove with a back boiler by Broseley that claims eligibility for the domestic rhi payments. I had been under the impression that the payments were limited to pellet stoves with back boilers. Can you clarify ?

 

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Beemer

BeemerComment left on: 25 September 2013 at 2:26 pm

Hi, posted elsewhere, but hope you can help.

If a Green deal assessment has been completed and the biomass is in situ, can another epc be completed once the remaining new build is completed - end next spring - [which will also be heated by the same biomass boiler] ?

Therefore ensuring the kw/h figure for the rhi, takes into account the exisiting and new area after the extension work is completed ?

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xixal

xixalComment left on: 22 September 2013 at 11:41 am

Hi everyone .....

I have a Solar Thermal system that was fitted in Septemeber 2009. 

The thermal store is made by Alpha (New Generation) and is listed on the MCS website has having "MCS Equivalence"

Looking at the criteria for claiming RHI, I meet the installation date, my system is listed as being acredited with MCS Equivalence but in order to qualify, I have not been able to find an installer who would certify my system to obtain a MCS Certificate.

I have contacted both MCS & DECC to obtain clarification on how this will work and they have no answers, nor do they seem bothered.  I contacted the Energy Trust who stated that some of their members had managed to get an installer to certify their systems. I relayed this to MCS who have not commented on this and seem reluctant to assist..

Does anyone on this forum know of any installer who could help commission my system and issue a Cert?  Its odd that DECC publish a policy that people in my predicacment are unable to achieve?

AAny help would be greatly appreciated

 

xixal

 

 

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cosmolittle

cosmolittleComment left on: 13 September 2013 at 1:34 pm

I have sent the following email to the energy saving trust, and received the following reply:

***********************************************************************************

Hello CMJ Little,

Thank you for contacting Energy Saving Advice Service about the domestic RHI scheme.The level of payment is indeed affected by the deemed amount given in the Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) but more specifically the amount defined within the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) section of the GDAR. The EPC is performed by a SAP or RdSAP appraisal which is available to the public. More information can be found by following https://www.gov.uk/standard-assessment-procedure

I hope this helps, but if you have any questions, or would like further information please call 0300 123 1234 or visit our website http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/ and the calculations can be found in http://projects.bre.co.uk/sap2005/pdf/SAP2005_9-83.pdf.

Kind regards,

Energy Saving Advice Service.


------------------- Original Message -------------------
From: cosmo@rfsolutions.uk.com
Received: 10/09/2013 11:01
To: Energy Saving Advice Service; Mike Taylor
Subject: RHI, Biomas, "deeming", and the green deal assessment

Dear Sirs,     I am interested in installing a wood pellet boiler in a domestic house. I have very carefully studied the government document on the RHI domestic scheme, but have some fundamental questions relating to the “deemed energy requirement” which is set by the Green deal assessment that must be carried out as a pre requisite to the scheme.   According to the proposals, the FIT will be paid at a rate of 12.2p per kWh on the deemed heating requirement of the property. This is the final figure in the Green deal assessment report, after all recommended energy efficiency measures have been done (excepting exterior wall insulation).   The problem is that the deemed heating requirement depends in some way on the occupancy of the property, and also on the previous 12 months heating costs. The exact method of calculating the deemed heating requirement from this information does not seem to be published.    The FIT over 7 years is apparently fixed by the deemed heating requirement. It is quite obvious that a high heating requirement will result in a higher payment over the 7 years. It is also obvious that it is very much in the house owners interest to get as large a figure for the deemed heating requirement as possible. This leads to the following anomalies: 1/- If the house holder has been very economical with heating over the previous 12 months, possibly due to financial pressures, then he will be unfairly penalised when the deemed heating requirement is calculated. 2/- If the house has been part occupied over the previous 12 months, then the previous 12 months heating bills will not reflect the normal situation. 3/- If the occupancy changes during the 7 years, again the house holder may be unfairly penalised. For example, a working couple that are normally out of the house during working hours may change their circumstances so that one or both spend all day in the house. This could easily double the heating requirement. One of my questions is: Is there any provision in the RHI scheme to update a Green assessment to reflect changing occupancy, and thus to change the deemed heating requirement? Also Is the Green deal assessment calculation method in the public domain?    Finally, unless I have misunderstood the above procedure for calculating the FIT, then there is great scope for the householder to provide wrong information to the green deal assessor regarding occupancy, and even to increase the amount of heating used prior to getting the green deal assessment in order to inflate the previous 12 months heating bills.   I would be interested in receiving your comments on the above yours faithfully CMJ Little ******************************************************

The reply seems to say that the deemed heat requirement does not depend on the occupancy assessment, nor on the previous 12 months energy bills.  Could you please confirm this? regards Cosmo Little

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AndrewNE_Scotland

AndrewNE_ScotlandComment left on: 12 September 2013 at 2:39 pm

Background:  My wife and I bought a 120 year old solid wall sandstone house in rural NE Scotland a few months ago.  It is sorely in need of modenisation and renovation.  We've kicked off the process with an architect who has an excellent understanding of old homes.  Planning Application to be submitted in the near term - then we will start on the detail required for our building warrant submission.  We intend to insulate under the floors and in the loft.  Not sure about internally insulating the walls yet (currently 600mm sandstone, 50mm air gap, lath and plaster) as there is a debate about moving the dew point in the wall which could have a detrimental effect.  We would like to switch from heating with oil to heating with logs (good local supply and we should be able to get our hands on a nearby woodlot).  Space heating demand, following renovation, should be circa 20kW.

Question 1:  We need to make a choice between installing a log boiler stove system installed in the house or a log gasification boiler in an nearby (5m) outbuilding.  However if a log boiler stove in the house wouldn't qualify for domestic RHI (presumably due to unacceptable emissions) then I think our decision has already been made.  Are log boiler stoves not included in the RHI scheme?

Question 2:  Am I correct that I should not get a green deal assessment done until after our modifications are made?  Or possibly a green deal assessment  should be done based on a site visit and our proposed insulating plans? I really don't want to go though a lot of messy & disruptive insulating installation work only to find out later more is recommended.

Apologies for such a long comment!  And thanks in advance.

Cheers, Andrew

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 3 September 2013 at 8:13 am

Hi John. The maximum size of installation under the domestic RHI is a 45kW biomass boiler. I don't know if that helps with your calculations.

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john5558

john5558Comment left on: 31 August 2013 at 9:19 am

Domestic RHI.

I am trying to do some calculations. Does anyone please know what the maximum deemed heat figure for biomass payment purposes is-ie subject to the actual property's individual assessment what is the maximum payment receivable at 12.2p a unit.

many thanks

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 19 August 2013 at 8:28 am

Hi Stuart

This is what it says in the Metering and Monitoring Service Packages Technical Supplement: "Metering and Monitoring Service Packages installed when the renewable heating system is installed and applied for at the same time as the overall RHI tariff would receive this extra annual payment for 7 years. If a package were installed 2 years after the RHI tariff payments have started then they would receive 5 years of payments. In all cases, the Metering and Monitoring Service Package must continue to be functional for the payments to be issued."

I can't find anything that says legacy installations are not eligible. In the first instance, these pacakages are available on a first come, first served basis to 2,500 applicants in the first year of the scheme.

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stuart smith

stuart smithComment left on: 17 August 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hi Cathy

 

I alreadyy have had an ASHP installed in anticipation of the RHI payments coming into effect..

Wil I be able to have a meter installed retrospectively to be able to receive the extra £230 pa?

 

Stuart

 

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ellwood

ellwoodComment left on: 12 August 2013 at 11:45 am

Thankyou Cathy,

I am still a little confused as to how the annual deemed heat useage is calculated for the domestic RHI payment and whether it is multiplied by 7 years or 20 years (the latter then divided by 7 years).

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 12 August 2013 at 10:58 am

Hi Ellwood, the deemed heat usage for the domestic RHI is taken off the energy performance certificate (EPC) that comes as part of the mandatory green deal assessment. It is then multiplied by seven. (The tariff rates were calculated to take into account the return over 20 years which is why they seem higher than the non-domestic rates).

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 12 August 2013 at 8:23 am

@ellwood As things stand 45kW is the largest heat size covered by the domestic RHI. To qualify you must use a MCS accredited product and installer, and the maximum size covered by MCS is 45kW. This is something that I'll be asking DECC about when I speak to them this week.

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ellwood

ellwoodComment left on: 9 August 2013 at 9:17 am

Is the maximum deemed heat useage 45 kw x 1314 hours = 59,130 kwh for Domestic RHI ?

What if your deemed heat use requires a boiler larger than 45 kw. ?

 

 

 

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Sheps

ShepsComment left on: 1 August 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi I see that the domestic rhi is subject to a vote etc. what is the timetable approval in parliament?  I am on the verge of placing an order for a biomass system but nervous about doing so before the final confirmation of a vote in the house. Am I being unduly cautious? Will it definitely be approved?

Yours is an excellent informative website.thanks

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gill1981

gill1981Comment left on: 1 August 2013 at 3:16 pm

Hi, I would like to ask if we would still be eligible for the Domestic Heat Incentive if our boiler is over 45kw and was not installed by an accredited MCS installer, (currently MCS does not apply to systems over 45kw.)

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 August 2013 at 2:37 pm

Hi @Sheps I guess it depends on your attitude to risk whether you should go ahead or not. I'm pretty confident that the domestic RHI is going to go ahead this time. Yesterday I was at a meeting at Ofgem, where they are going full steam ahead developing the application system. All political parties are on board (it was originally proposed by Labour in 2009). Industry is gearing up. However, it's never definite until it's definite. I don't know what the schedule is. I'll add it to my list of things to ask DECC.

 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 August 2013 at 2:24 pm

@gill1981 as things stand at the moment you are not eligible for the domestic renewable heat incentive as it's only open to MCS accredited installations and, as you point out, they can't be greater than 45kW. This is on my list of things to ask DECC, so I'll come back to you if they tell me anything different.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 August 2013 at 9:02 am

@Mikel You are right about the deeming. But remember that the RHI will only pay for the 'renewable heat' generated by the GSHP - not for the proportion of electricity that it uses. For an explanation of this click here.

@Fred1 Yes you can claim the RHI if you are on the gas grid. And yes, there is potential for salesmen to mis-sell. The important point here I think is that it's a boiler replacement scheme, not an investment scheme. I really hope that the terms return on investment and payback aren't used in marketing (although I've already seen them). The tariff is calculated to compensate for the extra cost and disruption of renewable heat for those off the gas grid - to put it on a level playing field with replacing a boiler. This doesn't mean that a heat pump, for example, wouldn't be suitable for someone replacing an old boiler - but it will depend on what their motivation for installing it is.

@neesha64 I've added your question to my list to ask DECC about.

@Stuart Cooke I don't think so, but I'll check on that one too.

@John Loder I wouldn't call it a bribe or an incentive. It's a requirement that to claim RHI you must have a green deal assessment, and if the green deal advice report gives a green tick for loft and cavity wall insulation, then you must have it done before you can apply for the RHI. However, most stone built places don't have cavity walls, so if that is the case for you, you won't have to have the much more disruptive solid wall insulation. I think this makes sense. Loft and cavity wall insulation are quick and cheap to install, pay back really quickly, and reduce the heat load of the house, so it makes sense to do that before you install a renewable heat as you may need a smaller heat generator.

@dougalj On the SPF - I'll ask one of our expert bloggers to write about that. On the timing of the GDA - if you've already got loft and cavity wall insulation then it doesn't matter when you get it. If you haven't, and you don't want to use green deal finance to install it, then it's better to wait until the insulation is done, otherwise you'll have to pay for another EPC after installation to prove that it's installed.

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dougalj

dougaljComment left on: 31 July 2013 at 10:33 am

Cathy, Thanks for your excellent Q&A.  I am still unclear how the SPF is calculated - is it simply based on the manufacturers' claims, or is there some way of calculating it from real data?  Also, is there any point in my arranging a Green Deal Assessment before the scheme is actually introduced, or is it best to wait till the details are finalised? (We had an  MCS-approved ASHP system fitted in March 2012).

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John Loder

John LoderComment left on: 30 July 2013 at 11:07 pm

Am I being cynical or just have a good sense of smell? Isn't this all about a bribe, sorry incentive, to put up with the hassle of yet more loft insulation and the utter disruption of cavity wall insulation - especially for stone built places! Is this why no one is actually saying this insulation is an absolute requirement, even though it keeps sneaking in in passing?

 

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stuart cooke

stuart cookeComment left on: 30 July 2013 at 9:05 pm

Can tenants in rented property apply for rhi.

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neesha64

neesha64Comment left on: 30 July 2013 at 6:18 pm

Any idea how DECC will ascertain if an installation meets the air quality requirements?  From what I've read it seems particulate and nitrogen oxides emissions relate in part to how a stove is used, e.g. temperature and fuel quality, which it would be unwieldy to monitor.  Is it just assumed that emissions will not exceed levels that the manufacturer certifies?  Would all MCS approved stoves necessarily have emissions lower than the limits specified by the DECC for RHI payments? (in which case it seems a bit superfluous to have it as a separate condition). 

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Fred1

Fred1Comment left on: 28 July 2013 at 11:14 am

Cathy,

I note the consultation is ongoing and the start date is unknown. I note a couple of pieces about on gas grid. Do i understand that if you have mains gas you can still install some of this equipment to get an RHI payment but that the payment would not be economical taking into acount the cost of the equipment.

If i have got that bit correct, is there a danger that we will have the potential of salesmen going round selling people this equipment only to find after installation that it did not save them any money, it just looks good??

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Mikel

MikelComment left on: 26 July 2013 at 5:23 pm

Hi Cathy.

 

Thank you. Therefore, as I understand it, for a GSHP providing heating and hot water, the deemed heat will be the sum of the two components in the EPC and the solar thermal will be the deemed heat from the MCS certificate.

Have I got that correct?

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Mikel

MikelComment left on: 26 July 2013 at 11:51 am

 

Hi Cathy,   As you state above, the RHI deemed heat requirement for a building is to be taken from the EPC. I will have to have a new EPC from a Green Deal Assessment. I have an old EPC dated 29th Oct 2010, which gives the energy use in kWh per square metre and would appear to include lighting energy use. However, the format of the EPC has since changed and I think a star system is now used. Does the new EPC state the heating requirement in figures as before in kWh/sq m?  

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 26 July 2013 at 11:42 am

Hi Mikel The new EPC states both space heating and water heating requirements in kWh per year.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 March 2013 at 10:38 am

Hi David - I appreciate your frustration, but until the results of the consultation is published I can't answer any of your questions. It should happen in the next month, otherwise they won't be able to get the legislation through parliament in time for a summer launch. The likelihood is that the summer launch may be in what most of us consider autumn, as this is a very tight schedule!

Sorry not to be more helpful.

I'm speaking about the RHI at Ecobuild next week, so sod's law says that we'll find out on Wednesday and I'll have to rewrite my talk overnight!

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DavidC

DavidCComment left on: 28 February 2013 at 4:20 pm

We start a self-build this spring/summer and I want to do everything possible to ensure we get the RHI when/if announced for new builds.  I appreciate we don't have the announcement yet, but your guidance document talks about applying to houses built after RHI comes into force but does this mean started or finished after summer 2013?  Based on simple calculations, this could be a £20k payment over 7 years so I can't afford to miss it due to a technicality.

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anglinajully

anglinajullyComment left on: 15 January 2013 at 4:53 pm

We have an open fire in the lounge, which we only use a few times each year, it's basically there for show. It is not linked to the central heating system. 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 2 November 2012 at 9:30 am

Yes, Ian. I think you can!

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Ian Davies

Ian DaviesComment left on: 1 November 2012 at 11:44 pm

We have an open fire in the lounge, which we only use a few times each year, it's basically there for show. It is not linked to the central heating system. Can I safely assume that is not counted as a Fossil Fuel Heating System? 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 24 September 2012 at 8:11 am

Hi Glenfender

I'll be working on some case study examples this week. As to the green deal - any building ought to be able to qualify - because they only have to do the measures that get a green tick (ie meet the golden rule). These are the most cost effective ones, or ones for which ECO money is available. 

My guess is that with stone cottages, any solid wall insulation would be internal, and there will be a question of whether people want to put up with the associated disruption. Also of whether full funding is available. It's not clear whether solid wall insulation will be included the the mandatory measures or not - it's definitely one that's up for consultation.

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Glenfender

GlenfenderComment left on: 21 September 2012 at 7:43 pm

Great that finally we have some figures. Is there any guidance about what the deemed average annual heat load might be for a typical house - so that example payments can be calculated? Also is it possible for a typical stone built house to pass the Green Deal assessment? Or are those types of property just not going to qualify?

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Mark Brown

Mark BrownComment left on: 21 September 2012 at 1:42 pm

Slightly concerned by restriction on back up fossil fuel heating with a biomass boiler. Can you clarify please? Seems contradictory: first you said they would need a heat meter then you said that backup systems are not allowed. Which is it?

I think I will need to enter the consultation on this matter. Employing a back-up for any system is prudent and not evidence of an attempt to cheat the system. Afterall, who would be crazy enough to install two boilers unless security of supply was an issue? In our case the gas boiler is a backup in case of emergencies, ie, the wood pellet hopper running out.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 21 September 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hi Mark

What they call legacy applicants - ie those who installed between 15 July 2009 and when the RHI begins in summer 2013 - can have a back up gas boiler, and have their biomass boiler metered. Those who install from the start of the scheme can't. They are very concerned that people use the biomass for the first 7 years, while they are getting the payments, and then revert to gas as soon as the payments finish, and let the boiler sit idle. I haven't done my sums yet, but wonder whether it would be worth the hassle... Are they being overly suspicious?

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