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Will installing a wind turbine affect my RHI application for a heat pump?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 4 October 2013 at 9:36 am

Q: We have installed a ground source heat pump and will be applying for the renewable heat incentive (RHI). We are now considering installing a wind turbine. How will this interact with our heat pump RHI application, if at all? Our EPC rating will improve with a turbine and as I understand it RHI will be closely linked to the EPC.

A: The energy performance certificate (EPC) measures two things: an energy efficiency rating and an environmental rating. The former, which is the rating that everyone looks at, is derived from a calculation of the assumed cost of fuel per square meter of floor space. The latter is based on carbon dioxide emissions.

Installing a wind turbine is likely to improve the rating you get on your EPC, because it will reduce the electricity cost attached to the property. However, it won't affect your application  for the renewable heat incentive at all, as that is based on the calculation of the heat demand figure for your home, in kilowatt hours (kWh). This is given at the bottom of the EPC.

These calculations are made using a reduced version of the standard assessment procedure (RdSAP). Rather than take your actual energy use figures they are calculated using average usage for the size and build style of property. This means that EPC ratings can be compared without being skewed by the number of occupants and whether they have the thermostat high in winter or sit shivering in one room.

So, in answer to your question, installing a wind turbine will improve your EPC rating in both categories, as your cost of electricity will fall and you'll be using mostly non-carbon emitting electricity. Your heat demand won't change, so the calculation for RHI will not be affected.

More information on heat pumps and the RHI from YouGen

YouGen guide to heat pumps

YouGen guide to the renewable heat incentive

The RHI: your questions answered

YouGen guide to wind turbines

A guide to reading an EPC

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