Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

Is my boiler stove eligible for the renewable heat incentive?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 December 2013 at 9:20 am

Q: 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. There is a considerable amount of money at stake for me personally, and I'm sure the machine will do its bit for renewables as much as any other. It seems against the EU principles that a machine that meets its local equivalent standards should be prejudiced against by not having a British accreditation. What are your thoughts or experience? 

A: It's up to the manufacturer to get 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 renewable heat incentive (RHI).

There are wood-fuelled boiler stoves that have MCS accreditation. However, while a heating product must be MCS accredited to be eligible for the RHI, it doesn't follow that all MCS accredited products are eligible. 

The bad news for you is that log-fuelled stoves are definitely not eligible for the renewable heat incentive. 

The rules are as follows:

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

As it wasn't clear to me whether boiler stoves counted as a stove or a boiler, I checked with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Its answer was: "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".

There are some boiler stoves that are currently MCS accredited, and eligible for the RHPP (renewable heat premium payments) until 31 March 2014. However, if you are thinking of installing one of these, I recommend you double check with the Energy Saving Trust that it is still eligible before you sign on the dotted line.

More information about the RHI on YouGen

YouGen guide to the RHI

YouGen guide to biomass boilers and stoves

from the blog

Domestic RHI: your questions answered

Photo: Aquatherm boiler stove, stoves online


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Keep up to date with our free monthly newsletter


2 comments - read them below or add one


PaulTNCComment left on: 21 January 2014 at 5:25 pm

The MCS accreditation is a disgrace.

The whole scheme seems designed to prop up local and established manufacturers, keep prices high and discourage new entrants.

Case in point: We have installed an excellent small wind turbine, which we ordered directly from the Chinese manufacturer. Apart from the somewhat broken English of the manual, all aspect of the machine are first class, much more solid and well built than our neighbours UK machine and equally as well performing. The main difference is the price: ours was just quarter of the price of same size MCS approved machine.

Many manufacturers are either too small or the UK market is too small for them to bother - and therefore do not go through the extremely expensive and very lengthy approval process, costing some £100,000 and taking a year or more.

As a result the wind turbine market in the UK is by far the most expensive around and even other renewable technologies are more expensive than they need to be. And its costing us all dear. Subsidies could be less than half of present levels if the idiots insisting on a completely new and pretty useless testing regime for well proven equipment from abroad could simply approve products on the basis of existing tests and approvals valid in other countries.

What shame, UK loses out yet again 


report abuse


ZoeHComment left on: 3 January 2014 at 7:04 pm

Hi I am renovating a Grade II * property and want to put a biomass boiler in as heating. The cost is very high although I have a quote for a Ekoheat 42kW boiler which is far more attractive but does not have an accumalation tank like the others . Does anyone have any expereince of the Ekoheat boiler ?

report abuse

Leave a comment

You must log in to make a comment. If you haven't already registered, please sign up as a company or an individual, then come back and have your say.