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If I install a biomass boiler now will I definitely get the RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 December 2013 at 11:50 am

Q: I have had my green deal assessment done and have an EPC and report with my heat requirements. I want to install a log gasification boiler. I seem to be stuck in that the installer wants a 20% deposit to go ahead but I can't seem to get a firm guarantee that I will receive £x for my RHI (renewable heat incentive) payments. I feel I need a guarantee of the income before signing away £15k, but I can't even apply for the RHI until I install a boiler. How does it work in the detail? I'm hoping you can help as no one else seems to have a clear answer. 

A: No one can give you an absolute guarantee until the regulations for the domestic RHI are agreed in Parliament, which is expected to happen early in 2014. It is likely that the government will go ahead with the rates outlined on our RHI page, but there is no guarantee. The only way to be absolutely certain is to wait until the regulations are confirmed.

Even when the scheme is launched (expected to be spring 2014) the process will be as you outline above. You will have to install first, then apply for the RHI, so it is important that you you know what the eligibility criteria are and make sure you meet them before you go ahead. 

While there are disadvantages to going ahead now, before the regulations are in place, there are also advantages. If you install now you can apply for the renewable heat premium payments which help with the upfront cost. The rate for biomass boilers is £2,000. This sum is subtracted from the RHI payments over the seven year life of the tariff, but many people find it more useful at the time of purchase. This interim scheme ends on 31 March 2014.

More information about biomass boilers and the RHI on YouGen

YouGen guide to biomass boilers

YouGen guide to renewable heat incentive

From the blog

14 things to ask your biomass boiler installer

Biomass boiler case study: the house is warm for the first time

Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

Photo: Euroheat.co.uk

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