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The slow progress of the domestic RHI: a rough timetable

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 March 2014 at 4:01 pm

Lots of us were hoping that the domestic RHI would go live on 1 April this year. Sadly, that doesn't look possible now. The good news is that I understand that department for environment and climate change (DECC) officials are still confident that it will launch in spring (real spring that is, not 'government spring' which might be nearer to mid July).

For those of you who are wondering what the process is, this is how it will progress:

The draft regulations were laid in Parliament on 11 February. 

Having passed through one of the two committees that have to scrutinise them, DECC withdrew them last week to make some changes. This included referencing the most up to date MCS deeming method for solar thermal. The withdrawal caused much speculation (and consternation) at last week's Ecobuild conference in London.

Today, they have been re-laid in Parliament.

Once both committees have scrutinised them, then they will be debated and put to a Parliamentary vote. 

Assuming that MPs vote in favour (and given that RHI was a Labour idea, they should) then all that's left is to agree a launch date.

A back of an envelope calculation indicates that if everything runs smoothly, the earliest we can expect it to go live is sometime around Easter. But it could, of course, take longer than that. DECC officials are not giving any hints!

More information on the domestic RHI on YouGen:

The domestic renewable heat incentive: your questions answered


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

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4 comments - read them below or add one

Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 April 2014 at 2:13 pm


Yes, you're right: the deemed SPF (seasonal performance factor) is 2.5 for the purposes of RHI, unless you choose to get a reassessment. The higher the SPF to higher your RHI payments will be.

If you do get one, your installer would need to come out and do a room by room heat loss calculation and an assessment of the heat emitters - radiators, underfloor heating etc - and then assess those figures against the star rating of your heat pump. 

The SPF is calculated based on the heat demand and heat loss calculations of the least efficient room in your house. 

As a very broad guide, if your heat pump is linked up to underfloor heating in a highly insulated house, it is likely that your SPF will be considerably higher than 2.5, if it's linked to traditional radiators, and you have minimal insulation over the minimum requirement, it's likely that 2.5 wont be far off. 

Whether you choose to get an assessment or not will probably depend on you balancing the likely increase in SPF - and consequently your RHI payments - against the cost of getting the assessment done. I've heard of one company who are charging £240 for the assessment. If your assessment comes out at below 2.5 you can always ignore it and opt for the deemed SPF of 2.5 in your application.

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MarkDComment left on: 26 April 2014 at 7:53 am

I have a GSHP installed in 2010 so eligible for RHI. Most GSHPs should have a higher SPF which generates a higher RHI payment. However I understand the deemed SPF is 2.5 for legacy installations unless you have the system reassessed by your MCS installer. Can you advise on how this reasssessment process works.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 April 2014 at 12:38 pm

Josie, the FITs equivalent for renewable heat technologies, including woodchip boilers, is called the Renewable Heat Incentive. The regulations for the scheme went through the House of Lords last week, and should be passed by the House of Commons this week. The scheme is expected to launch before Easter. 

Once it is launched you will be able to apply on the Ofgem website. They currently have some information about it here. You can also read much more about the RHI here on YouGen. To keep up to date with news about when it's open for applications you can sign up to our monthly newsletter.

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JosieqComment left on: 29 March 2014 at 10:47 am

We installed a micro chip boiler last June FITTS payments were due to start 1st April any idea when they will now start. Also how do we calim the payment do we have to register with ofgem. Our solar panels we get payments through EDF our supplier


Regards Josie

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