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My heat pump heats two properties, is it eligible for domestic RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 2 April 2014 at 10:03 am

Q: My property is made up of the principal property that I live in (The Mill), it also has a flat that I rent out (Mill Studio) that is part of the same building but has a separate entrance, electric meter and council tax bill. I fitted 1 x Nibe F1245 water source heat pump replacing 2 x oil boilers that used to heat the two properties separately. How will this be dealt with for the claim for RHI. Will the Green Deal Assessment be done on my property or both? Do you know will both properties be included in the RHI? 

A: I checked with Ofgem, which will administer the application process for the domestic RHI, and this is what it says: "Since the system heats more than one domestic premises it would not be eligible for the domestic RHI (please see page 2 of ‘Domestic or Non-domestic’ factsheet). However [the reader] may still be eligible for the Non-domestic RHI so I would advise them to look at the information on the non-domestic RHI website". 

This is how it works: If your renewable heating system only heats a single home, for which you have a domestic EPC (energy performance certificate), then you can apply to the domestic RHI scheme. The non-domestic scheme is primarily intended for renewable heating systems in commercial, public or industrial buildings. However, there is a small group of people that fall into a category that Ofgem call 'complicated'. I'm afraid that's where you have landed.

What you have installed is categorised as a district heating network. This is anything that heats more than one property. If you do qualify for the non-domestic RHI the good news is that the rate of return is better (it's an incentive rather than a boiler replacement scheme) and it pays out over 20 years, instead of 7. The bad news is that it's more complicated to apply for, and you may want to get some help you with the application. You will also need to comply with the metering requirements so that you are paid just on the heat within the two properties, and not on any heat lost in distribution. 

The most relevant sections from the 'domestic or non-domestic' fact sheet are:

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

- Properties with a main house and a self contained outbuilding (with its own bathroom and kitchen), both heated by a renewable heating system would not be eligible for the domestic RHI. They may be for the non-domestic scheme.


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

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2 comments - read them below or add one


martiniComment left on: 23 April 2015 at 6:19 pm

I have a similar problem which falls into the 'complicated' category. I have a main house with an annex, the latter having a separate entrance. I do not let it out as it shares all the services with the main house but I do have to pay 2 council taxes.

I am hoping to fit an air source heat pump to run the UFH & heat both house and annex and would like to claim the domestic RHI.  I have had a green deal assessment and EPCs for house and annex but Ofgem say I need a single EPC for the whole house, annex included.  Can I get this - no!  The EPC assessors will not give me a single EPC. Where do I go next?

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 12 September 2014 at 4:58 pm

September 2014 update:

If you've already applied for domestic RHI for multiple dwellings and your application has gone to review, this is the link to the form you'll need to fill in and sign for Ofgem to be able to process your application. The critical information on the form states:

"Please be aware that, while we accept [domestic RHI] applications for renewable heating systems providing heat to multiple buildings, payments will be calculated based on the heat demand figure from the energy performance certificate (EPC) for your domestic property only.


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