Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

Number of accredited boilers for domestic RHI

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 4 April 2014 at 9:13 am

If you’re thinking of installing a biomass boiler and are hoping to take advantage of government incentives for renewable heat, then choose your product carefully.

I learnt this week that while there are more than 500 biomass boilers MCS-accredited biomass boiler currently listed by Ofgem as eligible for the renewable heat incentive (RHI), that number is set to drop to just 87 when the scheme opens later this month.

This is because all biomass boilers installed after the scheme opens need to be accredited with an air quality certificate in order to be eligible for RHI – and currently only 87 of those listed are.

The air quality certificate has been introduced to control the amount of smoke, dust and grit emitted by a biomass boiler. In technical terms it ensures that biomass boilers do not exceed the limits of 30g/GJ (particulate matter) and 150g/GJ (oxides of nitrogen).

While many of the boilers currently on Ofgem’s eligibility list may well reach this standard, their manufacturers have not yet applied for the necessary certification which will prove it. Certification is recorded by Hetas but manufacturers have to physically apply to Ofgem for the right to have their certification registered.

"We've written to, emailled and otherwise alerted manufacturers to this upcoming rule, but so far, we've not had that many send in the necessary certificate," says Hetas chief executive Bruce Allen. "In the first couple of weeks after the scheme opens we are expecting a large number of calls from manufacturers asking why their product isn't listed."

He said he expects there will be a flurry of late certificate submissions as manufacturers rush to get accredited for RHI. 

This additional qualifying criteria was introduced following consultation by Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs that led to a review of the clean air act 1993.

Biomass installations made before the RHI scheme opens will not be affected.

Other differences between requirements for those who have already installed (legacy applicants) and those who install after the scheme opens (new applicants) can be viewed on the Ofgem website.

The lists of boilers which have both MCS accreditation AND the necessary air quality certificate will be made available once the domestic RHI scheme launches.

From Autumn 2014, owners of biomass boilers will also have to prove that they have bought their fuel from an approved suppliers list. Approved wood pellet suppliers can be found on the UK pellet council’s website.

The renewable heat incentive comes in the form of a quarterly payment made to owners of renewable heat installations such as heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass. The scheme is expected to launch this Easter 2014 and is open to anyone with an MCS-accredited installation which was made after 15 July 2009. The scheme was introduced to help further the government’s aim of having 12 per cent of heating coming from renewable sources by 2020.

You can view the Ofgem product eligibility list here.

More information 

YouGen guide to the renewable heat incentive

YouGen guide to biomass boilers

Domestic RHI: your questions answered

Photo Credit: massimo.maranesi via Compfight cc

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


0 comments - read them below or add one

No Comments.

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.