My heat pump isn't on Ofgem's product eligibility list. Can I still claim RHI?
Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 16 July 2014 at 10:08 am
I installed a Stiebel Eltron (WPL 16 AS) ASHP in 2010. It does not appear in the list of eligible appliances and the installer did not supply an MCS certificate. (only a completion certificate). I wish to apply for RHI but cannot get in contact with the installer. How can I get an MCS certificate and can I apply for this heat pump if it’s not on the eligible list?
A: You have two problems here – firstly your heat pump is not listed as eligible and secondly, your installer didn’t provide you with the necessary certification.
The short answer is that without these two criteria, you do not qualify for the renewable heat incentive.
In order for you to qualify for RHI your heat pump must appear on the PEL and your installer must be accredited by the microgeneration certificate scheme (MCS).
Now, let’s address each of these problems in turn.
If your product isn’t listed on the PEL this is either because it has not yet been determined as fulfilling the necessary criteria or because it was put forward for approval but was deemed not to have met those criteria.
If it’s the former, you may just need to nudge the manufacturer or the installer to get the product listed. Read this blog on how to get this done.
Now in your particular case, I have spoken to Steibel Eltron directly on your behalf, and unfortunately, it appears that your particular model didn’t meet the required standards. Here’s what they’ve had to say:
“The heat pump was put forward for MCS approval but it didn’t achieve the required sound pressure tests so the product was withdrawn as Stiebel Eltron UK had other products coming through that were better and met the requirements. There are now 38 Stiebel Eltron heat pumps which are MCS approved.”
Unfortunately this means you are not eligible for RHI. Short of taking it out and installing a certified product, you have no recourse to apply.
Which brings me round to your second problem – your installer.
If your installer sold you the heat pump on the basis that is would be eligible for RHI then they are guilty of mis-selling. If they’ve gone out of business, then sadly you have very little comeback.
However, if they are still in business complain in the first instance to them – assuming you manage to get hold of them – and ask them how they plan to rectify the matter. You should also check if they are themselves registered with the MCS by searching the database here. If so, you should complain to their MCS certification body.
Finally, check if they are signatories of the renewable energy consumer code (RECC) by searching their database here. If they are, RECC will still be interested to hear if they have mis-sold under the RHI. Here are the guidelines on how to complain.
I know it doesn't help you now, and I sympathise with you for your situation. However, your story should act as a cautionary tale for others installing heat pumps with the intention of claiming RHI: always check the product eligibility list and always use an MCS acredited installer.
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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