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Domestic renewable heat incentive LIVE online Q&A!

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 28 July 2014 at 9:23 am

The online Q&A is now closed. Massive thanks to everyone who took part. If you have any more questions about domestic RHI then please have a look at our renewable heat incentive information pages and at our renewable heat incentive: your questions answered blog. We will no longer be answering questions on this blog. 

 

Welcome to YouGen's live online Q&A session with representatives from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) from 2-3pm TODAY (28 July).

Nine DECC representatives are now standing by to answer your questions about the domestic renewable heat incentive and what it can do for you.

If you have a question about an application, a heating system, the metering and monitoring package the biomass suppliers list, or anything domestic RHI related, then post your questions in the comments section at the end of this blog now.

Alternatively or email us and we will post them on your behalf. DECC are answering questions HERE until 3pm today.

We look forward to hearing from you!  

The domestic renewable heat incentive, launched in April this year, makes quarterly payment to households who have installed eligible renewable heating systems. The payments last seven years. Click here to read more about it. 

 

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

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Comments

57 comments - read them below or add one

Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 29 July 2014 at 11:38 am

@TonyLewis

DECC are checking their stats in relation to MCS accreditation figures but they tell me the person with the definitive figures is on annual leave. I am assured your question is not being ignored and they will get you an answer next week. 

Sorry for the delay.

Tasha

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 29 July 2014 at 11:28 am

@NigelDent - DECC missed you yesterday - sorry about that. Here's a respond from NicholasfromDECC which he sent to me today.

Tasha

 

Hi Nigel,

Apologies for missing your question yesterday, I’m afraid it got lost in the rush of responses so I didn’t see it!  However we have an answer for you now.

1.      DECC requires that heat and electricity meters record information at least every 2 minutes. DECC have built up substantial experience in measuring the performance of heating technologies through various field trials that we have run and we have found that this is the level of detail required to give a reasonably accurate estimate of performance. We have found that short periods of operation, for example when hot water is used for a few minutes, can have a significant impact on the overall performance when considered over a year and that these need to be measured accurately in order for a MMSP to be useful and meaningful.

2.      Ideally we’d like to be in a position where we could offer MMSPs to all technologies covered by the Domestic RHI. However, we need to be confident that the measurement of any technology can be done accurately enough to allow meaningful information to be provided to RHI recipients. For biomass systems which aren’t pellet boilers, it is difficult to obtain accurate measurements. For example, it is difficult to estimate how much energy is contained in non-pellet biomass before it is burnt. It is also difficult to measure how much heat is generated by a stove system which provides part of its useful heat output directly into the air of the room in which it is installed. Because of these difficulties we are only offering MMSPs for heat pumps and biomass pellet boilers.

There have been several queries about MMSPs, so for more general information have a look at Ofgem’s factsheet and guidance documents below:

High level factsheet:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/metering-and-monitoring-service-package-domestic-renewable-heat-incentive-rhi

Detailed guidance document:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/87132/essentialguidetooptionalmonitoringweb.pdf

 

 

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 29 July 2014 at 10:05 am

@Litz

You narrowly missed the deadline for response to your question yesterday, but I've chased Ofgem on your behalf and here's the response they've provided. I hope it helps:

 

@Litz

Thank you for your question.

Under the Domestic RHI regulations, there are a number of listed scenarios, which, if applicable, would mean an applicant does not have to install loft and/or cavity wall insulation. One of the scenarios where an applicant would be exempt is where it is infeasible to insulate due to the structural conditions of the property. If an applicant tells us that they cannot insulate for this reason, we will ask for a letter from a chartered surveyor which confirms that it is unfeasible to install insulation. For a full list of scenarios which may mean an applicant is exempt from installing loft and/or cavity insulation, please see our information on ‘Insulation Exemptions’. Only scenarios on this list are exempt from installing loft and/or cavity wall insulation; in all other scenarios applicants will be required to install this (if it is not installed already) to be eligible for the scheme. If you require further information on a specific scenario, please email the Domestic RHI inbox at domesticrhi@ofgem.gov.uk and we will look into the situation further.

Regards,

The Ofgem Team

 

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 5:54 pm

@peedee

We now have an answer for you.

With regard to the ban on HFC refrigerants:  it is not an absolute ban but a ‘phase down’ in the use of HFCs after 2020 (some older refrigerants are already being phased out).  This means that the sale of heat pumps using certain refrigerants will not be allowed after certain dates, but there will be no restrictions on the use of heat pumps sold before these dates and which use these refrigerants. We are working with the industry to develop alternatives which transition away from high GWP refrigerants such as CO2 (R744) and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) .

The fundamental physics of heat pumps are well understood and are well documented in many thermodynamics text books. DECC is aware that the installed performance of heat pumps can vary widely from the theoretical maximum and has been working with industry to understand why this is and to drive forward performance standards. In particular, DECC worked with the Energy Savings Trust to analyse the results of their heat pump field trials https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/analysis-from-the-first-phase-of-the-energy-saving-trust-s-heat-pump-field-trial which lead to major improvements in the Microgeneration certification scheme standards for heat pumps. DECC is currently measuring the performance of over 700 heat pumps installed under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme. A preliminary report, based on one months worth of data, was published in January 2014 and indicated an improvement in installed heat pump performance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preliminary-report-on-the-renewable-heat-premium-payment-metering-programme

Analysis of the whole data set will be undertaken once the data collection phase is completed and the results will be published in a report which we aim to have completed by early 2015.

 

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:17 pm

@lola2002

Hi Lola,

In bringing in these requirements we’ve tried to be as fair as possible to both legacy applicants and new applicants to the scheme. We had to decide on a point where the air quality requirement would take effect and after some deliberation we decided that the launch of the scheme on 9th April was the most suitable. 

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:16 pm

@Davidgent

Provided you are sourcing logs from his own estate (i.e. the family farm) you will be able to register on the Biomass Suppliers List (https://www.gov.uk/register-biomass-supplier ) as a self-supplier. To apply, he’ll need to answer a few online questions about his installation and provide some evidence that he will be self-supplying, such as a woodland management plan or felling licences.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:13 pm

@BetweentheGreen

Hi Robin,

In order to be eligible for the domestic RHI an installation must be certified by MCS or an equivalent scheme as having been installed in accordance with the relevant installation standards i.e. you will need an MCS certificate.  If your installation does not meet this requirement then it will not be eligible.

Furthermore the specific product that is installed must meet certain product standards. All products which are known to meet these requirements are listed on Ofgem’s Product Eligibility List. The list can be found here.  If your product does not appear on this list, or is not listed as eligible, please contact your installer or the product manufacturer for more information.  They will be able to advise as to whether steps are being or have been undertaken to assess whether or not the product will appear on the list as an eligible product in the future.

I hope this helps!

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PaulfromDECC

PaulfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:07 pm

@BethT

Hi Beth - just to reiterate, we haven't made any decisions regarding the eligibilty date yet and we will be considering this as part of the overall eligibility criteria of this type of system.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:02 pm

Hi all,

Thanks everyone for your questions, we are just finishing off the last few answers.  If you had any questions which you didn't get a chance to post, you can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

Nick

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Litz

LitzComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:01 pm

I am a GDA and I keep being asked about the eligibilty requirements for the RHI.  Obviously I conduct the assessment to the conventions but for example, if a loft is boarded, we would enter 'unknown' into the software for insulation depth.  This does not generate a recommendation for loft insulation.  I wouldn't necessarily advise the owner to remove the boarding to insulate for the GDAR if not financially viable or practical.  Does this meet the requirements for the RHI?  I have asked the Energy Saving Advice Service, Ofgem and my accreditation body.  No one has given a definitive answer.  It seems to be at the discretion of the GDA but how can we advise without knowing how far the owner is expected to go?  What is deemed 'feasible?'  There are also grey areas for loft insulation requirements surrounding thatched properties and rooms in the roof.  Any clarification would be appreciated.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 3:01 pm

Ok folks we are closing the blog to new questions now although hopefully DECC and Ofgem will continue to address the outstanding questions before they leave us.

If you have other questions please direct them to this blog or email them in and as always, we'll do our best to get an answer. 

Thank you DECC and Ofgem for an entertaining and informative hour! We look forward to working with you again soon. 

 

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:59 pm

@peedee

Hi,

We haven't forgotten your questions, but it's quite technical so we're taking it away and will respond to your after this Q&A session.

Nick

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:57 pm

@LEEAdkin

Hi Lee,

The budget for the domestic RHI will be managed through degression (lowering) of tariffs for new applicants as pre-set levels of spend (triggers) set out in the RHI Regulations are reached. Degression tests will take place quarterly, providing one month’s notice of any degression. The firs will be made by 1st September 2014.

Degression triggers be set for each technology in the scheme until the end of 2015-16. Triggers for April 2016 onwards will be published during 2015-16, when the future budget allocation for the RHI is known. There also a higher “super trigger” for each technology to guard against sudden, unexpected and very high over-deployment of any technology.

If a trigger is hit, the tariff for that technology will be reduced by 10%; if a super trigger is hit, that tariff will be reduced by 20%This will apply to all technologiesLegacy applicants (people who installed between 15th July 2009 and the launch of the domestic scheme) will be protected from any tariff reductions for the first year of the scheme, after which the scheme will close to legacy applications.

Monthly updates of progress towards the triggers published on the gov.uk website. The monthly data we publish include the estimation of the total amount of committed expenditure for each tariff for the next 12 months

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PaulfromDECC

PaulfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:56 pm

@SteveF

Hi Steve – if you have one system using two products (such as two ASHPs linked together), this may be eligible depending on the configuration of the system. However, if you have two separate ASHP systems heating the same property, you can only apply for one, and it will need to be metered in order to calculate your payments.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:56 pm

@Jo

Hello and thank you for your question on solar thermal which I shall try and answer. The decision to restrict support to domestic hot water only solar thermal systems for the launch of the domestic RHI was based on the following considerations:

At the time that we made our decision, market intelligence showed that only a small minority of solar thermal systems were designed to provide space heating and there was limited performance data. Furthermore, supporting solar thermal for space heating would not present good value for money, as the RHI budget comes from public funds – this is because solar thermal systems are only capable of meeting a small portion of a house’s heat demand, and are not as cost-effective in space heating when compared to other technologies. In the domestic RHI, we have minimised the use of meters and in many cases use an estimate of space and hot water usage (deeming) for payments. The solar thermal deeming methodology is only appropriate for systems that only produce domestic hot water. If space heating were included we would not be able to use this methodology and would potentially need to require metering for all solar thermal systems.

This is not to say that the domestic RHI is closed to extending its support to other technologies such as solar space heating in the future.  We recognise the importance of innovation and that technologies develop over time.  We have set out the criteria that new technologies need to meet and the process to go through in order to become eligible for the RHI in the future.  These can be found on our website in a document called ‘New technologies: process towards eligibility’.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:54 pm

@TwoASHP

Hi, in answer to your question on MMSPs.

The Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSPs) is different from situations such as yours where you have a renewable heating system installed alongside a fossil fuel heating system and metering is required to receive payments. You can still opt for a MMSP though if you feel it would be beneficial.

As the incentive for MMSPs has only just launched, we aren’t aware of any companies offering it just yet, although we know that some are planning to launch eligible packages shortly. We don’t currently publish data on MMSPs, but we intend to start publishing this in the autumn.  We have budget to pay the first 2,500 applicants who choose to install a package, at an additional £200 per year for biomass boilers and £230 per year for heat pumps. This would be on top of their RHI payments.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:54 pm

@NicholasfromDECC on behalf of @DavidGent

Re his question about burning his own logs - can you elucidate on the regulations surrounding the biomass suppliers list and how so-called self-suppliers are accomodated under the rules?

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RhiannonfromOfgem

RhiannonfromOfgemComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:51 pm

@derbysolar

Hello

Thank you for your question about payments. All deemed applicants will be paid based on the estimated heat demand figure from the EPC. The EPC separates out the heat demand for space and water heating, so if your heating system provides water heating as well as space heating, you will be paid on both space and water figures. For more information, see page 27 of the Essential Guide for Applicants.

If your biomass boiler needs to be metered, you will be paid based on meter readings, capped at the deemed amount shown on the EPC. To see whether your heating system needs to be metered, please read 'Do I need metering for the Domestic RHI?'

Regards

The Ofgem Team

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:50 pm

@DavidGent

Hi David,

Log burning stoves with back boilers are not eligible for the domestic RHI. We suggest that if you wish to apply to the RHI he may wish to consider other options (no matter how attractive any log burning heaters might be) – for example, log boilers are eligible.

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lola2002uk

lola2002ukComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Nicholas, as I said we have already asked the manufacturers and they are looking into having the product tested again.

I would appreciate an answer to my question, "Why is there no latitude given for an appliance that was already in the supply chain, which is surely normal practice when regulations change."

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:44 pm

@PaulfromDECC

This is from @BethT in relation to your comments about her Klover Smart 120 biomass stove. I'd draw your attention to her second point about the date of the eligibility criteria. Furthermore, can I ask whether you have a timescale for coming to a decision about cooker/stoves? There will be people waiting for your decision in order to install.

From @BethT:

Thank you for your reply. The points you make about the efficiency and compliance of the Klover Smart 120 hardly seem worthy of further consideration. It seems unjust to me to give a product eligibility for RHI a few months after a date and not an identical one fitted a few months before the date, when manufacturers, suppliers, installers and customers believed it would be eligible.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:40 pm

@lola2002uk

Hi Lola,

As the Domestic scheme continues to bed in so more manufacturers are continually testing products to meet the required standards. You can access a list of products that meet the air quality requirements at: http://rhieclist.org.uk/ If your product isn’t on the list, I suggest you contact the manufacturer directly to see what their plans are regarding the particular product you mention.

 

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PaulfromDECC

PaulfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:38 pm

@PhilOwen

Hi Phil – yes, that’s right, the owner of the installation is the only person who can apply and receive the payments – and this must be the owner / occupier of the home rather than a third party.

As mentioned by Nick, in answer to about the previous question on third party ownership, we aware that in some instances there may be a secondary arrangement in place relating to the financing of the system, but we can’t currently advise on the legality or eligibility of any such arrangements.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:35 pm

@CherryJones

Hi Cherry,

Does your 2010 EPC include information on the property’s heat demand?  If not, this is why you needed a new EPC. 

Where metering is not required Ofgem calculate RHI payments for biomass and heat pumps using the heat demand figure from the EPC. Some older EPCs did not include a heat demand figure: for most applicants this is not a problem because they are required to also undertake a Green Deal Assessment, which would include an updated EPC. As you are a self-builder, you didn’t need a Green Deal Assessment, and therefore needed to get a separate updated EPC which shows the property’s heat demand.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:28 pm

Next up we have an installer struggling with the task of maintaining their MCS accreditation - a prerequisite for installers whose customers wish to claim RHI: 

@TonyLewis writes:

In December 2013 according to the Renewable Energy Installer there were 1117 MCS registered installers for ASHP. Their latest brochure July/August 2014 shows 888 installers; a fall of 229; as these installers have invested much time and money into obtaining MCS accreditation.

Why do you think over 20% of installers have relinquished their accreditation? Could it be that we have to be inspected every year, and have to show an installation carried out in the previous 12 months.

This government withdrew the RHI straight after the last election, and it took them over 3 years to come up with the current RHI. Within this time we have still had to show competence 3 times since then with installations.

 Pehaps if MP’s had to be accredited and inspected every 12 months and have to pay over £1500.00 for the privilage they might begin to understand some of the hoops we have to jump through. Your thoughts?

 

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:23 pm

Here's one for you Ofgem from @derbysolar:

Can you please clarify exactly how domestic RHI payments will be made i.e does Ofgem use the EPC or the Greendeal report. Is the water heating demand figure deducted from the space heating demand figure or does this count for RHI as well if coming from the biomass boiler ?

Many thanks

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:21 pm

Our reader @DavidGent has his own log supply and want to know if he can use it and still claim RHI. Plus, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but DECC do you have a view on his quest for good looking stoves?!

I have access to a log supply from the family farm and it is not economic to chip/pellet the wood simply to attract RHI. Please could you ask whether there are any (attractive) room heaters with back boilers that are eligible burning logs?

 

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SteveF

SteveFComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:21 pm

I have installed two ASHP to deal with different parts of the property and I am about to have my EPC/Green Deal Assessement done so that I can apply for RHI.

Can you tell me how RHI deals with two heat pumps so that I can make sure the surveyor produces the correct data in the reports?

Thanks

Steve

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:20 pm

@mike_read99

Hi Mike, 

All assessors are trained to the same standards and all have to abide by a series of conventions which cover how they should record data, to ensure consistency in the production of Energy Performance Certificates and Green Deal Assessments.  There is a system of audits by the Schemes which accredit assessors to check that, with the same information recorded, that they can reproduce the assessment to within a few points as part of quality control. 

Ofgem will always use the most recent EPC for the purposes of calculating RHI payments, so it is not possible to pick and choose the EPC that will be used. We have to allow people to choose whether they want additional Green Deal Assessments, as the position of the householder may have changed since the last Assessment (ie they may have acted on recommendations within the Assessment). The time, cost and inconvenience of commissioning multiple Assessments also needs to be taken into account.   Finally, if an RHI participant is found to have been accredited on the basis of incorrect information (such as an erroneous EPC), then their RHI payments can be stopped and they could be required to repay any money received.

 

For your second question

 

It is very hard to comment without seeing the particular house, but the main point is likely to be that your neighbour has a bigger space to heat and some of this is in an open lofted room which will have been harder to insulate.  This means he would be likely to need to install a larger and most costly heating system. DECC policies are considered in the round – and in general a fabric first principle applies, which is why the RHI has minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity wall insulation, where recommended.  It is also worth noting that those with more insulated houses may get less RHI payments for seven years, but will have installed a smaller and cheaper heating system, and will be better off in the long run through lower fuel bills long after the RHI payments have come to an end.

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RhiannonfromOfgem

RhiannonfromOfgemComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:19 pm

@DavidC

Thank you for your question.

 

If you declare that the property has been occupied for 183 days or less in the year previous to application, then the application can still be accredited (assuming all other eligibility criteria have been met), but would need to be metered. If you don’t want to be metered, you might want to consider waiting until you have occupied the property for this amount of time before applying (we understand that this delays his application, but it’s the only way around not being metered).

You can find more information on metering by reading the Essential Guide to Metering.

 

We (Ofgem) require applicants to demonstrate their eligibility as a new build by requesting certain pieces of evidence to satisfy the regulations (as the scheme is not open to new build properties other than self-build.)

The evidence required is listed below –

Title Information Documents (Title Deeds, or Official Copy of the Register Entry) from the Land Registry, and Completion certificate (for building regulations), and Evidence of either: self-build mortgage or self-build loan or proof of DIY house-builders’ VAT exemption on building materials from HMRC or proof of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) exemption or official invoices (with VAT number) for building materials/works addressed to applicant.

 

Regards

 

The Ofgem Team

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:19 pm

And this from @LEEAdkin about whether RHI tariffs will be reduced as uptake increases: 

Can the government confirm the RHi rates will not be reduced like solar FIT were and how long do they intend to implement RHI?

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:18 pm

Another one from @Jo related to solar thermal and RHI:

 

My main questions is: why will the RHI not pay for solar hot water if it is incidentally making a contribution to heating as well?

We install a lot of systems with a solar thermal input. We have always set the solar up to run to a thermal store or accumulator tank and put the primary heat source (biomass, gas or oil boiler) into the same store. Heating and hot water is then drawn off the thermal store/tank.

There are so many more benefits to such a system over a 'hot water only' solar installation:

·         the solar contributes to the heating as well as hot water - during sunny, colder days when the heating is still on the main boiler won't have to raise the tank temperature so much, as the solar will have done some of the work. This reduces energy bills.

·         all of the solar gain is harnessed in the tank as a thermal store is so much larger than a standard hot water tank

·         there is less stagnation of the panels because there is capacity in the tank to store all of solar gain at peak times

We have also installed large arrays that will do much of the heat required for an indoor swimming pool; dramatically reducing the use of the boiler.

Why then, when this is a far more effective and comprehensive method of harnessing solar gain, has this set up been excluded from the RHI? The input can be calculated in the same way as hot water only systems - it seems unnecessary.

We have also found that, with economies of scale, larger solar arrays will make their money back in 7 years and save their owners a good deal more on energy bills. This is never the case for 1-2 panel, hot water only systems.

Solar thermal is one of the most effective, efficient and direct means of renewable energy into people's homes, can its remit not be widened to heating and indoor pools to maximise its benefit? Just to be clear, I don't want to discuss the level of the incentive (19.2p); rather ways of using solar to maximise the benefits of the technology which will naturally increase take up and improve the payback to owners.

 

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:17 pm

RobertPalgrave

If you don’t think your Green Deal Assessment Report (GDAR) lived up to your expectations, we suggest you take up a complaint with the assessor or the company employing the assessor.  This company should be carrying out quality assurance monitoring. In parallel if you can provide the details of the assessments, the assessor and the employing company we can forward it to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for further investigation (DCLG manage the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) scheme).

Although it is not possible for us to make comments on specific Assessments or EPCs, in general, the answer to some of these points is likely to arise from the different information a Green Deal Assessment provides compared to an EPC. As noted, the EPC is based on standardised assessments of the typical energy use of that kind of home.  The Green Deal Occupancy Assessment should have more information about the occupants and their needs, so hot water use, for example, may very well be different.  You should also be aware that assessors cannot record data they cannot see themselves. Their code of conduct does not allow them to rely on the word of occupants.  Nor are they allowed to make intrusive investigations into walls to check levels of insulation.  So, for building work, it is really helpful to keep the building work certificates, which indicate the level of performance of the insulation products.  These can be used as evidence on the report.

Green Deal Assessments (GDAs) are proving very popular.  Over 260,000 GDAs have been carried out to date, and research shows that 76% of people who’ve had a Green Deal assessment are taking action. 

In terms of the accuracy of EPCs, following responses to our consultation in 2012, we made this decision by balancing the need for accuracy against the costs and risks of delivery if every installation was metered.  As responses to the consultation argued, although metering has advantages in terms of the accuracy it delivers, there was a consensus that it would not currently be feasible to implement for the number of installations expected under the RHI.  However, we will review the situation, and if the metering elements of the scheme progress well, we hope to move to metering for all new applicants in due course.

 

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Phil Owen

Phil OwenComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:17 pm

Regarding the the companies that are offering free bio mass boilers, I didn't think anyone else but the owner/occupier could claim the RHI payments. We would like to install a couple of systems for a couple of family memebers on the basis of us receiving the RHI payments. Can this be set up and how would we go about it?

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PaulfromDECC

PaulfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:16 pm

@AntBarraclough

@BethT

Regarding cooking stoves, such as Klover 80/120 – these are biomass stoves that can also provide a cooking functionality, essentially by channelling excess heat that is already produced, into cooking facilities. 

These are currently excluded by our regulatory restriction on generating heat for the purpose of cooking food.  We've had suggestions that cooker stoves should be eligible for the domestic RHI, since they have been designed primarily to provide space and/or water heating. Also that they are equivalent to other eligible biomass products since their cooking functionality is a secondary purpose, and does not otherwise affect their performance as space and/or water heaters.

We are currently assessing whether there may be grounds for cooker stove type products to be made eligible for the domestic RHI on the basis that their primary purpose is to provide space heating and/or water heating.  If we decide to change our position we will also need to decide whether that change would apply only to new applicants, or whether existing stoves should also be eligible. 

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:15 pm

And for a look at the metering and monitoring services package: 

DECC can you explain what it is and how to access it? 

Also this reader question about installers wishing to register for MMSP:

@NigelDent for industry asks: 

1) Why does the resolution of data collection need to be so onerous? 1 minute interval seems to be very high frequency when most elec & gas smart metering is 30 min interval data 

2) Why is the MMSP only for pellet boilers and not other wood boilers such as log or chip? 


 

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RhiannonfromOfgem

RhiannonfromOfgemComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:14 pm

@Rob Snaith
Consultant

Ricardo-AEA

 

Thank you for your question about transfer of ownership. We are currently finalising the process for transfer of ownership. In the mean time, if you are intending to sell your property, please contact the advice service on domesticrhi@ofgem.gov.uk providing information on when you intend to sell your property. Once you have sold your property, we will suspend payments for your heating system. The new owner of the property will then need to get in touch with us and we will confirm whether the heating system remains eligible to receive payments under the Domestic RHI. We may require information from the new property owner in order to do this, and we will request this when they contact us.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:14 pm

@popsiclecat

First, it’s great to hear that you are saving 2/3 from your bills compared to LPG, and we hope to encourage more installations like yours. 

It is very hard to comment without seeing the particular house, but we will make some general points. RHI calculations are not based on MCS installation heat loss calculations but rather the calculation of heat demand on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The two sets of calculations are very different and carried out for different purposes.  The EPC calculation has standard assumed weather patterns, regardless of actual weather.  It is not based on actual energy use, which will vary year on year based on factors like how harsh the winter was.  It is based on a modeled assessment of the amount of heat properties of that type require typically to keep a certain number of people warm, and to supply them with hot water.  

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:12 pm

First off, the one from Tasha on 3rd party ownership:

The rules of the domestic RHI state that the applicant must own or occupy the home where the system is installed. Therefore it is unlikely a separate company will qualify to receive the domestic RHI payments for a system installed in your home.

If a company installs an eligible system in your home, you may be able to claim RHI payments. The company could ask you to enter a separate agreement to pay that money to them to cover the cost of the installation, but that would be unrelated to your RHI claim.

We are aware that some companies are offering other arrangements that they say will allow them to claim the RHI payments directly. These may involve the company leasing a small proportion of your property, for example. We cannot currently advise on the legality or eligibility of such arrangements, or on any other implications of entering such an arrangement.

Before entering into an agreement with a company we would advise that you take independent legal advice and seek guidance from relevant parties including your building insurer and (if you have a mortgage) your mortgage provider.

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NicholasfromDECC

NicholasfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:12 pm

Hi all,  I'm Nick and I work with Paul at DECC, ready to answer your RHI questions!

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PaulfromDECC

PaulfromDECCComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hi everyone, my name is Paul Henderson, and I work in the RHI team at DECC. I'm here with a number of colleagues from the policy and operations teams, and will be posting responses to as many of the questions posed here as possible.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 2:02 pm

Two questions about RHI and solar thermal stores, echoing Stuart Elmes' views on this blog. Time to revisit this DECC?

@jonathanellis says:

is it true that you cannot claim rhi for a solar thermal installation that is fitted to a thermal store ?

@tontessolar says:

Why were solar thermal systems connected to a thermal store excluded from the RHI and when will they be included? And what do you think the consequences have been of this policy?"

Really like to know if DECC are aware of the impact of their policy. Our customers have asked us to switch their super green solar thermal heating systems back to providing domestic hot water only, then apply for the RHI then switch back.  Really ridiculous waste of time and environmentally damaging.

Many thanks

Andrew

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 1:55 pm

Another question about the KloverSmart 120, this time from @AntBarraclough. Maybe DECC would like to answer this one and @BethT together... 

Hi our question is, we are looking to change are very ancient and inefficient Rayburn for a Klover Smart 120 pellet cooker. Before the RHI was released it was available for the upfront grant against the RHI payments and our installer was too busy to fit one, now after the release of the RHI it is no longer on the list!
Is it going to be put back on the list of eligable devices? and if so when?
If not why not? As it makes so much sense!
Many thanks

Regards Ant Barraclough Cert Ed


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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 1:48 pm

And another one about biomass eligibility for RHI from @BethT:

Please can you put my concern to DECC:

Last summer I replaced an oil-fired boiler and open coal fire with a Klover Smart 120 pellet stove to heat and supply hot water to my home. The stove has a hotplate and oven, but cooking is a secondary function, when the stove is on anyway.

I was very sruprised and disappointed that this pellet stove and similar would not be eligible for RHI because of the cooking facility, regardless of its being very efficient and meeting the space and water heating requirements.

My installer informed me that discussions had been taking place with the Minister, who was persuaded that this stove should be eligible for RHI, but the Ofgem website still has it listed as in ineligible.

I would like to know whether the status of the Klover Smart 120 is being/has been re-considered and when those concerned will be informed.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 1:42 pm

Here's one from @CherryJones about selfbuild and RHI:

My question is : what is the criteria used for new(self) build, it is not clear what date can be classed as new build.  Our situation is that our new self build was completed in 2010 and our EPC has been deemed to be outdated for the purposes of the RHI application form and so we have had to go to the expense of having another EPC even though nothing has changed since the original!
Many thanks
Cherry Jones

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lola2002uk

lola2002ukComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 1:21 pm

In January we decided to change our wood burning stove with back boiler for a pellet stove with boiler. On starting to research products we found out about RHI and were of course keen to apply.

The first challenge was to find an MCS accredited installer in our area who was interested in doing the work. This proved to be very difficult and we were constantly turned down by installers. We managed to get 2 companies out to give a quote in the first 2 weeks of February, both of them coming from north Suffolk, over an hour’s drive away. Only 1 of the companies supplied a quote!

Whilst this was going on, we were also struggling to find a company to do our Green Deal assessment, which was finally done on 24th January 2014.

I was also searching for the right product and disregarded many as their NOX and PM emissions were too high. We finally settled on a Piazzetta P966TH which seemed perfect; it was well within the air quality requirements, had the large output that we need and was an MCS accredited product. Our installer contacted the UK dealer and ordered the stove on 12th February. The pellet stove had to come from Italy and was expected in about 6 weeks.

The installation begun on 5th April, when they removed the wood burner and put in most of the new pipework. The inglenook fireplace then needed to be plastered; this was done over 2 days on 7th and 9th April. The installer could not come back until 17th April and in fact he had to return several times as it was a very difficult installation. The Piazzetta was finally commissioned on 29th April.

The Piazzetta is now not eligible for RHI because when the scheme launched in April the requirements changed for the required evidence in air quality. Apparently they now need 3 tests done and the Piazzetta only had 2. Why is there no latitude given for an appliance that was already in the supply chain, which is surely normal practice when regulations change?

Unless we can persuade the manufacturers to have the product retested, we are faced with the prospect of having to have another pellet stove installed, in order to qualify for RHI. This seems really unfair especially as if the stove had been commissioned just a few weeks earlier it would be eligible. If it had been easier to find an installer then the work would have been completed earlier.

I would be very interested to hear your comments on this matter and any advice on how to proceed.

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Between the Green

Between the GreenComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 12:26 pm

Hi, I would like to ask about the list of biomass boilers eligible for the RHI.

In August, 2009 we installed a Tatano Kalorina 2304. We later discovered that this was not MCS-registered, as it was a variant of the registered model. The only difference was that the hopper was to the right of the boiler rather than the left!

This meant that we did not receive the grant that was available at that time throught the Energy Saving Trust.

Apparently, this model obtained MCS approval at a later date, but it was withdrawn by the time the RHI was finalised.

So we are now told by our supplier that we are not eligible for the RHI. Can this be correct or fair?

Robin.

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 12:14 pm

I've just heard that we'll have two representatives from Ofgem answering questions here today too! Ofgem are charged with delivering domestic RHI on behalf of DECC which means they're the ones to answer questions about the application process and scheme administration. 

Here's a question from @Rob Snaith to start you off guys! 

Hi,

I’d like to know the process for transfer of ownership.  I am registered to receive DRHI but plan to sell my house in the near future, so need to know how I would go about transferring my payments to the new owners.

Thank You.

Rob Snaith
Consultant
Ricardo-AEA

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DavidC

DavidCComment left on: 25 July 2014 at 12:12 pm

Having just completed a new build with a GSHP, I just tried to register for RHI.  However the online form requires me to have lived in the house for more than 50% of the previous year before it will accept the application.  Is this how it is supposed to operate, or is this just trying to trap holiday-home owners? 

Everything else I've read about RHI indicates that new builds qualify immediately, with no delay to application as there is for existing houses. 

I look forward to hearing back on this, I can't get any sense from the helpline or email service.

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peedee

peedeeComment left on: 24 July 2014 at 3:02 pm

Q1: In April 2014, the European Parliament banned the HFC refrigerants on a phase down(websearch 'fgas ban').  R410A refrigerant is almost universally used in heat pumps today and is an HFC.   1.1: When, in DECC's view, will the ban start to impact the ability of the heat pump industry to maintain HFC filled heat pumps.   1.2:  Is it not a case of consumer mis-selling to sell an HFC filled heat pump to a consumer without telling the consumer of this ban, so that the consumer can judge for themselves if they wish to take the risk of having an unmaintable pump before normal end-of-life?   1.3:  What sort of heat pump will replace the HFC filled variety available today and can one of these new varities be bought now, either on the RHI or elsewhere?     Q2:  The efficiency (and by implication the cost) of operating a heat pump depends on the actual CoP(Coefficient of Performance) of the pump as it operates at varying inlet and outlet temperatures.  Pure electrical resistive heating has a CoP of 1 and the best pump that I know of, that is available on the UK market today, achieves over 6 at A7/A20.   My pump is rated at a CoP of 5.7 at A7/A20(ambient air 7C/air temperature in the house 20C).  This pump cost £138 in electricity to heat my house (5-bed, modern, detached, estate house) through (12/10/2013 to 1/5/2014) last winter.  I have seen domestic heat pumps bought on the RHI scheme that cost over £2000 to run over the last winter to heat similar properties.   2.1 Why the vast difference in performance/cost? & 2.2 What is DECC going to do about this vast difference?       Q3:   3.1:  Do DECC accept that Carnot's Law (websearch 'wikipedia Carnots Law') governs the operation of heat pumps? 3.2:  Do DECC accept that the maximum theoretical efficiency of a heat pump can be calculated as CoP(max)= Th/(Th-Tc) where Th and Tc are the temperatures of the hot and cold refrigerant in a running heat pump, expressed in degrees absolute?      Taking the formula above :-        CoP(5/60)=(273+60)/(60-5)=333/55=6.05        CoP(5/30)=(273+30)/(30-5)=303/25=12.1        The ratio of the CoPs at (5/60) and (5/30)=12.1/6.05=2        5C is an average winter temperature in the UK,        60C is the temperature of a hot, wet radiator system &        30C is the discharge temperature of an air-to-air pump. 3.3:  Do DECC accept that on theoretical grounds it takes twice as much electricity to pump from 5C to 60C as it does to pump from 5C to 30C, in order to transfer the same amount of heat?

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TwoASHP

TwoASHPComment left on: 24 July 2014 at 2:07 pm

I would like the following questions answered by DECC at the live online event on 28th July please. I have tried unsuccessfully to get answers over the telephone, which frankly is not good enough more than 3 months after the domestic RHI was launched, especially when you bear in mind that I cannot claim the RHI (I have a backup oil boiler so need metering) until the metering has been installed:

Is anyone anywhere offering the metering and monitoring service for domestic RHI ASHP? I am located near Cambridge.

The metering and monitoring package is available to the first 2,500 applicants. Have ANY applicants been granted funding yet? Have ANY applicants applied for funding yet and if so, approximately how many?

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Jon Passmore

Jon PassmoreComment left on: 24 July 2014 at 9:31 am

Editor's note: This comment has been removed as it did not pertain to RHI. Please only post questions about RHI on this thread. For questions relating to the recently cancelled green deal home improvement scheme, please post on this blog.

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mike_read99

mike_read99Comment left on: 24 July 2014 at 7:18 am

The RHI for domestic biomass is based on a GDA which estimates the space and water heat required for the building. I have compared my GDA with a neighbour who has a similar style of house (older, stone built). The main difference in our houses is that he has opened out his loft area completely. I guess that means he has a larger space to heat and his GDA assessment reflects that to a great degree - it would suggest an RHI of about £7k per year which is far more than the cost of any installation.

Is this perverse in that the RHI / GDA is over-compensating poorly insulated homes?

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mike_read99

mike_read99Comment left on: 24 July 2014 at 7:10 am

Is there anything to stop anyone having multiple Green Deal Assessments until the find the most favourable outcome?

 

Clearly, this is against the spirit of RHI etc, but is this a "hole" in the process?

 

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popsiclecat

popsiclecatComment left on: 24 July 2014 at 12:04 am

Is the RHI calculated differently for heatpumps that were put in over a year ago as the heat load on my EPC from the GDA was 1/3 of that from my MCS installers heat loss calculations. I used to have LPG and have saved 2/3 on my bills since I had my heatpump. I believe the EPC is calculated by one's previous 12 months bills but this does not take into consideration the amount I used when I was on LPG as it was over a year ago and I also have solar panels which affect my electricity bills. One also has to consider that the winter we have just had was unusually mild so obviously the heating required was significantly reduced.

 

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RobertPalgrave

RobertPalgraveComment left on: 23 July 2014 at 3:37 pm

 

I had a Green Deal Assessment earlier this month. I requested it solely because I need a GDA in order to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive (Air Source Heat Pump)

I was not expecting the process and subsequent report to be hugely informative, but even my modest expectations were not met. Overall I was totally unimpressed.

In particular:

1. The assessor cut corners because he knew I was only getting the GDA to accompany an RHI application. He took no information about occupancy, and the GDA report actually records the house as unoccupied. He made no attempt to get a full understanding of the insulation we have fitted to dormer windows, and (normally) inaccessible parts of the loft. Nor the very substantial insulation fitted to a single thickness 4inch brick wall dividing my kitchen from a cold garage!

2. Very confusingly, the EPC produced at the same time by the same man has significantly different assessments of the space heating needs of the house. His July 2014 EPC says 22,500 kWh per year, the GDA says over 32,000.

 

3. And an earlier EPC (2012) which pre-dates me installing a lot of insulation gave the space heating demand as only 16,994kWh per year. And the figures for water heating are just as varying, with the GDA also the highest  - and how can water heating demand be stated on the GDA if the occupancy on which is based is 'unknown'?

3. The GDA recommends two measures. Firstly the standard floor insulation which appears on just about every EPC I have seen. Secondly a condensing oil boiler - why not a heat pump, which is tentatively suggested on the new EPC?!
And in a house with hard (but not impossible) to treat 'roof-rooms' - the ones I have treated myself - why not recommend insulating them instead of digging up solid floors?

Maybe I am expecting too much, but this report is sketchy (5 pages), confusing and a dreadfully poor advocate for energy efficiency. I am not surprised that hardly any home owners take any action following a GDA.

 

Leaving aside the GDA, the two EPCs themselves give contradictory and highly confusing results:

October 2012 – D (58) with potential to get to C (79)

Floor area: 170sqm, primary energy use: 209 kWh/sqm/year

Total space heating demand: 16994 kWh per year

 

July 2014 – D (67) with potential to get to C (73)

Floor area 182 sqm, primary energy use 164 kWh/sqm/year

Total space heating demand: 22573 kWh per year

 

On the face of it, these two EPCs for the same house are telling me:

- Although I have installed a lot of insulation in the past year, the heat demand of the house has gone UP by approx. 5500 kWh per year ie 33%

- At the same time as the heat demand going up, the EPC rating has IMPROVED.

It’s also totally unclear  how the heat demand figures relate to the primary energy use figures:

On the first EPC, 170 sq m using 209 Kwh per sq m would give 35530 kWh per year NOT 16994 as stated on the first EPC.

On the second EPC, 182 sq m using 164 kWh per sq m would give 29848 kWh per year NOT 22573 as stated on the second EPC.

I completely accept that assumptions have to be made in assessing buildings when areas are inaccessible or when the owner cannot provide key bits of information.  My experience with this house and with other EPCs is however that they are far too vague to be of much use. In the course of protracted house-hunting last year I looked at dozen of EPCs, and it was obvious that several EPCs were plain wrong. The most common issue is that solid walls are wrongly shown as cavity and vice-versa.

 

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 23 July 2014 at 12:03 pm

Ok, here's a question to kick things off:

We have had a number of questions here at YouGen about companies who are offering free biomass boilers in exchange for RHI payments. What is your advice to households considering taking up these offers?

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