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Why are people who are eligible for renewable heat incentive failing to apply?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 28 November 2014 at 3:01 pm

Have you installed a renewable heating system since 15 July 2009? If so, you are probably eligible to apply for the renewable heat incentive (RHI), a government scheme to encourage take up of air and groundsource heat pumps, solar water heating and biomass stoves and boilers. The scheme, which is paid out over seven years, helps offset the additional cost of these technologies, and in some cases will pay back the installation cost.

Seven months after the scheme launched many of those who are eligible haven't applied to the scheme. And the clock is ticking. Time will run out for legacy applications (those who installed before 9 April 2014) on 8 April 2015. The rate you receive will not be affected by the planned reduction in the rate for biomass boilers from 1 January 2015.

Those who have already benefited from the renewable heat premium payments grant scheme (RHPP) can also apply for the full RHI. The amount you have already received will be subtracted from the total paid to you over the seven years of the scheme. 

We've had a number of people ask if it's worth the bother applying. A quick way to find out is to use the renewable heat calculator to estimate what you'd get. Then if you've already had RHPP, subtract that amount.

Ofgem has a guide for legacy applicants, which you can read here and an essential guide for applicants which is here.

If you haven't already, you will also need to get a green deal assessment done on your property before you apply. If it recommends cavity wall and/or loft insulation, you will also have to install that to qualify.

More information about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on YouGen.

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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

stuart smith

stuart smithComment left on: 1 December 2014 at 9:00 pm

My RHI payments Cathy were based upon my installer Ecovision's estimate of useful heat output (presumably heat demand) of 21372 kwh per annum whereas on my EPC the heat demand figure is only about 12000 even before deduction of the non renewable electricity element. I think the very basic calculator for the EPC appears to be the problem. I certainly can't sing the praises of the RHI like I was doing That said im glad I'm not still on oil and I do like my Dimplex ASHP.

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MikelComment left on: 1 December 2014 at 4:09 pm

Hi Cathy,

for those who have legacy installations, the heat pump would have been sized according to a heat loss calculation and the CoP dependent on oversized rads. The payments are based on the heat demand from the EPC, which gives in many cases a much lower figure, something like by 5000 kWh in my case.

Expectations were raised that the return would be greater. Arguably, that return would have been too generous. It looks like biomass boilers have proved the most popular under the RHI and possibly give the greater return.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 1 December 2014 at 9:13 am

Hi Stuart - thank you for that feedback. I'd be interested to know specifically why you feel short changed. Is it that you were led to expect much better, or you think that the help is a bit stingy? Did you expect the SPF to be higher?

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stuart smith

stuart smithComment left on: 29 November 2014 at 4:25 pm

Hi Cathy I have left my application for the RHI until now as I have had great difficulty in getting a re-assessment of the of the SPF for my Air Source Heat Pump. This has now been done and turns out to only be 2.7 despite installing oversized rads and having a top of the range ASHP. Having also now recd a much lower heat demand figure in the EPC than originally expected I now expect to receive less than £400 pa for 7 years against a total investment of about £10000. Whilst better than nothing might this be one reason why so many people are not rushing to get what they're entitled to? Personally I feel those installing ASHP's have been short c hanged a bit Stuart Smith

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