Is my solar thermodynamic system eligible for RHI?
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 January 2015 at 11:46 am
This blog was amended on 14 January 2014 in light of the comment from Celtic Renewable Energy below
Q: I have a solar thermal installation ECO 200esm manufactured by Energie thermodynamics. I have applied for the RHI (renewable heat incentive) and been refused by Ofgem. I have a green deal certificate, EPC and an MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certificate. The installation has produced 100% of my water heating for over 2 years. At the time of the installation I was informed the system would qualify when RHI was brought in. Can you help please?
A: I am afraid that your installer misled you if they said you would definitely get RHI. There are two distinct ways of using solar to heat water. One is solar thermal panels, which are eligible for the RHI. The other is thermodynamic panels which are not currently eligible.
While your installer may have been MCS accredited for solar thermal, he won't have had accreditation for installing thermodynamic panels as this does not exist yet. No thermodynamic panels have been accredited either.
Some brands of thermodynamic panel (including Energie) have the European Solar Keymark accreditation. MCS accepts this as equivalent for solar thermal and solar PV panels, but not currently for thermodynamics. To be eligible for RHI both installer and product must be MCS accredited. When thermodynamics first came to the UK installers could issue an MCS certificate because of the Solar Keymark. However, that decision was subsequently revoked, and it was decided that specific standards for thermodynamics were needed.
MCS is in the process of deciding what standards it should apply for this technology and it is anticipated that it will be eligible for RHI (eventually, probably). However, I think it is unlikely that legacy installations will be be able to claim.
There is always a risk in installing before the legislation is in place that it might change from the original consulation document. If getting the financial incentive is key to your decision to install it's always better wait until the scheme is up and running.
More information about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on YouGen.
More information about Solar Thermal on YouGen.
Need help with any Jargon?By Cathy Debenham
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