Thermodynamic panels not eligible for RHI despite new MCS standards
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 March 2015 at 10:05 am
Standards for thermodynamic panels have now been agreed by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). While this means that people installing this technology can be confident that the panels are suitable for use in the UK and meet agreed standards, it does not mean that they will be eligible for the renewable heat incentive (RHI).We know that there are companies out there telling customers that now there are standards for thermodynamic panels, they will be eligible for the renewable heat incentive. This is NOT true. Back in 2013 when I wrote this blog a DECC spokesperson said: "There are no immediate plans to bring in support under the RHI until demonstrable performance standards are established."
When I checked again with DECC to see what the situation is now, a spokesperson said: “We are aware of the standards, but there are still no plans to include these [thermodynamic panels] in the RHI.”
Thermodynamic panels come under a new MCS classification of ‘solar assisted heat pumps’. At the time of writing none have been accredited, but manufacturers are in the process of getting their products tested to prove that they meet the standards. Once installers and products are certified they will be listed under a new category of “solar assisted heat pump” on the MCS website.
The requirements for solar assisted heat pumps (SAHPs) are all covered within the MCS heat pump standard (MIS 3005). Installers and products will need to be MCS certified against these new requirements. Existing installers will need to apply for an extension to their current scope. Make sure you check on the MCS website before going ahead with a purchase to check that your installer and product are accredited.
The installer competency requirements for the installation of solar assisted heat pump is a combination of air source heat pump and solar thermal installation competencies. These requirements are all outlined in MIS 3005. MCS certification bodies will be responsible for ensuring that companies meet these requirements.
More information about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on YouGen
Need help with any Jargon?By Cathy Debenham
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