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Heating in self-build and privately commissioned new homes is eligible for renewable heat incentive

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 15 September 2016 at 3:45 pm

We all know that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is designed to encourage the retrofit of renewable heat (RH) technologies into existing properties. However, there is a clever little exception which will help more RH technologies to be installed and it relates to new build.

Generally new build properties are not eligible for the RHI, but individual ‘custom builds’ are.  So where an individual pays for the construction of a new property, or commissions an architect or builder to do so on their behalf, or gets their hands dirty and actually does it themselves (DIY self-build) then this is classed as a ‘custom build’ and the RH system will be eligible for the RHI.

There are two clear criteria for eligibility. Firstly ‘the property must have been built principally using the labour or resources of the first owner’. They could have paid for it with a mortgage, but they have to have financed it themselves.  Secondly ‘the first owner and all subsequent owners of the property must be individuals’.  This means that it couldn’t be a development company building the house and then selling it on.

This custom build rule only appliers where the RH system was installed before the property was first occupied.

It is worth also noting that a conversion, such as a barn conversion, would normally count as a custom build. This is because it would not have been occupied previously. Therefore an individual could put in a completely new RH system as part of the conversion and commission the system prior to occupation.

On the other hand a renovation, where a building may be stripped right back to a shell, may have been occupied previously and the RH system would therefore count as retrofit and the usual RHI eligibility criteria and application process would apply.

Photo: SuperHomes

 

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

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