RHI: things to watch out for

RHI: things to watch out for

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a financial incentive scheme that was set up by the UK Government to encourage people to use renewable heat technologies in homes, businesses and local communities. Applicants receive quarterly cash payments over seven years for installing an eligible renewable heating technology.

Launched in 2014 these payments continue for 7 years per technology, so now in 2019 we are beginning to near the end of the first wave of contracts. Many of you are already thinking about what will come next. At YouGen we have recieved several enquiries about this scheme in the last few weeks, from eligiblity for a second technology, to fear of RHI-based scams. We would therefore like to shed some light on a few of these issues.

What qualifies for RHI?

Biomass boilers (not stoves apart from pellet boiler stoves).

Ground and water source heat pumps.

Solar thermal.

Air to water heat pumps (but not air to air or heat pumps with cooling).

What to look out for and what does not qualify

We are wary of a few instances of suspected fraud surrounding the RHI scheme. Some of you may have even experienced companies calling you up offering to install heating systems and stating that they are eligible for RHI payments. One resident spoke to us recently and said he was told his oil boiler was eligible for the RHI.The letter they recieved made a misleading reference to their local distric council, which caused the resident to believe the offer was in conjunction with their council. The letter however was misleading and unclear. These kind of evasive correspondence should aleays be questioned we urge our readers to be on the look out for scams like this.

Furthermore, the complexity of the RHI has left a lot of confusion around what happens once the 7 years of payments comes to an end. We were asked the following question by an individual a few weeks ago:

“A question regarding RHI for heat pump installation. I am already receiving RHI payments for a biomass boiler. The 7 years will be up in 2021. If I then stop using the biomass system (which I am seriously thinking of doing) and install an Air Source Heat Pump can I claim a second round of RHI payments for this?”

Under the scenario above, this individual will not be able to qualify for additional RHI payments for an Air source heat pump.

You can apply for one space heating system (including one that heats domestic hot water) and one solar thermal system supplying domestic hot water only.

You will not be able to make separate applications for two products at the same property, unless one of the products is a solar thermal system.

You may be allowed to make a single application for multiple products if they are the same technology and have been commissioned at the same time.

You must get your heating systems installed by an MCS accredited installer.

Ofgem provide a useful page explaining the different scenarios where you could potentially qualify for two sets of RHI payments. Click here to see them.

If you have any more questions or queries its best to email Ofgem directly at: DomesticRHI@ofgem.gov.uk

We also have a detailed page discussing the RHI in more detail. You can find this here.

Related blog: 

How important reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive will affect homeowners

Looking to install a renewable heating system? Use our Find an Installer page to find a reliable installer near you!

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