The Domestic RHI – Your Questions Answered
What exactly is the RHI?
It’s the Government’s latest idea to encourage and incentivise us to heat our homes more responsibly, and encourage the uptake of renewable heating systems and technologies.
A world-first, the RHI scheme has been in place for the commercial market since November 2011 and is expected to roll-out to domestic properties any day now.
The scheme rewards homeowners who’ve made the wise choice to invest in the upfront cost of a renewable heating system. Something which will pay dividends in the long-term. And now the Government is rewarding these people too, in the form of the RHI scheme.
RHI payments will be made to whoever owns the system. So whether you live in or rent out your property, the payment will go straight in your pocket.
Confirmed details are yet to be announced. But it’s thought that payments will be made on a quarterly basis, over a period of seven years.
Administered by Ofgem, a series of fact sheets have been published on their website – here.
Who can apply?
Anyone who’s had an eligible system installed between 15 July 2009 and the date of launch, will be able to apply.
The RHI scheme will make a payment against renewable systems including air to water heat pumps, biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels.
But I’ve already received a RHPP grant. Can I apply for the RHI?
Yes you can. But any previous Renewable Heating Premium Payment (RHPP) will be deducted from the total RHI amount you’re entitled to. We think the Government’s rationale for doing this is to make the scheme fair for all. For example, some applicants who’ve had a system installed since 15 July 2009 have already claimed for an RHHP, while others haven’t. Plus the rate of the RHPP has varied over that time. So to be fair to all RHI applicants, your claim will be adjusted according to the amount you have already received via the RHPP scheme. .
What action should I take now, to prepare for an RHI claim?
The most important thing is to book a Green Deal Assessment (GDA).
(An exception to this rule is self-builders. If your new property has been built to current building regulations, your Energy Performance Certificate will suffice.)
A GDA is a requirement of your RHI claim. It’s proof that your property is well insulated and shows the building’s energy requirements.
To make an RHI claim, your property must have at least 250mm of loft insulation, and cavity wall insulation if possible (solid wall properties, for example, can’t have cavity wall insulation!)
To obtain a robust GDA, we recommend booking an Independent Assessor – Lesley Ann Simkins. A fully qualified Domestic Energy Assessor and Green Deal Advisor.
RA Brown is not associated with Lesley in any way, but we know her to be an expert when it comes to renewable systems, which is clearly important.
Other Green Deal Assessors can be found here.
What paperwork do I need to prepare?
OFGEM have produced a well-designed online application process and in many cases they will be able to confirm eligibility immediately if you have your MCS certificate number and Green Deal Assessment number to hand.
Mislaid your MCS certificate? Don’t worry. We can send you another copy. Call 01603 898904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What other requirements do I need to meet?
Another important point – your renewable heating system must have been serviced.
Annual servicing will be a requirement under the RHI. So if you haven’t had your system serviced since it was installed, make sure you act now.
Annual servicing is something we provide at R A Brown. And we’ll even put in a helpful call to tell you when your next service is due.
To find out more or to book, contact us <link to contact us on website> on 01603 898904.
When does the RHI scheme open for applications?
The Government has not yet confirmed when the scheme is going to launch. But an announcement is expected anytime soon.
What we do know is that applications will be staggered throughout the first year, depending on when you had your system installed.
If you’ve had a renewable heating system installed anytime between 15 July 2009 and the date of the RHI scheme launching, you will be eligible. But not everyone will be able to apply immediately.
There will be a phased process to manage the volume of applications. We expect these timings to be, from time of launch:
Anyone with a system installed between 15 July 2009 and date of launch, who has not claimed the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).
Anyone with a system installed between 15 July 2009 and date of launch who has not received a payment from RHPP. Anyone who has been part funded by the RHPP and applied for a voucher before 20 May 2013. And new applicants who have just had their system installed (applications must be made within 1 year of commissioning).
Anyone with a system installed anytime between 15 July 2009 and the launch of the scheme, new applicants.
Month 12 onwards
The scheme will close for legacy applicants (those who had a system installed prior to the RHI scheme launching) and will remain open to new applicants only (applications to be made within 1 year of commissioning).
I’m still unclear whether I can apply – who can help?
If you are not sure about your eligibility please ring the Energy Savings Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.