Renewable Heat Incentive- information for existing installations
RHI stands for Renewable Heat Incentive and it is a Government scheme designed to encourage the uptake of renewable technologies for space heating, through the provision of tariff payments.
If you had a WDS Green Energy heat pump installation at your home between 15th July 2009 and 9th April 2014 you may qualify for the RHI scheme under the ‘legacy installations’ rules. This simply means you had a system installed before the RHI scheme began. If you also received the RHPP grant then you will not be able to apply for the scheme immediately as there is a staggered eligibility date but receiving the RHPP will not affect your eligibility to join the RHI scheme.
Most of the machines installed by WDS Green Energy are MCS registered and as an MCS registered installer we are able to generate MCS certificates which will allow you to benefit from the RHI scheme.If you have any doubts about whether your heat pump or solar thermal installation is eligible for RHI payments then contact us and we will be happy to clarify.
In order to join the RHI scheme you will need to have loft insulation to a minimum of 250mm and cavity wall insulation where applicable.
You will also be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property. Unfortunately the old style pink topped EPC’s are not accepted and if you have one of these for your property you will require a re-assessment.
If your property is not a new build then you will also need a GDAR (Green Deal assessment Report).
WDS Green Energy can arrange for an assessor to visit your property to undertake these assessment(s).
Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF)
In many instances the MCS guidelines at the time of the ‘legacy’ installation were not as rigorous as they are currently and so there is an assumption that your system will have a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 2.5. This is a measure of how efficient the system and is a factor in the total amount of payments received. You may accept this figure and make an application, however we believe that many of our installations are operating more efficiently than this and the SPF may be as high as 4.3.
To undertake the SPF calculation we are required to do a room by room heat loss and show that your installation conforms to the heat emitter guide. In order to do this we may need plans of your property from you as well as details of the heat emitters (such as radiators and underfloor heating) in your property.
If you wish for us to re-examine the SPF of your property then please contact us.
Insulation Exemption Evidence
One of the requirements of the RHI scheme is that your property must have loft insulation to a minimum of 250mm and cavity wall insulation were applicable. If your green deal assessment (GDAR) shows the need for loft or cavity wall insulation as one of its recommendations then you will not be eligible to join the RHI scheme until you get these improvements done. If its not possible then you may still be able to apply for the scheme if you can provide evidence from the relevant body (such as a chartered surveyor) that one of the permitted insulation exemptions applies.
The following are a list of permitted exemption reasons,
- Your property is a listed building
- Your property is in a conservation area
- Your property houses a protected species that would be materially affected by insulation i.e. bats
- Due to the local environmental conditions i.e regular exposure to driving rain
- Due to the structure of your building i.e its a timber framed building
- Because it would otherwise be unlawful.
If your property is a listed building or in a conservation area then you will need a letter from a chartered surveyor, or the planning department of your local authority, or from CADW, or English Heritage stating it is not possible to install the insulation. If you cannot install insulation due to the nature of your building or due to the local environmental conditions then you will need to arrange for a chartered surveyor to visit your property.
If your property cannot be insulated due to the presence of protected species then you will need to arrange for a visit by a private ecologist, or from a national body such as Natural England (Bat conservation trust), or Natural Resources Wales.
If you cannot install the insulation as it would be unlawful then you will need an exemption letter from a charter surveyor, or the planning department of your local authority, or from CADW, or English heritage explaining why the installation would be unlawful, and clearly stating which law prevents the installation.
Ready to apply?
If you have had your EPC assessment and have received your WDS checklist and SPF calculation and are ready to apply then you can begin the application process by following this link.
For further information on the application process or if you need further help please read this guide produced by ofgem