From the ESTA aM&T conference TEAM Energy Services Director John Field reports on developments in the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. Receiving a first hand update from Ofgem in the presentation ‘Renewable Heat Incentive – Tariffs, changes and opportunities’ by Jacqueline Balian, Head of RHI Operations at Ofgem at the ESTA aM&T event 28th February 2013, John highlights major points for this fast moving green subsidy scheme.
Jacqueline confirmed for those with projects approved prior to January 2013 the agreed tariff will remain throughout the duration of the agreed 20 year period. There may be a reduction of subsidy tariffs for installations approved in the future to prevent the total of all claims exceeding Government budgets. An official announcement can be expected on June 1st, set to come into force a month later – this is to be repeated monthly but there is no sign of the approval levels being near the triggers so no degression is envisaged in the first few months.
There is a separate RHI Tariff Review which is intended to correct the imbalance between biomass (90%) and say ground source heat pumps… “by increasing the GSHP tariff not reducing the biomass tariff.”
Jacqueline told us: “The most frequent issue we have is with schematics which show the appropriate plant, loads and metering. This is the one issue you must take away with you.”
The Ofgem checklist is as follows on all installations:
These checks are required because of significant Government spend.
Important notes on the DECC RHI consultation response published yesterday, note these are proposals only – not final or in force yet, but expected in force by the end of the year. This currently includes:
The IRMA consultation is out and still open. It was necessary because Ofgem expected to rely on IRMAs to show monitoring is compliant with requirements but this has not been the case. The consultation encompasses:
The IRMA consultation includes proposal 4, which recommends that authors undergo training with assessment “e.g. from ESTA, TEAM and CIBSE”.
The good news is; over 1000 schemes are now accredited – the approvals have been doubled in the last four months.
Ofgem audits of approved installations used to show a 50% failure rate and this is not improving much, although 38% of this is due to failure to keep proper fuel records – a minor transgression. The rest are mainly metering problems.
Periodic submissions (quarterly for RHI payments) are returned in 40% of cases! Common reasons include:
When discussing the level of interaction between RHI and the Green Deal; Jacqueline’s comment was; “Not that we know of – it has been discussed but not progressed further to require a Green Tick (for standards up to Green Deal) before RHI can be approved.”
Presentation slides can be found on the ESTA website.