What to consider when applying for the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

What is the RHI?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced to support technologies that generate heat from renewable sources. The non-domestic phase of the scheme provides organisations, large or small, income for generating their own energy.

We’ve put together answers to some of the questions we get about the scheme:

What sort of return can I expect?

The RHI payment tariff, the type of technology to be used, and the cost of installation are all factors that can affect your return.

If you have options on how to generate heat renewably and want to maximise the benefits, be sure to carry out a careful study of the regulations, tariffs and potential digression of tariffs.

Benefits lie beyond the income received from the RHI. Renewable technology can allow you to locally generate on a small scale, especially useful if the eligible heat use is in a remote location. If you can supply your own fuel, for example sustainably produced biomass or waste suitable for anaerobic digestion to create biogas, you can make the best use of the technology.

How will I get paid?

Quarterly payments will be made over the period of 20 years. Quarterly meter readings are to be submitted to Ofgem. You can predict the amount you will receive by multiplying your eligible usage by the relevant tariff. You can refer to your historic consumption or model the proposed installation to calculate the likely outcome.

Do I need a certain type of meter?

The non-domestic RHI always requires that the generated or eligible use heat is measured so you will need a heat meter. A MID Class 2 qualifying heat meter is required. If you have ineligible heat uses, you may need a usage as well as a generation meter. In some cases, for example, if you have ineligible heat from external pipe heat losses, calculation of the heat loss may be appropriate.

What are my ongoing obligations?

Because the payments run over a 20-year period you will have a responsibility to maintain the equipment, keep evidence of maintenance work, allow inspections by Ofgem, and provide any relevant information over the same timescale. Some technologies, such as solid biomass and biogas, have sustainability requirements so keep good records of fuels.

What happens if the ownership of the business changes hands?

The new owner will need to provide valid documentation that the system has changed hands. Continuing to make payment claims for an installation that you no longer own is illegal, so this documentation is important. It is possible to have or retain ownership of an installation where the eligible use is not yours.

How do I apply?

Non-domestic RHI can be applied for via the Ofgem website. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation in several areas, including your ownership or status as authorised signatory, and evidence of the installed technology including:

  • That the installation is of an eligible renewable heat technology type and size.
  • The installation was completed and first commissioned on or after 15 July 2009 and
  • That the heat is used for ‘eligible purposes’; space heating, domestic hot water or for carrying out a process where the heat is used in a building. Using heat outside of a building has very limited eligible application but can be appropriate in certain circumstances.
  • For solar thermal, heat pumps and solid biomass installations under 45kWh in capacity, you will need to provide a valid MCS accreditation certificate.
  • It is also important to note that if you have received public grant money towards the installation costs of the technology, you will not be eligible for the RHI, except under very specific circumstances.

If you have any more detailed questions about the non-domestic RHI application process, contact our Energy Services RHI specialists.

Energy Services RHI Specialists

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