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Article: Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive – Changes to the Scheme

Renewable Heat Incentive

Written by: Jenny Hormell

Published: Feb 3, 2020

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial scheme to promote the use of renewable heat. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) develops the scheme policy and rules. Ofgem implements and administers the scheme.

The government periodically reviews policy which means the rules can change for both existing and new participants. To achieve successful accreditations and keep receiving your payments, it’s important you keep up to date with the scheme rules.

We’ll publish the information you need to know if policy changes are planned, or introduced, in this section of our website. Please note that the content and timing of any changes we outline will be subject to parliamentary process. Our updates are based on information provided by BEIS.

Recent changes

Important changes to the Domestic RHI scheme

In March 2016, the Government published a consultation on changes to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. After taking account of the feedback it received, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its consultation response on 14 December 2016. You can read the consultation response, The Renewable Heat Incentive: A Reformed Scheme on the BEIS website.

The changes to the scheme Regulations that were announced in the consultation response are being introduced in two stages. The first stage of changes to the Domestic Scheme came into effect on 20 September 2017, and the second stage came into effect on 22 May 2018. These second stage changes include: metering for performance for heat pumps, new Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP) payment schedules and enforcement powers, assignment of rights, revised degression thresholds,  as well as extending the RHI’s budget management mechanism until the end of 2020/21. Please note that assignment of rights came into effect later on 27 June 2018. The Government has published the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

Please read the factsheet about the changes for more information: – Factsheet: Important changes to the Domestic RHI Scheme.

Changes to MCS installation standards for heat pumps

Effective from 31 July 2017, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) introduced a change to the Domestic RHI Regulations to reflect the latest version of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation standard for heat pumps.

Version 5.0 of MIS 3005 of the MCS standards was introduced by MCS on 28 April 2017; taking effect from 17 May 2017. From 30 October 2017 onwards, heat pumps must be installed in accordance with this version of the MCS standards.

Where contracts have been signed for installations in accordance with version 4.3 of MIS 3005 prior to 30th October 2017, the system may be installed in accordance with version 4.3 of MIS 3005 and could be eligible for RHI if applying within 12 months of the first commissioning date.

Which standards should my heat pump reflect?

Applications submitted to the Domestic RHI before 31 July 2017: For heat pumps with a first commissioning date before 31 July 2017, they should meet version 4.3 MIS 3005 standards to be considered eligible for the Domestic RHI; providing all other eligibility criteria are met.

Applications submitted to the Domestic RHI on or after 31 July 2017: For heat pumps with a first commissioning date on or after 31 July 2017, they can meet either version 4.3 or version 5.0 MIS 3005 standards to be considered eligible for the Domestic RHI; providing all other eligibility criteria are met.

Applications submitted to the Domestic RHI on or after 30 October 2017: For heat pumps with a first commissioning date on or after 30 October 2017, it depends on when your contract started:

  • If you’ve signed a contract for your heat pump installation in accordance with version 4.3 of MIS 3005 prior to 30 October, this version may be eligible for the Domestic RHI if you apply within 12 months of the first commissioning date.
  • If you sign a contract for your heat pump installation on or after the 30 October 2017, version 5.0 of MIS 3005 must be used for to install your heat pump.

For more information please view the source document on the OFGEM site.

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