Overview of fraud and non-compliance
As administrators of the scheme, Ofgem has a responsibility to protect the public funds involved by ensuring that participants comply with the rules of the scheme. To this end, we have developed a detailed Fraud Prevention Strategy which includes ongoing liaison with other Government departments, including crime prevention agencies. The strategy has a wider scope than matters that fall within the strict definition of fraud; non-compliance and abuse of the system is also considered.
Cases where we suspect non-compliance will be thoroughly investigated by the RHI’s dedicated Fraud and Compliance Team. Following an investigation, and where we establish non-compliance with the rules of the scheme, we will take appropriate action, which could include imposing one or more sanctions in accordance with our enforcement powers under the RHI Scheme Regulations. We also have the power to suspend making payments whilst an investigation is ongoing.
For the avoidance of doubt, we use the term “fraud” to describe claiming falsely or by deception money that you are not entitled to under the RHI Scheme Regulations 2011. “Non-compliance” is any act which does not comply with the Regulations; this may include using non-compliant equipment or using heat for non-compliant purposes.
How we respond to fraud and non-compliance within the RHI
Ofgem have rigorous systems in place for the prevention, detection and investigation of fraud and non-compliance cases.
There are a range of stringent controls that are built into the application and accreditation/registration process, as well as throughout each stage of the scheme. These controls will highlight any irregularity or inconsistencies to Ofgem investigators.
Each applicant to the RHI Scheme will be subject to an identity verification check to verify their identity before their application is approved. Likewise, we will undertake checks to validate bank account details that they provide to us. Any discrepancies will be passed to our Fraud and Compliance Team to investigate.
A full programme of random audits and site inspections is in operation. All RHI installations may be subjected to an audit (during which our team of audit experts may carry out spot-checks on equipment, check meter readings and verify general eligibility for the scheme), during the accreditation process or, at any time whilst they are accredited on the scheme. Non-compliance identified during the audit process will be passed to our Fraud and Compliance Team for investigation.
We have the power under the RHI Scheme Regulations 2011 to impose a range of sanctions when we are satisfied that a participant is not complying with the rules of the scheme. These sanctions include reducing or withholding payments and permanently excluding participants from the scheme.
Ofgem maintains close links with the police and other law enforcement agencies; irrespective of any action we may take in relation to non-compliance by a participant, there may be instances where we uncover evidence of possible criminal conduct (for example, fraud). In such cases, based on the nature of the information we hold, we may refer the case to the relevant authorities for investigation.
Reporting Fraud or Non-Compliance
If you have any suspicions of fraud or non-compliance relating to the RHI, please report it to us immediately. We will treat all correspondence in confidence and you may choose to remain anonymous.
Email: RHI.Compliance@Ofgem.gov.uk (for complaints and sanctions) and RHI.reviews@Ofgem.gov.uk (for disputes)
Or write to: RHI Compliance Team, Ofgem E-Serve, 9 Millbank, London, SW1P 3GE
For further information
For further information see RHI Guidance Volume 2 as follows:
See chapter 10 about our compliance and enforcement powers.
See chapter 11 about our inspection and audit powers.
See chapter 12 about dispute resolution.