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.
Important changes to the Domestic RHI scheme
In March 2016, the Government published a consultation on changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. After taking account of the feedback it received, 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 in full on the BEIS website. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the changes to the scheme Regulations that were announced in the consultation response are planned to be introduced in two stages.
The first stage of proposed changes to the Domestic Scheme came into effect on 20 September 2017. These changes include: tariff uplifts for air source heat pumps (ASHP), ground source heat pumps (GSHP), and biomass plants; and the introduction of annual heat demand limits for ASHPs, GSHPs, and biomass plants. The amendments will also extend the scheme’s budget management mechanisms until July 2018. The Government published the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2017.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the second stage of regulation amendments are planned to follow later in 2017/2018 - these will extend the RHI’s budget management mechanism until the end of 2020/21 as well as introduce the rest of the RHI reform package that was announced in December 2016.
We’ve produced a supplementary 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.
What do the MCS standards do?
Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)open key term pop-up standards make sure installers meet a quality mark and demonstrate compliance to industry standards. The microgeneration installation standard outlines the requirements for MCS installers undertaking the supply, design, installation, set to work, commissioning, and handover of microgeneration heat pump systems.
Please make sure your MCS installer is aware of these changes.
Other recent changes to the Domestic RHI
- No degressions on 1 October 2017
- Effective 1 July 2017: Biomass tariff degression
- Effective 1 January 2017: Biomass tariff degression
- Effective 24 March 2016: See DECC’s amendments to scheme eligibility
- Effective 5 October 2015: Existing and new participants with biomass must use fuel that meets specific sustainability requirements.
- Effective 10 November 2014: See DECC’s amendments to scheme eligibility
To find out more, see:
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