Key terms explained for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

These key terms have been designed as a reference tool when you need more detail on a specific topic.

You can also download this as a pdf: Domestic RHI reference document

Refurbished equipment

The Domestic RHI is intended to support the installation of new equipment. Therefore, with the exception of certain components (referred to here and in the "Relevant parts" section below as "excepted components"), no part of the renewable heating system which generates heat may have been used before the heating system’s first commissioning date. This means that refurbished generating equipment (the equipment used to generate heat) will not be eligible for the Domestic RHI unless the equipment in question consists entirely of excepted components.

The parts of the heating system that are not considered to be heat generating equipment can have been used prior to the first commissioning date.

For a breakdown of which parts of the heating system are considered to be heat generating equipment and which are not, see the key term relevant parts.

Recommissioning an existing renewable heating system  

The Domestic RHI scheme is intended to support the installation of new equipment. All applications must therefore be submitted within 12 months of the plant’s first commissioning date. All parts of the plant must also have the same first commissioning date, which must be on or after 15 July 2009. Furthermore, no part of the plant which generates heat and which is not an excepted component – see relevant parts – can have been used before this first commissioning date.

In the event that a plant was commissioned by a non MCS-certified installer and now requires an MCS certificate to apply to the Domestic RHI scheme:

We can only accept applications to the Domestic RHI with a valid MCS Certificate. A MCS certified installer must supply, design, install, set to, commission and handover your renewable heating system. This is in line with MCS guidance.  
 

Registered Investor

Once investors are a member of the consumer codes, they can apply to become a Registered Investor under the Domestic RHI. Investors aren’t permitted to own any part of a plant for which they will be nominated to receive RHI payments.

If we have any reason to believe that an investor will not comply with any of their ongoing obligations – such as complying with the terms of the consumer code of practice – we may reject the investor’s application.

Registered Investors have ongoing obligations to fulfil in order to continue be Registered Investors. 

Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)

Registered social landlords (RSLs) applying to the scheme will only need to go through one identity check and will then be able to submit multiple applications through the same account. RSLs will need to provide us with a Letter of Authorisation to confirm their Authorised Representative.

An Authorised Representative is the individual applying on behalf of the organisation. This can be anyone in your organisation, but they must be a signatory to the bank account into which RHI payments will be made (eg Director, CEO, Company Secretary).

You can also create account administrator(s) who can upload documents, and act as our point of contact (ie. run the account on a day-to-day basis). We recommend you appointing at least two account administrators, in case one administrator leaves.

All registered social landlords applying under the Domestic RHI scheme will be asked to provide a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) number and will be required to comply with the ongoing obligation to inform their tenants of any change of ownership of the property.

As a Registered Social Landlord (RSL), it’s your obligation to ensure your tenants are aware of their responsibilities on the Domestic RHI. For example, purchasing BSL approved fuels (if applicable), keeping fuel receipts, allowing access to the property for audits, and general maintenance of the heating system for the full seven years.

If you have more questions, please read our FAQs for RSLs for more details.

Relevant parts

The Domestic RHI scheme is intended to support the installation of new equipment.

To be eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme, all heat generating parts of the heating system must be new (ie. must not have been used before the heating system’s first commissioning date). We refer to the heat generating equipment of the heating system as "relevant parts". See Refurbished equipmentopen key term pop-up.

There are, however, some previously used relevant parts which are permissible under the Domestic RHI scheme. The following table shows a list of relevant parts that can and cannot have been previously used at the time of first commissioning.

Heating system type Cannot have been used before first commissioning date of heating system Can have been used before first commissioning date of the heating system Can have been used before first commissioning date of the heating system  
  (relevant parts which are not excepted components) (not heat generating components - ie. not relevant parts) (relevant parts which are excepted components)  
Biomass boiler Boiler Fuel storage/preparation/delivery equipment
Fixings
Controls
Emitters (e.g. radiators)
Hot water cylinders
Pipes
Circulation pumps
Supplementary electric heaters
Buffer tanks/ thermal stores
Expansion vessels

Immersion heaters for domestic hot water   Supplementary electric heaters Circulation pumps

 

Biomass stove

Stove
Heat exchanger
Integrated back boiler

Fuel storage/preparation/delivery equipment.
Pipes
Fixings
Controls
Emitters
Hot water cylinders Supplementary electric heaters
Buffer tanks/ thermal stores
Expansion vessels

Immersion heaters for domestic hot water   Supplementary electric heaters Circulation pumps

 
Ground (or water) source heat pump Ground or water loop
Heat pump unit/
Compressor
Internal oil/gas burner (hybrid heat pump systems)

Container and fixings
Pipes
Circulation pumps
Emitters
Hot water cylinders Supplementary electric heaters
Buffer tanks/ thermal stores
Expansion vessels
Controls

Immersion heaters for domestic hot water   Supplementary electric heaters Circulation pumps

 
Air Source Heat Pump Heat pump unit/
Compressor
Internal oil/gas burner (hybrid heat pump systems)
 
Container and fixings
Pipes
Supplementary electric heaters
Controls
Emitters
Hot water cylinders
Buffer tanks/ thermal stores
Expansion vessels
 
Immersion heaters for domestic hot water   Supplementary electric heaters Circulation pumps  
Solar Thermal

Solar Collectors (flat plate or evacuated tubes)*

Roof fixings
Pipes
Supplementary electric heaters
Controls
Hot water cylinders
Thermal store/buffer
 
Immersion heaters for domestic hot water   Supplementary electric heaters Circulation pumps  

*Evacuated tube cassettes / manifolds  are part of the plant see refurbished equipment

Refurbished equipment

No part of a renewable heating system that generates heat may have been used before the date that it is first commissioned. More.

Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP)

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) was a government grant scheme available for installing domestic renewable heating systems before the introduction of the Domestic RHI. RHPP funding took the form of a one-off grant to help households with the cost of installing a renewable heating system. Householders were able to apply for a voucher through the Energy Saving Trust, which they could then use to make a claim once they had installed the heating system.

RHPP funding was distributed in three ‘phases’; phase 1, phase 2, and phase 2 extension. Applicants with RHPP funding will be subject to a phased application schedule based on the date at which they applied for RHPP. Questions about RHPP should be addressed to the Energy Saving Trust, who were the administrators of the scheme.

Receiving RHPP does not automatically make you eligible for the Domestic RHI. Applicants with RHPP funding should first check the Product eligibility listopen key term pop-up to determine whether their product is eligible, and then refer to the ‘general eligibility checklist’ in the Essential guide for applicants in order to determine whether they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Applicants with RHPP who are accredited under the Domestic RHI will have the amount of funding they claimed deducted from their Domestic RHI payments. The funding deduction will be distributed evenly across their payments, and will be adjusted annually in accordance with RPI.

 

Product eligibility list

Among other requirements, your heating system must be a certain make, model and technology type to be eligible. We’ve listed these in a useful spreadsheet to reference before you purchase your product. More.

Replacing or repairing equipment

Please note: We are currently working with Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and MCS on updating our section on replacement plants. Revised guidance materials will be published shortly.

Once you have been approved to the scheme, there are procedures in place which must be followed if part of your heating system stops working, or if it stops being able to generate heat completely. If your installation breaks down and requires parts to be replaced or repaired, you must inform us within 28 days.

Replacing parts of your heating system

If any of the parts of your heating system which generates heat are replaced, then you must inform us (even if the heating system continues to generate heat). If the heating system stops generating heat while parts are replaced, payments will be stopped until the heating system is able to generate heat again.

Replacing the whole heating system

If the entire heating system is replaced, you should inform Ofgem immediately. Your payments will be stopped and you will need to consider what heating system to replace your broken system with. If you decide to replace the heating system with the same source of energy (ie, you replace an air source heat pump with another air source heat pump) then you may be eligible to receive further payments. If you wish to apply for a replacement system please contact us.

The new heating system will need to be assessed to ensure it meets the eligibility criteria. If it does you will be able to receive payments for the remainder of the seven year payment period.

Retail Prices Index (RPI)

Applications submitted for the Domestic RHI before 1 April 2016 have their tariffs adjusted in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The RPI is a measure of inflation and RPI rates are produced annually by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Tariffs will be adjusted in accordance with RPI on 1 April every year. If you have grantsopen key term pop-up that will be deducted from your payments you should be aware that the amount to be deducted will also be subject to RPI adjustment.

Applications submitted for the Domestic RHI on or after 1 April 2016 have their tariffs adjusted in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

Grants

Only grants that relate to the purchase or installation of your heating system are relevant to the Domestic RHI. Any public grant funding will be deducted from your Domestic RHI payments. More.

Review

Our IT system can approve your application automatically, but in some cases we will need more information before we can come to a decision on its eligibility. When we need more information our IT system puts your application into review and sends it to one of our team who will contact you with a request for supporting evidence. In most cases you have up to 28 days to provide the requested information or your application may be rejected. Your payment will still be calculated from the date you applied, even if further information is asked for.
 
If your application is placed into review, we will contact you within five working days to inform you of this, and also let you know the reason why. You will also be able to see that your application is in review when you log into MyRHI.

We have produced a helpsheet specifically to give you guidance if your application is in review. It outlines the possible reasons for your application being in review, and the types of documentation or information we will ask you to provide us with. It lets you know which documents you can provide to us straightaway, and which documents we may need to ask you for during our review of your application.

Right of Review

The Right of Review applies for any formal decisions that we make including if we have rejected your application, or if your application was accredited, but we have subsequently made the decision to withhold payments or revoke your accreditation.

The Right of Review entitles you to have the decision reviewed by Ofgem. In order to do this, you must apply for review within 28 days of receiving notice of the decision which you are appealing, specifying the grounds on which you are requesting a review. Your review will not be carried out by anyone who previously reviewed you application or made the decision to take action regarding your accreditation. You must provide any information requested by us when carrying out the review. Once the review has been completed, we will send you confirmation of the result of the review within 21 days.

For further information on requesting a review, please contact us quoting 'Right of Review' in the subject line.