Insulation exemptions

The Domestic RHI scheme rules state that you must install loft and/or cavity wall insulation before applying, if it’s listed as a recommendation on your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If it’s not possible, you can still apply for the scheme, if you can provide evidence from a relevant body that one of the following insulation exemptions applies to your property.

Why is the property exempt?

Which body must confirm this?

What evidence is required? 

Your property is a listed building.

 

The planning department of your local authority, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, CADW or a chartered surveyor1.

A letter stating that it is not possible to install cavity/loft insulation due to the building being a listed property.

Your property is in a conservation area.

 

The planning department of your local authority, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, CADW or a chartered surveyor1.

A letter stating that it is not possible to install cavity/loft insulation due to the building being located in a conservation area.

Your property houses a protected species that would be materially affected by insulation.

(most likely - though not necessarily - bats)

 

Natural England (Bat Conservation Trust), Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales or a chartered ecologist2.

You can contact the national bodies for advice, but may need to arrange a site visit and report by a private ecologist. The letter needs to state which protected species is housed at your property and that installing cavity/loft insulation would materially affect that species.

Due to local environmental conditions (for example regular exposure to driving rain).

The planning department of your local authority, or a chartered surveyor1.

You will need to arrange for a chartered surveyor to visit your property and prepare a report. The report would need to outline what environmental conditions prevent the property from being insulated.

Due to the structure of your building (for example it’s a timber framed building).

 

A chartered surveyor1.

You will need to arrange for a chartered surveyor to visit your property and prepare a report. The report would need to outline what structural features prevent the property from being insulated.

Because it would be otherwise unlawful.

The planning department of the property owner’s local authority, English Heritage (the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England), Historic Scotland, CADW, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Natural Resources Body for Wales, a chartered surveyor1 / ecologist2.

The letter will need to state which law prevents the installation of cavity/loft insulation at the property and why it does so.

1A member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Please visit the RICS website to find a chartered surveyor.

2For example a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management – CIEEM website

Exempt properties will still need to submit a copy of the EPC.

Applicants that wish to apply for an insulation exemption will need to provide a completed copy of the Insulation exemption template (or a letter including the information requested in this template) completed by a member of an appropriate body in support of their claim.

Seeking advice from chartered surveyors: if required, you can arrange for a chartered surveyor or ecologist to visit your property and provide a report to evidence any of these situations (except for where the property houses a protected species) and provide a completed Insulation Exemption Template. Note that there is likely to be a fee for such a service.

If your scenario is not listed above or we do not accept the evidence you have provided: Only the scenarios listed above are valid exemptions. In all other scenarios, you will be required to install loft and cavity wall insulation if recommended on your EPC. If it will be difficult or expensive for you to install cavity wall insulation because your property has hard-to-treat cavities and will require non-standard products, you may wish to see whether you can get for funding via the Energy Companies Obligation scheme.

If we do not consider the scenario or evidence provided to be valid, you will be asked to provide a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that does not recommend the installation of loft and/or cavity wall insulation. You will have three months from your date of application to provide the updated EPC.

If your EPC incorrectly shows outstanding loft and/or cavity wall insulation recommendations: If your EPC incorrectly recommends that you install loft and/or cavity wall insulation (e.g. it recommends cavity wall insulation when you have solid walls), you will need to contact your EPC assessor, who should produce an updated EPC. If your EPC recommends that you install loft and/or cavity wall insulation, and you are not covered by one of the above exemptions, we will not be able to accept you on to the scheme. If you have a complaint about your EPC assessor, you should contact the accreditation scheme to which they belong.