Shared Ground Loop Arrays and the Domestic RHI Scheme

Publication date
9th September 2015
Information types
Policy areas

Ofgem has received an increasing number of complex questions about the eligibility of Ground Source Heat Pumps and shared ground arrays for both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI schemes. 

We are aware that a number of installers are working on innovative developments, particularly in the social housing sector. These developments typically include shared ground arrays – with shared ground or water loops – providing heat to more than one heat pump unit located in each individual flat or house. As administrators of both schemes, we wish to set out Ofgem’s response to these new industry initiatives.

The 2014 Domestic RHI Regulations define a Ground Source Heat Pump as a plant which generates heat by absorbing energy stored in the form of heat from the ground, including water in the ground, or surface water, or both, and uses that energy to heat a liquid. It follows that a ground array forms part of the plant for the purposes of the Domestic RHI scheme.

Under the current Domestic RHI Regulations, any application involving a plant that is a heat pump seeking accreditation for the Domestic RHI can only be considered eligible if it provides heating solely to a single eligible property, assuming all other conditions are satisfied.  

Therefore a plant incorporating shared ground loop arrays that provides heat to more than one single eligible property is not eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme. However, a plant featuring a shared ground loop array, providing heat to multiple domestic properties, can be considered for the Non-Domestic scheme, assuming all other eligibility requirements are met for that scheme.