Further details on the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive confirm solar tariff

Published:  04 December, 2013

Government has published further details on the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive outlining budget management policy, phasing of legacy applications and treatment of some types of subsidy, as well as confirming the tariff for solar thermal at 19.2p/kWh.

After three months, the scheme will open additionally to applications from owners of installations part funded by RHPP, where the voucher used to claim payment under RHPP was applied for before 20th May 2013.

After a further three months (i.e. six months after the scheme launch), the scheme will open to all applicants.

Applications from legacy applicants will only be accepted in the first year of the scheme, which means that RHPP applicants will have six or nine months to apply to the scheme, depending on when their voucher was applied for.

Applications for renewable heating systems that were installed (i.e. commissioned) after the launch of the scheme must be submitted within one year of their commissioning date.

DECC has confirmed that degression tests will take place quarterly and that announcements will be made one month before any degression will take effect.

Triggers and super triggers will be set out for each tariff in the scheme in Regulations. If a trigger is hit, a 10% reduction of that tariff will take place. If deployment of any technology is significantly higher and a super trigger is hit, a 20% reduction could take effect. The reduced tariffs will only apply to new applicants; those already accredited onto the RHI will continue to receive the tariff in place at the time they were accredited (adjusted annually by reference to the Retail Prices Index).

In addition, where an installation was not at least in part paid for by the owner, even where the installation was funded from a private source, that installation will not be eligible for the domestic RHI. An installation which has been part-funded by the owner will be eligible. Only funding which is public funding will be deducted from RHI payments.

In light of stakeholder feedback about industry readiness, DECC is postponing implementation of the requirement to source from the list until Autumn 2014. This is to give domestic consumers sufficient time to start sourcing their fuel from a supplier on the list and to enable biomass suppliers to monitor their processes in light of the sustainability criteria and build the audit trail necessary to demonstrate compliance.

The Biomass Suppliers List will be open to applications from suppliers, including self-suppliers, in Spring 2014.

This follows the extension of domestic RHI eligibility to include condensing biomass boilers, provided they meet the other eligibility criteria of the scheme in November.

Roger Webb, director of the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council said: “We fully support and welcome this programme and, like the government, believe it will make a significant contribution towards achieving the 2020 ambition of having 12% of heating coming from renewable sources.”

Financial support will be paid to the owner of the heating system at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced and will support a range of technologies including air source heat pumps, biomass systems, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal technologies.

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