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Am I a Legacy Applicant for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive or not?

If you have seen all the news about the new Renewable Heat Incentive you may be wondering if your already installed renewable heat appliance is eligible. The good news is, you may be eligible to apply for the scheme and you may be able to claim money back on your investment. This blog outlines the difference that may apply to you when you apply for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

The Renewable Heat Incentive is an initiative by the government to help the UK reduce carbon emissions. The scheme does not launch until Spring 2014 but it is a good idea to understand the scheme fully before its launch so you can take full advantage of the options available for you and your home.

Many people in the UK already installed a renewable heating system in their home after the idea behind the Renewable Heat Incentive was revealed back in July 2009. This may have been in anticipation of the scheme or because there were some one-off grants available to help pay the initial costs for renewable heat in your home.

Am I a RHI legacy applicant?

If you installed a system in your home with a first commissioning date between July 15 2009 and the date the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive becomes available (check your commissioning date on your MCS certificate) then you are an eligible legacy applicant. There are some differences that affect you compared to other applicants and you need to understand the difference before you apply.

Firstly, there are two different types of legacy applicants.

  • People who did receive the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP), a one-Off grant that has helped homeowners to cover the upfront costs of installing renewable heat.
  • Homeowners who have financed their own renewable heating system.

What is the difference?

If you were a homeowner who received a RHPP:

  • You will be assigned a time when you can apply .
  • The amount you received from the RHPP will be deducted from your Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive payments that you will receive for the next seven years. This includes other grants from public funds.

When can I apply?

As a legacy applicant, you must apply to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme within the first 12 months. There is a staggered application process due to the high volume of RHPP recipients, which goes like this:

  • Those who did not get an RHPP can apply for the scheme when it launches.
  • If you applied but did not use the RHPP vouchers, then you can apply for the scheme at the launch.
  • If you applied for the RHPP before May 20, 2013, then you can apply 3 months after the scheme has opened.
  • If you applied for the RHPP after May 20 2013 you can apply 6 months after the scheme opens.

If there is a high uptake to the scheme and the government has to adjust the tariffs, you will not be affected by the changes and you will continue on the original rate.

What else do I need for my RHI application?

Along with applying in the 12 month deadline, you also need to do the following:

  • Green Deal: Make sure you have the required Green Deal Assessment before you apply.
  • Get insulated: If your Green Deal Assessment suggested that you add either loft or wall cavity insulation, then you must have this renovation and get a follow up Energy Performance Certificate before you apply. To apply to the Renewable Heat Incentive, it is a requirement that you don’t have a loft or cavity wall insulation recommended on your Green Deal Assessment. You can still apply for the scheme if you can show that one of the insulation exemptions applies to you.
  • Check if you need metering.

What additional exceptions apply to legacy applicants?

As a legacy applicant, there are special provisions that have been made just for you.

  • Your renewable heat system does not have to meet the current MCS standards, on the standards in place when your appliances were first commissioned.
  • Your biomass system does not need to meet the same air-quality measure as those will when the scheme opens.
  • If your biomass system is not sized to meet 100% of the property’s space heating requirements, then it doesn’t need to be metered.
  • A seasonal performance factor of 2.5 will be assigned to heat pump systems. It is a good idea to get yours reassessed by an MCS installer if you are at all concerned that it isn’t meeting this standard. Do this before you apply, because you won’t be able to reapply afterwards if it is too high.

Do you think you are a legacy applicant? What renewable heat have you installed?

1 Comment to Am I a Legacy Applicant for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive or not?

  1. March 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean by ‘A seasonal performance factor of 2.5 will be assigned to heat pump systems’ I understand that MCS heat pump companies are able to assess the correct SPF to be applied, otherwise there is no point spending extra on higher performing heat pumps. Also ASHP have to meet certain radiator size requirements.

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