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Should I apply for the Domestic or Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme?

When you begin to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive you are given two options: Domestic or non-domestic. For many applicants this will be an obvious decision but for others there may be a blurred line. In this blog we aim to explain exactly which scheme you need to apply for and to answer any additional questions you may have about the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The renewable heat incentive is a government financial incentive that aims to promote the use of renewable heat. The scheme plans to reward homeowners who are willing to invest in renewable energy and help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.

The Renewable Heat Incentive has two schemes – Non-Domestic and Domestic. Each one of these options has their own website and application process so you don’t want to waste time on one when you should be applying for the other. You can only join one, so avoid making any mistakes, carry on reading.

The Difference between Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI

There is a significant difference between domestic and non-domestic, which you need to understand before proceeding:

Domestic RHI:

If your renewable heat system only heats a single home, and you have a domestic EPC, then you can apply to get the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. This can include a home that you live in, a social and private landlord for a property where one heating system only serves a single household, people who build their homes, and people who have homes built for them and/or meet other requirements.

Non-Domestic RHI:

This scheme is for those with renewable heating systems in commercial, public or industrial properties. You can be considered to be in this bracket if you have a small or large business, if you are a hospital or if you are a school or organisation. The district heating schemes where one system serves several homes can also affect it.

What is the blurred line?

If you find that your home doesn’t quite fit into the above categories then you may be in the part of the scheme where things get a little more complicated. An example of how you might not fit in, is if your renewable system supplies more than one building.

I want to join the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

If you would like to joint he Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive you need to get an Energy Performance Certificate so that the government knows you live in a domestic dwelling. If you don’t get this certificate then you will be unable to apply or benefit from the scheme.

If you wish to check whether or not you already have an Energy Performance Certificate for your home, you can do at the Landmark Register for England and Wales or the Scottish EPC Register.

What exactly is the Energy Performance Certificate?

The Energy Performance Certificate gives information about the energy use of a property and recommends ways in which a property can reduce energy use and save money. Each time you buy, sell or rent a property you are required to get a new Energy Performance Certificate.

An Energy Performance Certificate is included as part of the Green Deal Assessment which is required for you to join the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.

If you are unsure if your property already has a Energy Performance Certificate or you are unsure if you will be able to apply for a domestic one, you need to talk to an assessor directly.

Here is an general idea of houses that will qualify for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive:

  • Properties with a home office in the home that have or can get a Energy Performance Certificate, should be eligible for a Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
  • Properties with annexes attached to the house are normally covered by the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
  • Properties that have a elf contained outhouse with a bathroom and a kitchen bot heated by the same renewable heating system would normally have an Energy Performance Certificate for each property. They may be eligible for a Non-Domestic Scheme.
  • Similarly, a main house that has several other buildings all heated by renewable energy is not eligible for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

If you do have several buildings, you may want to check which ones already have an Energy Performance Certificate, when it was issued and with which advisor.

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