Questions and answers about our services, renewable heat incentives and other related issues

Below are some questions and answers about RHI, other renewable schemes and also about ERT’s services.

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rhi scotland biomass

RHI and Renewable Incentives

What is Biomass?

Biomass is the word used for biological material obtained from plant matter. All of our products use biomass fuel in the form of logs or pellets.

Why choose biomass?

Wood is a local, renewable fuel that absorbs CO2 whilst it grows. When a tree is cut down and burned the CO2 goes back into the atmosphere and is reabsorbed by another tree growing in its place. By switching to a naturally replenished energy like this you can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.

What are wood pellets?

Wood pellets are pellets made from fine wood particles. They are cylindrical in shape, and measure 6mm in diameter, and approx. 3.15mm – 40mm in length

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?

RHI stands for the Renewable Heat Incentive and is a government scheme designed to promote renewable energy uptake. People who join the scheme and meet the requirements receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces. To find out more about domestic RHI visit Ofgem’s website.

Where can I source wood pellets?

All wood pellet fuel used with the Biomass Heating System should meet the standard BSEN14961 and be purchased from a BSL approved supplier (BSL). If you don’t use an approved fuel, you risk losing your RHI payments. We advise that you keep your receipts for auditing purposes.

We recommend using Woodlet pellets sourced through our recommened supplier BD Supplies

How do I store my wood pellets?

Wood pellets are available in 10kg or 15kg sealed bags which can be stored in your home or in an out building. They should be kept out of the rain as bags are perforated and will spoil. Kept in dry conditions they will last indefinitely.

If you prefer, you can also buy in bulk and have your pellets blown into a hopper. BD supplies sells pellets like this too.

 

How often does my pellet/biomass boiler need to be serviced?

If you are receiving RHI payments, it is essential that you arrange yearly services for your Biomass Boiler. Failure to do this could result in you losing your RHI payments.

Some people prefer to have a twice yearly service just to keep their boiler in excellent condition.

We are experts in biomass boiler servicing and service boilers in most areas, including the Highlands of Scotland, the lowlands, the islands and around Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as the rest of the UK

During RHI audits, the owner of the system will have to demonstrate evidence that the installation has been maintained over the 7 year period to allow the customer to receive the RHI payments. This is customer arranged and is not the installer’s responsibility – although customers need to be made aware of their obligations. The customer is able to satisfy this requirement by providing receipts to show that the system has been maintained’ ~ MCS

Important Changes re RHI

The UK government consulted on proposed changes to the domestic RHI scheme and these came into force in two phases.

Changes made included:

  • Introduction of mandatory electricity metering for all new heat pumps in domestic RHI properties and domestic properties on shared ground loop systems in the non-domestic RHI*
  • See the section on Metering at the end of this page for more details, about metering and Metering and Monitoring Service Packages (MMSP) that could meet this requirement for certain systems.
  • (*Payments for heat pumps linked to domestic properties will be made on the basis of deemed heat rather than metering except for second homes and where a renewable heating system is installed alongside another heating system, in which cases payments will continue to be on the basis of heat metering)
  • The introduction of “assignment of rights” (AoR), an option to help householders and/or landlords access finance to overcome the barrier of the upfront cost of a renewable heating system.
  • Assignment of rights (AoR) allows an “investor” to help fund the purchase, installation and maintenance, of a household or landlord’s renewable heating system. Households and landlords are then able to assign their RHI payments to the investor, who is referred to in the RHI Regulations as the “nominated” investor.. This change came into effect on 27 June 2018.
  • Heat demand limits introduced, to limit the level of annual heat demand in respect of which any household can receive support. The heat demand limits are  set at 20,000kWh for ASHPs, 25,000kWh for biomass boilers and stoves and 30,000kWh for GSHPs. No limits were proposed for solar water heating systems.
  • For heat pumps if the deemed demand is more than the capped limit then you will be paid the unit tariff multiplied by the amount of renewable heat that contributes to the capped demand.

Please see the following guidance from Ofgem for more information about these changes:

Changes to the scheme web page

Factsheet: Important changes to the Domestic RHI scheme

Factsheet: Introduction to assignment of rights

Factsheet: Essential guide to assignment of rights

This is not an exhaustive list of all of the changes to the scheme and further information can be found in the full RHI consultation response available on the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) website.

If you have any further questions at this stage then please find details in the full RHI consultation response

If you have questions about the policy decisions made in the consultation response  you can contact BEIS at emailenquiries@beis.gov.uk or 020 7215 5000.

If you have questions about an existing DRHI application or a system already approved for DRHI payments please contact Ofgem eServe, the scheme administrators, at 0300 003 0744 between 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday or at domesticrhi@ofgem.gov.uk.

Further information about the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive can be found on this page. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of changes to the scheme. 

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