Learning incentive

Learning incentive

With DECC launching the much-anticipated Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) this spring, NAPIT discusses how installers can put themselves in the ideal position to take advantage.
The Renewable Heat Incentive has been available for the non-domestic sector since 2011 and will become available for the domestic market this Spring. The tariff rates are calculated in pence per kilowatt hour and are expected to be introduced at the following rates, to be paid over 7 years: biomass boiler 12.2 p/kWh, air source heat pump 7.3 p/kWh, ground source heat pump 18.8 p/kWh, solar thermal 19.2 p/kWh.
Consumers who have installed a renewable heat technology since 15th July 2009 and meet the RHI eligibility criteria will be able to apply for payments. The key requirement for the Domestic RHI is that all measures installed under the scheme have to be carried out by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installer.
Learning incentive
Ofgem, who will be administering the Domestic RHI, predict that there will be an estimated one million participants in both RHI schemes by 2020. With fewer than 4,000 companies registered under MCS up to the end of January, there is a huge gap in the market for installers to take advantage and get involved in the significant amount of business that is expected to be generated through the Domestic RHI.
With the uncertainty in the domestic renewable heat industry caused by numerous delays to its introduction, the launch this spring of the Domestic RHI is expected to provide a much needed boost to installers and bring consumer and trade confidence back to the industry.
The Domestic RHI technologies include biomass boilers, biomass pellet stoves with integrated boilers, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels (flat plate or evacuated tube only). If you are qualified and certified to install these technologies, NAPIT highly recommends publicising your services and your links with the Domestic RHI to potential customers.
Because renewable heating systems work best in a well-insulated home, the Domestic RHI also works alongside the Green Deal – the Government-backed initiative to help people make their homes more energy efficient. Therefore, before applying to the Domestic RHI, householders must first have a Green Deal Assessment carried out on their property.
All Green Deal Assessments have to be carried out by a certified Green Deal Advisor, who is registered with a Green Deal Advice Organisation. There is potential for MCS installers to either train to become or link with a Green Deal Advisor, which would place them in an ideal position to offer a combined service and help householders meet the requirements to receive Domestic RHI payments.
Another requirement for householders to be eligible for the Domestic RHI is that they must install loft or cavity wall insulation if it is recommended in the Green Deal Advice Report. If it is not possible to do this, evidence can be submitted to Ofgem as part of the application.
For installers working within the insulation industry, this is welcome news. Providing installers promote their insulation services alongside the Domestic RHI requirement, there is every chance that they can gain more business through the Government initiative.
After any required insulation has been installed, householders are then required to get an updated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to verify that the work has been completed. Any installer who is qualified to carry out an EPC report would be wise to advertise this fact to boost their business prospects throughout the year.
In the months ahead, installers are encouraged to not let the potential opportunities that the Domestic RHI provides get away from them and should be full prepared to start working as soon as the scheme goes live. Installers who aren’t could be left out in the cold as the Domestic RHI grows during 2014.