Below we have tried to answer some of the most frequent questions we are asked at Rainbow Heat and Power The list is by no means comprehensive; if you still have further questions, please take a look at OFGEM's FAQs

Q. What does the RHI stand for and what is it?

A. The RHI stands for the Renewable Heat Incentive. The commercial Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was launched in November 2011. The second Phase of the scheme, targeted at domestic dwellings was launched in April 2014. Its purpose is to increase the deployment of renewable heat, including biomass boiler heating systems, and to enable the UK to reach its binding 2020 carbon reduction targets. This works by  giving the owners of biomass boiler heating systems a financial incentive to move to renewable sources of heating from fossil fuels. Commercial RHI payments are based on heat consumption in kWh and are calculated by submitting quarterly meter readings over a 20 year period.  Domestic RHI payments are calculated in the same way but over a period of 7 years.

Q. How do I apply to get involved?

A. You can apply for both the commercial and domestic RHI via OFGEM’s website. An account will need to be created with OFGEM, which can be registered online in order to submit your application. Rainbow Heat and Power can use their experience to manage the RHI application on your behalf to add to the large number of success application we have managed to date. Contact us to find out more.

Q. What information do I need to provide to OFGEM?

A. You will need to provide OFGEM with;

  • A letter of authorisation from the company
  • A recent bank statement.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (Domestic RHI)
  • Identification such as a passport, driving license or even a gun license
  • Information on the heating system that the biomass installation has replaced
  • Rates bills for all the properties supplied
  • Schematics of the boiler room and, if appropriate, a pipe run layout
  • Proof of your fuel requirements
  • Evidence that any meters supplied meet the standard required
  • The answer to HK120 - “Please provide a description of your installation, including the make & model of the main components

Q. How long does the scheme last for?

A. In the commercial scheme, once you have received accreditation under the RHI you will receive payments for 20 years, providing you continue to comply with the terms and conditions of your participation. The domestic scheme has the same conditions but will run for a period of 7 years. Payments are index linked to inflation during this period.

Q. Would I be eligible under the Commercial or Domestic scheme?

A. If you biomass boiler will be serving a single non-commercial dwelling you can apply under the domestic RHI scheme. A commercial project is defined as  a biomass boiler heating system that serves a building or buildings with a commercial use or a commercial process being undertaken.

Where a single boiler serves more than one domestic property, the installation is known as  a “district heating” project. Although serving domestic properties, this is a commercial project because a commercial arrangement for selling heat or rent is assumed.

Q. Why can I not receive RHI payments if I have a public grant?

A. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have developed the RHI on the principle of no double public funding in order to ensure value for money, and to remain within the European Commission’s rules on State Aid. There is further explanation of this in the Renewable Heat Incentive Policy document from DECC.

Q. What if I pay the public grant back?

If you have received a grant towards the costs of purchasing and/or installing your renewable heat installation after the28th November 2011 (when the regulations came into force), you are not allowed to repay your grant and claim the RHI. If you are a transitional installation (installed and commissioned between 15th July 2009 and 28th November 2011) , you may be able to claim the RHI, although you will need to prove repayment of the grant to apply.

Q. What parts of the installation have to be new?

A. Your biomass boiler system must be new including all apparatus and appliances in order to claim RHI payments. Equipment installed after 15th July 2009 may qualify for RHI accreditation but you may need to add heat meters if the installation does not already feature one.

Q. How do I get paid?

A. OFGEM require quarterly meter readings. If received correctly the payment will be credited to the nominated bank account quarterly.   

Q. What metering do I need if I’m heating more than one building?

A. It depends on the individual situation, an installation with no external pipework, will require different metering set up than an installation with external pipework.

No external pipework

External Pipework

Take a look at OFGEM’s own Q&As for more their Guide; Understanding Your Metering Requirements

Q. How long will it take OFGEM to accredit my installation?

A. In our many biomass boiler installations with have experienced average accreditation times of 6 to 8 weeks from submission of the application. This can vary depending on accurate submission of relevant paperwork. Our experience can help you get this right first time.