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Is anyone experiencing issues with RHI? I registered on 18 June and I’m still “pending approval”. I’ve followed up via email, and getting no responses. Is this normal?

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Giving this thread a bump - so, I applied on June 18 - just called them and they say that my application is still under process. That seems to be taking an awfully long time. 

 

For those of you that have applied for RHI, how long did it take for your application to be processed?

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That sounds an awful long time doesn’t it, we’re just waiting on our updated EPC to apply for RHI payments for our biomass boiler, we were hoping to have it all set up for winter, do you think they’ll backdate to when you made the application?

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13 hours ago, Christine Walker said:

you think they’ll backdate to when you made the application?

 

As part of the application, we had to provide a meter reading (because we have bivalent system), so I would assume that it will be backdated. If it takes this long to just register though, I shudder to think how long it takes for them to make payments.

 

will keep you posted.

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Apologies for piggybacking on this thread, we've just had a renewables report from the Energy Savings Trust which gives very positive reading about the financial viability of ASHP (and even more so, GSHP - capital costs entirely paid back through RHI) but this is based on a model of a bog standard new build whereas we want to build a very well insulated, airtight home. Does anyone have any experience of how these types of reports compare to the end results and how much smaller savings/RHI payments are? 

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11 minutes ago, eandg said:

Apologies for piggybacking on this thread, we've just had a renewables report from the Energy Savings Trust which gives very positive reading about the financial viability of ASHP (and even more so, GSHP - capital costs entirely paid back through RHI) but this is based on a model of a bog standard new build whereas we want to build a very well insulated, airtight home. Does anyone have any experience of how these types of reports compare to the end results and how much smaller savings/RHI payments are? 

 

 

I went through the process for our house.  If we had opted to have our ASHP supplied and installed by an MCS accredited company (a requirement for getting RHI) then the premium we would have paid for this would have been about £1,500 (over just buying the same ASHP and getting it installed by a non-MCS accredited company).  The additional cost for an MCS installation over the DIY installation we ended up with would have been well over £2,000.

 

RHI payments for our 130m², well-insulated house worked out at a bit over £80 per year for 7 years, so under £600 in total.

 

Had we opted to claim RHI it would have cost us around £1,000 more than not doing so, using just a normal installer, or it would have cost us somewhere between £1500 and £2000 more over the option I chose of a DIY installation.

 

You need to do the sums carefully, and really should make sure that whoever is doing the RHI calculations is being honest about the energy use, as I have a suspicion that some suppliers are encouraging people to use their (MCS accredited, and over-priced, IMHO) services by inflating the apparent energy savings.  For a low energy house I doubt that it makes sense to try and claim RHI, as you can almost always get a better deal by just buying a well-known brand of heat pump and having it installed by a reputable non-MCS accredited installer.

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1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

 

 

I went through the process for our house.  If we had opted to have our ASHP supplied and installed by an MCS accredited company (a requirement for getting RHI) then the premium we would have paid for this would have been about £1,500 (over just buying the same ASHP and getting it installed by a non-MCS accredited company).  The additional cost for an MCS installation over the DIY installation we ended up with would have been well over £2,000.

 

RHI payments for our 130m², well-insulated house worked out at a bit over £80 per year for 7 years, so under £600 in total.

 

Had we opted to claim RHI it would have cost us around £1,000 more than not doing so, using just a normal installer, or it would have cost us somewhere between £1500 and £2000 more over the option I chose of a DIY installation.

 

You need to do the sums carefully, and really should make sure that whoever is doing the RHI calculations is being honest about the energy use, as I have a suspicion that some suppliers are encouraging people to use their (MCS accredited, and over-priced, IMHO) services by inflating the apparent energy savings.  For a low energy house I doubt that it makes sense to try and claim RHI, as you can almost always get a better deal by just buying a well-known brand of heat pump and having it installed by a reputable non-MCS accredited installer.

Thanks for your insight. 

 

The other attraction is that going the MCS route attracts a 10 (or 12)-year interest free loan and frees up a bit of capital, so a fair bit to ponder. 

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Can't tell you how much less it would have cost to have our ASHP installed if we'd not gone the RHI route as we didn't get a non-MCS quote (and I was never going to attempt to install it myself). However, I can safely say it would have been a fraction of the 7 years @ £465 per annum we'll receive on our 96 EPC rated 165m2 home. 

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7 hours ago, NSS said:

Can't tell you how much less it would have cost to have our ASHP installed if we'd not gone the RHI route as we didn't get a non-MCS quote (and I was never going to attempt to install it myself). However, I can safely say it would have been a fraction of the 7 years @ £465 per annum we'll receive on our 96 EPC rated 165m2 home. 

 

I was the same as you NSS - we never received quotes from any companies that weren't MCS-certified. The thought of "DIYing" this would have been well beyond us, and we were reluctant to not proceed with a company that wasn't MCS certified because we figured that any repayments would have been better than none.

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8 hours ago, NSS said:

Can't tell you how much less it would have cost to have our ASHP installed if we'd not gone the RHI route as we didn't get a non-MCS quote (and I was never going to attempt to install it myself). However, I can safely say it would have been a fraction of the 7 years @ £465 per annum we'll receive on our 96 EPC rated 165m2 home. 

 

 

That's interesting, as it implies that your heating/DHW requirement is pretty high, which seems at odds with the EPC.  Our EPC is 107, and floor area 130m², yet the RHI payments would have only been £84/year, way lower than yours.  These are the RHI figures that I calculated using the official method, and the only way I could have got the payments to be higher would have been to fiddle around with the heating and hot water requirement, to inflate it a bit. 

 

Interestingly I did have a quote from an MCS installer to fit a ASHP, the same company that supplied and fitted our PV system.  Their quote suggested that we would get about £300/year in RHI payments.  I haven't the faintest idea how they came up with that figure, as they had our EPC, as they needed it to register the PV installation for the FiT, so they should have been using exactly the same input data for the RHI calculation as I used.

 

Edited to add:

 

Just tracked down the reason for my calculation of RHI being at odds with that from the MCS accredited supplier.  In essence, they seem to have used exaggerated data.  They have ignored our actual EPC and produced an RdSAP EPC, that over-estimates our heating requirement by about 1,000 kWh/year and includes a hot water requirement of about 2,600 kWh/year, when the ASHP would not be providing our hot water, so this figure should not have been used in the RHI calculator at all.

 

I'm not at all sure of the legality of doing an RdSAP when they have a current full SAP EPC (in this case done just the week before).  I can see their reasoning for doing this, it inflates the RHI payment and makes the deal look a lot more attractive.  If we could have legitimately received £300 a year for 7 years I would probably have just gone down the MCS installer route.  It seems that I could have accepted their offer, and the £300/year RHI payment, if I hadn't already checked for myself and found that the data they were using was in error.  Knowing that they had used duff data I couldn't in all honesty have effectively fiddled the system like this.

 

I wonder how widespread the practice of using RdSAP is, and whether MCS approved suppliers take care to make sure that the data they are using for the RHI claim is accurate?

Edited by JSHarris
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I wonder how many people who have an MCS system fitted, along with a heat meter, find they don't get the payment promised.

There are a fair few PV systems that have under performed.

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2 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

I wonder how many people who have an MCS system fitted, along with a heat meter, find they don't get the payment promised.

There are a fair few PV systems that have under performed.

 

AFAICS, you will get the payment based on what the MCS installer has put on the form for your heating and hot water annual usage.  If this comes from an RdSAP (which seems probable, if my experience is typical) then I would guess that the government just accept the figures without question and pay up.

 

The only way that I think anyone could get caught out would be if there was another EPC produced and someone spotted that the numbers didn't tally between the two.  In all probability that's not likely, as if our MCS supplier was prepared to ignore a week-old full SAP EPC, that had just been lodged on the database, and submit the RdSAP EPC they had prepared, that was wildly different, then I have to assume that they believed that the risk of getting caught out was low.

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This does raise some interesting questions - if installers inflate their figures to get the sale on the promise that you'll get x-amount via RHI payments this could lead to all manner of issues. After all, they have the sale, and it'll take months before we get our first payment which could be way off what they "promised".

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5 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

then I have to assume that they believed that the risk of getting caught out was low.

Should be our job, as good citizens, to report any differences.  I shall follow the governments line on honesty for the time being.

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7 minutes ago, Home Farm said:

This does raise some interesting questions - if installers inflate their figures to get the sale on the promise that you'll get x-amount via RHI payments this could lead to all manner of issues. After all, they have the sale, and it'll take months before we get our first payment which could be way off what they "promised".

 

 

I'm not sure they can do this, as the RHI is calculated using the data that the MCS installer provides, taken from an EPC, of the annual energy usage for hot water and heating.  This is an estimate, as there's no easy way to check, however I believe that some types of appliance have to be fitted with an energy meter, to record the sensible heat delivered, and RHI is calculated from the readings given by that.  I'm not sure when energy metering is used, though, as heat energy meters are expensive things to install.  I have a suspicion that heat energy metering may only be used for larger commercial installations.

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24 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Should be our job, as good citizens, to report any differences.  I shall follow the governments line on honesty for the time being.

 

I agree.  Looking at the quote I had for the ASHP installation, it gives a total energy usage (for calculating RHI) that is nearly three times our actual heating energy usage.  I can see how they can get away with this, as they don't actually have to sign to say that the ASHP is providing hot water (ours doesn't); the RHI assumes that all the hot water energy usage is coming from the ASHP.  This means that anyone with PV that's heating their hot water with the excess, or anyone with solar thermal, will be being over-paid RHI by a fair bit.  I reckon that somewhere between 2/3rds and 3/4s of our hot water comes from excess PV generation, for example.  In our case the MCS installer knew this, as they were the people that installed our PV system.

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12 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

I'm not sure when energy metering is used, though, as heat energy meters are expensive things to install.  I have a suspicion that heat energy metering may only be used for larger commercial installations.

 

That is correct - I know of a big wood chip boiler install and a 10,000 litre thermal store that has a heat meter on the output to the house as it is installed as a district heating system (ironically to a single property....). They are expensive but they aren't the best in terms of being accurate as the sensor essentially looks like a DS18B20 and a small turbine flow meter, and the temperature sensor is only stuck in a pipe pocket...

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26 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

I'm not sure when energy metering is used, though, as heat energy meters are expensive things to install.

 

I've not taken much interest in RHI at all, but my understanding is that you need a heat meter if there are mixed sources of heat. E.g., heat pump plus wood boiler. So maybe the fact that your PV feeds heat into the DHW would mean that you'd theoretically need a heat meter.

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18 minutes ago, Ed Davies said:

 

I've not taken much interest in RHI at all, but my understanding is that you need a heat meter if there are mixed sources of heat. E.g., heat pump plus wood boiler. So maybe the fact that your PV feeds heat into the DHW would mean that you'd theoretically need a heat meter.

 

 

I believe so, but our only source of DHW now is either E7 electricity or excess PV generation, so any RHI assessment shouldn't include the hot water usage anyway.  This was the case when we had the quote for the ASHP from the MCS supplier, as at that time we were planning on using the big thermal store for hot water, heated via an immersion heater.

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1 hour ago, Ed Davies said:

I've not taken much interest in RHI at all, but my understanding is that you need a heat meter if there are mixed sources of heat. E.g., heat pump plus wood boiler. So maybe the fact that your PV feeds heat into the DHW would mean that you'd theoretically need a heat meter.

 

Yes, that's what I was told. Bivalent systems require metering for billing purposes.

 

It also used to be the case that the system had to be capable of having metering installed. However, from memory, this was to do with capturing real-world data for research rather than being anything to do with billing/payments. The requirements were something like you needed an accessible straight portion on the flow and return pipes of some length - 500mm, 600mm, something like that. I think they got rid of that requirement when they made changes to the RHI in late 2017.

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4 hours ago, JSHarris said:

 

 

That's interesting, as it implies that your heating/DHW requirement is pretty high, which seems at odds with the EPC.  Our EPC is 107, and floor area 130m², yet the RHI payments would have only been £84/year, way lower than yours.

 

Our EPC states an annual space heating demand of 3,415 kWh and water heating demand of 2,290 kWh. Floor area of 168m2.

 

These figures were submitted for our RHI application.

 

Are you sure the £84/year you quote wasn't actually a quarterly figure?

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8 minutes ago, NSS said:

 

Our EPC states an annual space heating demand of 3,415 kWh and water heating demand of 2,290 kWh. Floor area of 168m2.

 

These figures were submitted for our RHI application.

 

Are you sure the £84/year you quote wasn't actually a quarterly figure?

 

 

There's a calculator on the government website that can be used to work out RHI: https://renewable-heat-calculator.service.gov.uk/Default.aspx and using your figures gives a payment of £370/year for an ASHP at the current rates (not sure if the rates have changed recently though).

 

In our case the ASHP doesn't provide DHW and our heating requirement is a lot lower than your figure, hence the reason that the RHI was only £84 per year when I did the calculations.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

(not sure if the rates have changed recently though).

 

The rate for ASHP (at least) went up a couple of years ago, from memory.

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1 minute ago, jack said:

 

The rate for ASHP (at least) went up a couple of years ago, from memory.

 

That fits, as I've just put our heating figures through the calculator and it's given an RHI of £100 per year, rather than the £84 a year that it gave when I first looked at it.

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14 hours ago, NSS said:

Can't tell you how much less it would have cost to have our ASHP installed if we'd not gone the RHI route as we didn't get a non-MCS quote (and I was never going to attempt to install it myself). However, I can safely say it would have been a fraction of the 7 years @ £465 per annum we'll receive on our 96 EPC rated 165m2 home. 

 

I was with @NSS on this particular matter - our RHI payments, which came through fairly swiftly I have to say, amount to £211 per quarter [£444 per annum] on a 84 EPC rated 165m2 house.

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