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New scheme is good news for owners of older buildings

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

On April 9 the Government announced the full details of who will be eligible for support under the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, writes Peter Foster, of Strutt & Parker in Shrewsbury.

I would urge people who fall into these categories to apply for this support before April 8 2015, when the application deadline closes.

The RHI scheme was initially outlined in July 2013 and the recent announcement finalises the details of the support.

Owner occupiers as well as second homes, private landlords and legacy applications are eligible for the domestic RHI, where renewable heating technologies have been installed since July 15, 2009.

Eligible technologies include biomass, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal, with a maximum system size of 45kW.

Before making an application for RHI support, all applicants, including legacy applicants will need to ensure that a Green Deal Assessment has been carried out and the applicant is able to provide proof of installation.

Initially the scheme is open to applications from owners of new installations and also legacy owners whose installations were not part funded by the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.

After three months the scheme will also open to applicants of part funded installations by RHPP and finally from November 2014 all other legacy applicants can apply.

The scheme will be based upon a seven year tariff for all technologies, and are paid on pence per kWh of renewable heat, allowing for systems to be paid off more quickly.

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Alex Hagan, energy consultant at Strutt & Parker, says: "The introduction of the domestic RHI is especially good news for owners of older/traditional buildings who are unable to undertake any structural changes to improve their EPC rating as in some cases changing their heating systems from oil to biomass will be the only option available to improve the energy efficiency of their home and make significant savings on their energy bills.

"The nature of the Renewable Heat Incentive payments for the domestic scheme will allow for the cost of installation to be paid off in seven years (the average length of time spent in one home) which reduces the complexities with regards to moving house.

"Home owners that have previously installed renewable heat technologies eligible for the scheme since July 15 2009 will be able to apply for the tariff to be applied retrospectively as long as they make their claim within the next 12 months."

People should determine whether any eligible technologies have been installed in domestic properties since July 15 2009 and prepare an application within the next year.

While these tariffs are not designed to provide large investment returns, the domestic RHI will be important when it comes to the replacement of oil heating on properties which require improvement to meet minimum energy performance standards.

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