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RHI Changes to allow boiler replacement

RHI Changes to allow boiler replacement

05 November 2018

Biomass boiler replacement and remaining in the RHI will now be allowed where an original installation breaks down.

From 1 October 2018 changes in legislation will allow boiler owners receiving payments from the non-domestic RHI to replace a broken biomass boiler and still receive payments for the remaining term of their contract.

Although many biomass boilers have a life expectancy of 20 years and more, others may struggle to function efficiently over time. This could be as a result of any of a number of factors including:

  • the boiler being highly utilized and simply worn out
  • the fuel being used creating extra demands on the boiler (e.g. out of specification, high moisture content, too much leaf material etc)
  • failure to maintain system water quality (e.g. impurities in the feedwater can cause limescale or chemical deposits to form and reduce the rate of heat transfer)
  • A force majeure incident (e.g. a wall falling on the boiler house).

If a boiler is under performing, broken down, worn out or damaged beyond repair then it could be replaced with a new system subject to approval from Ofgem. In such a situation, the RHI recipient can retain the tariff rate they were awarded when they first applied to the scheme for the remaining term of their agreement. Any replacement boiler must satisfy the non-domestic RHI eligibility requirements and up to date emissions regulations.

In addition, RHI accredited boilers can be moved from one location to another. In this situation the owner could replace their boiler and retain the tariff or pass on the tariff to the new owner. In the latter case, the new heat use must be eligible according to the current rules of the RHI scheme.

These changes are good news for customers and should encourage appropriate re-investment.