In early 2014 we are expecting Parliament to make a decision on the regulations of the domestic RHI (renewable heat incentive), so should you wait until then to install a biomass boiler?
Once you have got your green deal assessment done and have your EPC (energy performance certificate) and heat requirements under your belt, you will want to get moving and install a biomass boiler. However, until the regulations of the domestic RHI are given out to us next year there is no real way of knowing what the rates of payment will be. Signing on the dotted line for equipment that is likely to cost you thousands of pounds can be daunting, especially when you don’t know what returns you are likely to receive.
RHI cannot be applied for until you go ahead and install a biomass boiler. When the regulations are decided, hopefully in springtime 2014, it will be necessary to install the equipment first and then to apply for the Incentive. As we don’t yet know the RHI rates, you might wish to bide your time. However, if you make sure to meet all of the eligibility criteria ahead of time you should feel comfortable to wait for the decisions to be made and the cash to come in when it is ready.
There is one significant advantage to installing sooner rather than later, and that is the renewable heat premium payments scheme. The scheme helps with the upfront costs of installing equipment, and the rate for biomass boilers is £2,000. The sum is taken from the RHI payments over the seven-year life of the tariff, but many people find it more helpful at the time they install a biomass boiler. This scheme will end on 31 March 2014, hopefully coming into line with the announcement of the relevant RHI regulations.
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