The long anticipated RHI regulations are to come into effect on 20 September. The reforms were laid before parliament yesterday giving the minimum 20-day notice. This has the greatest impact for biomass boilers where the tariffs for small, medium and large biomass will all align to one new tariff. There will also be a change in the Tier 1 load factor which will increase from 15% to 35%, meaning that boilers can run for 3066 hours instead of 1314 hours before reaching the threshold.
The new load factor means that the impact of the lower tariff is not as great as it first appears, particularly for smaller and larger installations.
However, if you want the existing tariff and you have a small to medium biomass boiler project being built at this very moment, your key deadline should be 19 September rather the end of the month. Heat pumps are largely unaffected by the new regulations.
Those who are expecting their installations to complete after 20 September should be mindful of the requirement to demonstrate that you have met planning regulations (or demonstrate that you do not require planning permission) for applications submitted after 20 September 2017.
An official announcement will be made by BEIS on 01 September and we will update this blog if there is anything else pertinent.
Updated 01 September 2017
The announcement from BEIS today is as follows:
Regulations were laid before Parliament on 30 August 2017 to bring forward the first part of the RHI reforms announced in December 2016. Included in these regulations are changes to tariffs and tiering arrangements for biomass installations in the Non-domestic RHI. Subject to parliamentary approval these tariffs and tiering arrangements will apply to all new biomass applications accredited from 20 September to 31 December 2017. There will be no degression applied on 1 October 2017. Applications for large biomass plants with a tariff start date from 14 December 2016 to 19 September 2017 will have their tariff changed to these new, tiered tariffs from 20 September. Small and medium biomass applications accredited during this period will stay on the previous tariffs and tiering arrangements. It has not been possible to include the announced changes to the biogas and biomethane tariffs in these regulations although these are intended to follow in further, affirmative regulations later in 2017; tariffs for these technologies will be held at the current level in the meantime. These regulations also introduce new expenditure thresholds for calculating degression and these will be included in graphs in the next monthly publication.