Decreased biomass RHI
Biomass boilers must be popular at the moment because the biomass Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has passed another degression trigger. Degression is the process by which the government controls expenditure on the domestic RHI scheme and it involves reducing the tariffs that are paid to new applicants as more renewable heating systems are installed.
This means that any applications for biomass RHI after 1 October 2015 will receive 6.43p/kWh rather than the current 7.14p/kWh, a 10% decrease. So, if you have an application for biomass RHI waiting, you need to get it in quickly. If you are already receiving RHI, the tariff change won’t affect you.
Changes to fuel regulations
However, people who are already receiving biomass RHI will be affected by the new regulations about biomass fuel. As of 5 October 2015, the new biomass sustainability criteria come into force. There are two parts to this: a greenhouse gas lifecycle target; and land criteria. The greenhouse gas lifecycle target specifies that fuel used in a biomass RHI-registered stove must release no more than 34.8g CO2 equivalent per MJ of heat or emit 60% less greenhouse gas than the average EU fossil fuel.
For wood fuel, the land criteria mean that the wood must meet the Timber Standard for Heat and Electricity. The land criteria for non-wood fuel biomass mean that fuel must correspond with the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) for transport biofuels and bioliquids. Energy crops that meet the Energy Crops Scheme will meet the land criteria.
What does this mean for domestic RHI?
From 5 October 2015, your fuel must be from a supplier registered on the Biomass Supplier List (BSL), and each year you will need to declare to Ofgem that your supplier is on the list. If you are a self-supplier, you must get your fuel from within 50 miles of your biomass boiler and register yourself as a self-supplier on the BSL. Non-domestic biomass RHI has different regulations; for more information on the changes to both domestic and non-domestic RHI follow this link.
More information about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on YouGen
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