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Owners of new builds no longer need to wait to get the Renewable Heat Incentive

One of the interesting changes to come out of the government’s recent amendments to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, is the change to occupancy regulations for new build properties.

Previously it has been the case that any property that has not been occupied for 183 days during the last twelve months, was required to install a heat meter. This was intended to ensure that renewable heat use in houses that were only being lived in part-time were being monitored correctly. However it resulted in problems for owners of new build properties.

If your house is brand new then you cannot have been living in it for 183 days. The regulations required that new build properties had to install an unnecessary heat meter, or else wait for 183 days before installing measure so that they could prove occupancy.

The changes introduced on 1 April 2016 have corrected this. The owners of new build properties are now exempt from the 183 day occupancy requirement upon applying to the scheme. They will still have to declare their occupancy on an annual basis, but will not have an unnecessary wait before they can begin to benefit from the scheme. 

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