The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Regulations 2014 were introduced to provide legislation to the Renewable Heat Incentive when the scheme was first launched. Since opening in April 2014, the scheme has already seen thousands of people successfully join and receive payments.
The government periodically reviews policy which means the rules can change for both new and existing participants.
With the non-domestic scheme now closed for new applicants and the domestic scheme scheduled to close to new applicants in March 2022, government is now focusing on how to ensure the schemes remain sustainable for the remainder of the payment period.
There is a specific focus on biomass, where a number of changes have been proposed:
- mandating participants to comply with a fuel quality standard
- carry out annual maintenance checks on their biomass boilers in order to increase efficiency and improve air quality emissions
Such changes will bring the non-domestic RHI scheme in line with recommendations in the April 2020 government response to the Renewable Heat Incentive: biomass combustion in urban areas consultation.
For suppliers with fuels authorised on the Biomass Suppliers List there will be a number of fuel quality requirements to remain authorised on the BSL on or after the 1st April 2022. These being:
- All wood pellets must meet the ENplus A1 standard or an equivalent standard.
- All other woodfuel must meet fuel quality standard EN 15234-1: 2011, ISO 9001: 2015 or EN ISO 17225-4: 2014or an equivalent standard.
- All woodfuel must be certified by the Woodsure Certification Scheme or an equivalent certification scheme as meeting the standard
The new fuel quality requirements are identified as a requirement in The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2021.
What does this mean for suppliers
In the short term, there is no requirement for suppliers to make any changes to the way they operate. As the UK’s only woodfuel certification scheme, Woodsure is currently reviewing how it’s scheme can be further developed to ensure it is accessible for all suppliers.
No immediate action is required but all suppliers will need to comply with the new regulations by April 2022 to remain on the BSL. Further information on how best to meet the regulations will be communicated in coming months and in the lead up to the April deadline. Guidance will be developed in collaboration with the Advisory Panel.
Details on how to join the Woodsure quality assured fuel scheme can be viewed here.
Information on joining ENplus is available on the HETAS website.