HETAS Approved Biomass Maintenance Scheme; the latest news

As of April 2022, updates to The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2022 made it a legal requirement to prove non-domestic biomass heating systems have been properly maintained in order to continue receiving RHI payments.

The easiest way for owners to achieve this is to have an annual service from a HETAS registered engineer listed on the HETAS Approved Biomass Maintenance Scheme (HABMS) as outlined in Part 3, Regulation 40 of the updated Regulations.

The Approved Biomass Maintenance Scheme was developed to support the MCS Standard for Planned and Preventative Maintenance of Biomass Appliances (MCS 040), introduced in the summer of 2021. Businesses that have been actively joining the scheme recognise the demand for specialist engineers and relevant competency, which is a major move forward for the industry and those taking part in the non-domestic RHI.

Implementation of the Regulations are from April 2022, to allow consumers time to obtain the necessary documentation and comply. Ofgem will likely start mandating evidence from recipients in 2023, however, they continue to be able to request this at any time so HETAS will be working to ensure owners are also aware of the changes and their legal responsibilities.

The future vision for the scheme goes beyond certification services, with HETAS aiming to provide a real asset and resource to members, the same way its approval schemes do in other parts of the HVAC sector.

Alan Young, Compliance Manager at HETAS, explains; “We really want to bring this sector of the industry together and support them with the wide scope of products and knowledge needed through specific competency frameworks and working groups.” The team has also been feeding back to MCS regarding the new standards and the challenges they have posed for the industry. “The MCS Standard is robust, but it’s been a sharp learning curve for the industry. We’ve supported members through the process and can see the work the industry is doing to meet the Standard. It’s important for us that our members know that HETAS is here to support and not simply to administer an approval scheme,” continues Alan. “Moving forward, it will improve the sector in recognising demonstrable competency and provide assurance that boilers will be maintained accordingly, helping to achieve cleaner and more efficient appliances.”

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