Feed In Tariffs

The information site for the forthcoming guaranteed payments for renewable heat

Measuring heat output

The RHI tariffs are paid based on the heat output of the renewable energy system

There are two different approaches that can be used to measure the heat output of systems: metering (i.e. measuring) and ‘deeming’ (i.e. estimating the likely heat output).

The current proposals for non-residential systems require heat metering. It is possible that the future proposals for domestic systems will allow deeming, depending on the size of the system.

Heat metering

For phase 1 of the scheme all systems will have to meter the heat they produce and deliver. All payments will be made by calculating the metered number of kWh multiplied by the tariff per kWh.

The government has outlined the principles for metering heat, steam and biogas injection. It has also indicated how the metering should be configured in the system, calibrated, maintained and read.

This isĀ covered in the administrator’s guidance notes (Chapter 7 of Volume 1).

Complex metering

The following requirements have proved excessively onerous. The government’s response to this consultation says it will simplify this from Autumn 2013.

Some systems are designated as ‘complex metering’. This includes installations where any of the following apply:

  • Heat is delivered by steam
  • Combined heat and power systems
  • Heat used in more than one building
  • Ineligible heat uses on heating system

Similar requirements apply for systems above 1MWth.

These systems are more demanding in terms of the metering requirements, including the need for an Independent Report on Metering Arrangements.

Metering injected biomethane

For biogas injection, the amount of gas and its calorific value will need to be metered. If the biogas plant produces heat too, that needs to be metered.

Deeming the heat output

In the original proposals it was suggested that for small domestic systems the levels of payment would be based on a ‘deemed’ output based on what the installed system would be expected to deliver if the property were well insulated.

If this approach were adopted in Phase 2, the RHI would define what ‘well insulated’ means (the consultation had proposed levels forĀ minimum energy efficiency). The building’s energy use woukld be assessed through the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)28 used for the energy rating of buildings. This identifies the appropriate heat demand of the building based on the assumption that the minimum energy efficiency measures will have been taken up alongside the renewable heat installation.

We don’t know if this approach will still be used for domestic installations.