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MCS Scheme Update – RHI Regulations & MCS 031

On 7th February 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) laid regulations to implement reforms to both the Domestic and Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes before Parliament. The changes to the schemes have successfully passed through the parliamentary process and come into force today.

The changes are summarised as follows:

Domestic RHI

  • Introduction of Assignment of Rights – due to come into force on 27th June.
  • Introduction of mandatory electricity metering for heat pumps on the Domestic RHI and domestic properties on shared ground loop systems on the non-domestic RHI.

Non-domestic RHI

  • Introduction of tariff guarantees – amount of heat covered limited to 250GWh per year.
  • Removal of wood fuel drying, waste drying or processing, and domestic swimming pools on Non-domestic premises as eligible uses of heat.
  • Introduction of shared ground loop regulations for ground source heat pumps – payments for heat pumps linked to domestic properties will be made on basis of deemed heat rather than metering.
  • Changes to efficiency thresholds for solid biomass Combined Heat and Power plant (implementation of 20% power efficiency threshold, up from 10%).
  • Uplift to biogas/biomethane tariffs.
  • New Biogas/biomethane feedstock requirements closely linked to the high biomethane and biogas tariffs.
  • Removal of digestate drying as an eligible heat use.

Changes affecting both schemes

  • Revision of degression thresholds out to 2020/21.
  • Amend degression mechanism methodology.
  • Operational administrative changes to give Ofgem (scheme administrators) further powers:
    • Clarification that any grant funding received post-accreditation is to be deducted from future payments;
    • Clarification of powers to withhold payments for a Metering Monitoring Service Package (MMSP) in cases of non-compliance;
    • Clarifying Ofgem powers to reject applications where it is not fully satisfied that the plant will operate in line with ongoing obligations;
    • Amending enforcement provisions to make it clearer where Ofgem may impose sanctions, including putting a greater onus on participants to evidence that they are in compliance;
    • Introducing new powers where Ofgem has been refused access to a site;
    • Enabling Ofgem to ban applicants from the scheme where they have misled Ofgem;
    • Reducing the period of dormancy (when applications are with applicant pending further information or clarification) from a minimum of 12 weeks to a minimum of 4 weeks;
    • Clarifying in regulations that Ofgem may conduct an unannounced audit.

Ofgem have published a communication regarding the changes to the RHI and system here

MCS 031 – Updated MCS Heat Pump System Performance Estimate

The MCS 031 “MCS Heat Pump System Performance Estimate template” has been updated to version 2.0 to align the Performance Estimate template with the changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Regulations and to incorporate feedback provided since first publication.

A summary of the changes can be found on the Version tab of the spreadsheet. Issue 2.0 of MCS 031 can be found on the MCS website here.

MCS Installation Database (MID)

On 28th March 2018, a change to the MCS Installation Database (MID) was implemented to bring MCS certificates in line with incoming changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) related to mandatory electricity metering for heat pumps.

The MCS administrator has developed a flow diagram “MCS RHI metering questions flow diagram” which illustrates the additional questions. The diagram can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding any ofthis please do contact the MCS Helpdesk.