The revised solar thermal calculation, the basis for payment under the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), provides an uplift to renewable heat by as much as 85%. Great news for end users and solar thermal installers alike.
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) published the new calculation as part of a far-reaching review of the standards under which solar heating systems are installed in the UK.
“We welcome the improvements to the energy calculation,” said Paul Barwell of the Solar Trade Association (STA). “Since the announcement of the domestic RHI tariffs in June, the industry has been waiting for clarity on this point. At last, solar installers can put the benefits of solar heating under the domestic RHI in front of potential customers.”
The STA has worked out that the changes to the energy calculation have increased the deemed renewable heat by between 14% for a two person household and 85% for a six person household, providing a significant boost to the value of the payments under the domestic RHI. In addition, the effect of the efficiency of the back-up heater (usually a boiler) is recognised, increasing the annual energy saving presented to the customer by at least 30%.
Stuart Elmes, Chair of the Solar Thermal Working Group at the STA and a contributor to the development of the new standards said, “Solar installers who took a look at the tariff of 19.2 p per kWh and decided that the domestic RHI wasn’t all that good, should look again at the numbers. The new calculation makes a big difference. We are also doing some work around the financial benefits of the hot water cylinder upgrade which we intend to reveal shortly.”
The STA is hosting a free Solar Thermal Seminar at the Solar Energy UK Event, NEC, next Tuesday (8th October), between 10.45 and 13.00. Delegates will hear about the new energy calculation, the domestic RHI and the impact on solar thermal return on investment.