This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Liz 1 year, 8 months ago.

  • Liz

    We are thrilled with our recent RHI payback. THey are due to start in October and will (fingers crossed) almost cover the total cost of getting our Ground-source heat pump installed. It has been quite a long process getting everything together but the GreenAge have been great with the last form filling part which means it suddenly all happened quite quickly. We did get the house instullated using the orginial grant for £6000 along side this. Thank you.

    Reply
    Susan Shaw
    Participant

    I do Green Deal reports and get audited on an almost weekly basis it seems. I just don’t understand how these sub par EPC / Green Deal reports get through, especially since these payments (which sometimes are quite substantial) are generated from them. The drive-by EPC industry surely needs to addressed, no one can go and do an EPC and charge £34.99 if it is done correctly and actually make any money. This is the problem with the industry.

    Reply
    Pete Steele

    Hi James,
    I see what you are saying, my view is that the owner of a PV system is entitled to use the electricity he generates as he pleases. When the MCS registered PV system was installed, there was no reference to downstream of the consumer unit so the householder is merely paid on what he generates. The householder is therefore obliged to declare that he has not changed the system upstream of the consumer unit. In the RHI scenario, the payment is based on the energy required, as deemed by the EPC, to keep the house warm. I therefore feel that if there is a material change to that deemed amount, then Ofgem may oblige householders to declare that change.

    I’m with you on the quality of EPC assessments, among other things I am a DEA and am aware of shortfalls in the production of an EPC right from the initial data collection through to the way RdSAP interprets that data. Assessor skill is just one of the factors that has the potential to provide a less than satisfactory result.

    Reply
    James Alcock
    Keymaster

    Hi Pete, I agree it is slightly unethical, but is it not the same as using a solar power diverter to maximise the usage of electricity in the home (since you get paid to export anyway). If people are paying 20K plus to get these systems installed in their homes then surely they can try and maximise payments.

    On an aside and this is potentially slightly critical of some of the energy assessors that we have encountered – some can’t tell the difference between a solid wall and cavity wall, so it is unlikely if the property is externally or internally insulated they would be able to tell anyway – so the EPC figures would remain the same!!

    Reply
    Pete Steele

    Hi Gerald,

    You are in a good position because you can easily calculate if you should stay on Economy 7 or switch to a regular tariff. Just let the heat pump run normally for a year and see how many kWh of electric you used and how much that cost. Then have a look at the best online rates for that many kWh to see if you would be better on E7 or an online fixed tariff. You must also consider the degree days of the trial year as a very cold or mild winter may skew your findings.

    Incidentally, most people find their homes more comfortable if they run the heat pump as it is designed to run i.e. on and available all the time and heating at a lower rate. By this method, the fabric of the house is maintained in a warmed state so the walls floors etc act like radiators. The heating does not have to cope with highs and lows so draughts from areas of different temperature are reduced, adding to the comfort. I have temperature modulation according to outside air temperature so I can only tell if it is cold outside by putting my hand on a radiator. If the radiator is just about body temperature, this means it is cool outside and if I can feel some heat in the radiator it means it is cold outside.

    Susan,
    The method you describe of having a Green Deal Report before installing solid wall insulation will indeed yield a higher return on the RHI but is that what it’s all about or indeed is it ethical. You will probably know that people who have PV panels are obliged to provide an annual declaration that their installation remains as stated on initial application. Government learnt a lot from the FiT introduction so I would not put it past them to oblige RHI recipients to sign a similar declaration. It would not be a great stretch to consider modifications to the house that result in a lower heat requirement should be alerted to Ofgem with a new EPC.

    Reply
    Susan Shaw
    Participant

    We have spoken to the RHI team at DECC and they have confirmed that the number always comes off the EPC for the RHI calculation. This is important, because it means if the heat demand on your home is higher when you get the EPC / Green Deal done then your payment will be higher. E.g. if your home needs external wall insulation but you want to heat the house with a heat pump, make sure you first get the Green Deal / EPC, then you install the heat pump & insulation later. This means the heat demand will be higher on the EPC (if you do things in this order) and you will get bigger payments!

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
    Liz

    Hi Gerald,

    Thanks for the questions. We are now a few months into our ground-source heat pump. We too love it! Lovely uniform heat which we are actually keeping at a lower level than we had our old oil-fired thermostat set at. I’m not too sure if this is due to the nature of how the heat is more even??? There is probably some science to it!

    As for the cost it is still a bit early for us to tell- especially as we swapped to the heat-pump mid-winter. We did invest in one of the wi-fi energy monitors from thegreenage shop so we can keep a closer eye on our energy demands, we’ll publish our real-time results in a few months so it is clearer if people are interest? We are currently on an economy 7 tariff meaning our power is cheaper at night. Ed has therefore tried to get the pump working mainly at night storing the heat for us to then simply pump through during the day. As we are well insulated we are hoping that the residual heat means the demand will be less. This might prove to be more expensive so we are keeping an eye on it.

    Keep in touch if you find any ways to run the Heat-pump cheaper!! Any help and advice gratefully received!!

    BW
    Lizzie

    Reply
    gerald

    The RHI on my system is exactly what I was told it would be (around £1,030 pa) and will almost pay for the Air Source Heat Pump (£7,500) but the efficiency of the system is poorer than I was lead to believe and when the temperature is around freezing the heat pump runs continuously to try and heat my house to 21C. I don’t think it would be able to handle temperatures of minus 10C.

    Reply
    Mr Street

    Saw that Mr Barker said the RHI is going live before easter – the payments might not be as high as I wanted, but at least they are going to start soon! Thanks Pete for providing that info – that is actually very useful and could explain why my payments aren’t as high as I hoped.

    Reply
    Pete Steele
    Participant

    Alan
    As part of the EPC survey the DEA will take note of whether or not your conservatory is separated and/or heated from the main system. If it is open to the house with no barrier it will be deemed to be not separated but is there is an external quality door leading to the conservatory it will be deemed to be separated. I would speak to the DEA to get clarification on that point.

    Reply
    Alan Nevis

    I had an interesting case here cause the heat pump company told me that the head demand was a certain level and then when the green deal advisor came around – he told me that since the conservatories were seperated, they were not included in the heat loss so the RHI payments would be less than first calculated by the heat pump engineers.

    Reply
    Pete Steele
    Participant

    Hello Mr Street
    Agreed it is all in our initial expectations and how they were set by the HP installer. If that was sometime ago the HP company will have been using guidance from DECC which has changed in the following years, however some companies may have had a ‘Rose coloured’ tint to their interpretation! The HP company should have told you how much energy your house would need, (now determined by the EPC) and therefore how much the HP would have to produce. It may not have mentioned that only the renewable energy would be paid for by the RHI and that the HP efficiency or SPF would determine the amount of renewable energy paid for under the RHI. Add into the mix a change in rates, RHPP payback implications and payment periods and the whole thing becomes more disappointing.

    Reply
    Mr street

    Rhi payments lower than I thought

    Hi, I have just had a green deal assessment carried out on my property and I was surprised to find the rhi payments will be nowhere near as generous as the HP installer told me they would be. Are other people finding this?

    Reply
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