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Ofgem sends back 95 per cent of Renewable Heat Incentive applications

Published 1st May, 2012

Administrator confirms it is looking to simplify complex registration requirements for green incentive scheme

Ofgem is seeking to simplify the metering requirements for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), after the scheme's first quarterly report revealed 95 per cent of applications have been returned to sender.

Ofgem's first RHI quarterly report yesterday revealed it approved just 20 of the 376 RHI applications it has received since November from businesses seeking to take advantage of incentives when installing renewable heat technologies such as biomass boilers and solar thermal.

The 20 installations have a total capacity of 5.25MW and have generated nearly £10,000 in payments through the RHI, which guarantees organisations additional revenue based on how much renewable heat they generate. Sixteen biomass boilers have qualified for the payments, alongside four heat pumps.

However, Ofgem revealed it had frequently sent back applications to businesses because they were inconsistent, did not contain all the necessary information, were not detailed enough, or included confusing and illegible supporting documents.

A spokeswoman said metering the amount of heat generated by eligible technologies had been a major stumbling block for applicants.

For example, under the rules of the scheme some businesses will only receive payments for heat used, meaning they will require two meters - one to measure heat used that is eligible for the RHI, and additional meters to calculate what fraction of this heat use was supplied by an RHI-eligible source.

Ofgem said it was looking at ways to reduce the registration burden on companies, while still ensuring that all payments were legitimate.

It has also invited meter manufacturers to submit evidence showing how their meters meet RHI requirements, in a move to help ensure the right information is available to applicants.

The decision followed a series of events last month designed to help businesses navigate their way through the application process.

However, the revelations are likely to result in fresh questions over the management of the scheme and the recent decision to delay the introduction of the domestic element of the RHI.

The spokeswoman for Ofgem also urged applicants to read Volume 1 of the RHI Guidance documents before applying, specifically the criteria determining whether a system is "simple" or "complex".

She also urged them to use a "Summary of Supporting Information" document, which explains what information applicants will need to have to hand in order to submit a complete application.