As part of ‘The future support for low carbon heat’ consultation, in April 2020, the UK government set out proposals for the Clean Heat Grant. This scheme will provide support for heat pumps, and in targeted circumstances, biomass boilers in both domestic and small non-domestic buildings, through an upfront capital grant.
Following from this, the government would like further views on certain areas of Clean Heat Grant scheme design. The government will confirm the final scheme design later this year in the government response to the original consultation.
This further round of views will be reviewed, ahead of the final scheme design being published later this year. The proposals for review include:
- To ensure biomass is only installed in a building where a heat pump may not be appropriate, projects must: Demonstrate that the peak specific heat demand of the building exceeds a certain threshold and may therefore be considered 'hard to treat'. They propose this threshold be between 100 - 150 W/m2 and be calculated in accordance with BS EN 12831. BEIS are seeking further evidence on the peak specific heat demand value (in W/m2) that should be used. This approach will be the main way of assessing when biomass should be deployed under the scheme.
- A minimum insulation requirement as part of the eligibility criteria for the Clean Heat Grant scheme: Building on the requirements around Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for the Domestic RHI, applicants will have to: Hold a valid EPC (usually issued in last 10 years).To be eligible for the grant, the valid EPC must not have any recommendations for loft and/or cavity wall insulation. There will be some exemptions to this, e.g. listed buildings.
- Further requirements for voucher application process to ensure consumers understand the viable system choices and associated benefits/costs: In light of consultation responses, BEIS are proposing an additional requirement to stage 1 of the process: Consumers will be required to have their needs assessed by at least one installer and submit a quotation when applying for a voucher. It is hoped this will simplify the second stage, and reduce the number of speculative applications, thereby ensuring the budget is not tied up. Applicants will have 3 months from issuing of the voucher to redeeming it for biomass boilers and air-source heat pumps, and 6 months for ground or water-source heat pumps. During this time, applicants will have to submit all required information, such as through the MCS installation certificate. Only existing buildings and custom-built homes will be eligible for the grant.
The BEIS welcomes your views and evidence in response to these proposals via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 05 March 2021.
A Government response with final details on scheme design will be published in due course.
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