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    • CommentAuthormikrt
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    I was lucky to get RHI for my wood pellet boiler from the onset in April (or May) 2014. I understand it is for 7 years, what I'd like to know is what happens then? Does it suddenly stop or reduce to a lower tariff, or what? And if it does stop are we allowed to use a different energy source, say an ASHP and claim for another 7 years?

    While my boiler and pellets are working really good now, I feel that by the 7 years end date it will be struggling, and to be honest, without the RHI, the cost of pellets would be prohibitive.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    mikrt - it isn't a tariff as such. At the end of the seven years your RHI payments will stop - end of story. If the scheme is still around then you may be able to switch to a different renewable energy source eg ASHP but I can't see the government being that generous.

    I agree the price of pellets is no longer competitive with oil (for the time being anyway). I switched from an oil boiler when the RHI scheme started thinking I was doing my bit for the environment (plus, let's be honest here, saving money on fuel because oil was nearly 70p per litre then IIRC) but the article on the BBC news (see the other thread just started on here) makes me feel a bit of a prat now! But what can I do - there is no mains gas here, I couldn't afford GSHP and ASHP would not be sufficient to heat my place (I've looked into that). If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    buy an ASHP 'outside' the RHI / MCS inflated price structure?
  1.  
    Probably stick with what you have got until the end of the RHI then make a decision then. You might find that when the RHI stops for pellets the price will fall because like lots of these things when the subsidies / grants or incentive schemes no longer apply the real market price prevails. (see DarylP note above re inflated prices)
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Similar quandry , installed a pellet boiler under rhi to replace an ageing lpg system that was suplemented by a wbs. Under rhi the wbs had to be removed. Pellet boiler has been okish ( though nowhere near as light and leave as promised by installers) pellet prices also on a continual overinflation cost curve.
    Still 5 years of rhi to go, but reinstatement of wbs into system seems favourite in longterm, possibly reincorporating an lpg boiler as additional back up. Much will depend on pellet boiler reliability/ performance at end of the 7 years.
    Most certainly not the financial no brainer hoped for, in hindsight falls into the " too good to be true " category.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Add a air to air heat pump so you don't need to use your pellet boiler apart from on the coldest days.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryProbably stick with what you have got until the end of the RHI then make a decision then. You might find that when the RHI stops for pellets the price will fall because like lots of these things when the subsidies / grants or incentive schemes no longer apply the real market price prevails. (see DarylP note above re inflated prices)


    Peter - I hope you are right! The scary thing for me about the end of the RHI scheme will be the demise of all those companies that sell biomass boilers in the U.K. Some people may think that's not a bad thing but I'm thinking of the long term maintenance of boilers that have already been installed and the probable lack of availability of spares. I bought my boiler with the expectation that it would last a great deal longer than 7 years but that was on the assumption that the company that sold me it would still be around in order to get the spares from them!
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: ArtiglioSimilar quandry , installed a pellet boiler under rhi to replace an ageing lpg system that was suplemented by a wbs. Under rhi the wbs had to be removed. Pellet boiler has been okish ( though nowhere near as light and leave as promised by installers) pellet prices also on a continual overinflation cost curve.
    Still 5 years of rhi to go, but reinstatement of wbs into system seems favourite in longterm, possibly reincorporating an lpg boiler as additional back up. Much will depend on pellet boiler reliability/ performance at end of the 7 years.
    Most certainly not the financial no brainer hoped for, in hindsight falls into the " too good to be true " category.


    I agree with you, both about the "light and leave" bit and pellet prices! I changed an old OPOP wood pellet boiler for a swanky new "self cleaning" boiler when the RHI scheme first came around. The former was dead simple with minimal parts and no fancy electronics. It's still going strong 10 years on (I gave it to my brother-in-law). Yes it needs regular cleaning, but, and here's the but, so does my new swanky boiler with its buried burner pot, which takes quite a while to extricate from the burner assembly before I can even start to clean it! It took less than a minute to remove the burner grate from the OPOP, 2 minutes to clean it and less than a minute to put it back. Oh, the benefit of hindsight eh!
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    The boiler was sold as needing an annual service and needing ash removal and quick brush of burner "pot" ever 2/4 weeks.
    Within 3 months the annual service requirement was changed to 6 monthly despite what was in the manual and stickers on boiler. Plus whilst ash needed removing as stated every 2/8 weeks at same time it needs a good clean around the pot that takes an hour plus some energetic manipulation of the turbulators.
    Its an eastern european import, in fairness support from importer has been good and spares ( to date new internal feed auger and bearings) were off the shelf and reasonably priced ( though failure at 22 months was disapointing , and looks as though the auger screw is pretty much a consumable).
    In the event the importer stops supporting the range ('unlikely i hope) the manufacturer is happy to supply parts. The boiler is pretty basic and easily worked on. Pretty confident it'll last a good few years with lots of tlc.
    • CommentAuthormikrt
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Just have to wait and see how the land lies in 2021. It will either be ASHP or oil
    as it is now, but obviously things will probably have changed when the time comes.
    • CommentAuthorJonG
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2017
     
    Plenty of biomass installers have gone to the wall sadly, we are diversified in that we are qualified to install gas, oil, lpg, biomass, solid fuel, heat pumps, PV, Tesla etc, which keeps the order book full.

    We are not the only ones and hopefully those that remain should be the competent ones that can still provide service and support to the biomass users.

    Oil is on its way back up, the environmental issue is another thing entirely!
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2017 edited
     
    Not sure I understand what the wringing of hands is all about; the RHI was intended as a vehicle to incentivise we plebians to be an early adopters of a particular kind of heating system, in order that it could gain some traction in terms of market forces/numbers and drive future prices down..

    Essentially the government has reimbursed our outlays for these experimental boilers, and at the end of 7 years we should be somewhere about even. If the durn thing explodes the next day, then we do what we'd have had to do at the start, if the RHI hadn't been around:

    Buy a(nother) boiler!

    We can jump around all we want and complain that we're not on the gas grid etc, hence needing some massive 20 grand fire-in-a-box, but we paid the money for that big ole barn conversion in rural nowhere and we took our choice..


    It's not possible to make another application for RHI on the same installation, though you might well get away with re-applying if you have another EPC done, and rip out the old install and put another renewable heating system in, if the scheme is still going.
    This topic came up when I was on the phone to OFGEM talking about the ASHP increase to 10p this coming march; I'd applied for the RHI about a month too early to have been put on the list of people who will get their 7p/kwh upgraded to 10p later this month so just by being that bit too eager I "lost out" on about £2K - i asked about withdrawing from the scheme and reapplying, only to find out that a particular piece of kit (a planned, MCS accredited install of components X,Y,Z..) can only sign up once (so you can't buy one ASHP and then carry it round umpteen different houses signing each up for the RHI and then replacing it for a gas boiler and moving it onto the next dwelling)
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2017
     
    Posted By: cjardbuy one ASHP and then carry it round umpteen different houses signing each up for the RHI and then replacing it for a gas boiler and moving it onto the next dwelling
    Careful, they may not have thought of that in N Ireland :wink:
    Posted By: cjardWe can jump around all we want and complain that we're not on the gas grid etc, hence needing some massive 20 grand fire-in-a-box, but we paid the money for that big ole barn conversion in rural nowhere and we took our choice..
    Too true.
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