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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2012
    I have come across an unusual, or at least I hope it is unusual, case where the "commercial" RHI payments are bigger than the cost of fuel!

    The net result is that is in their best interests to keep the boilers on 24/7 with the windows open.

    Can this be true and has anyone else seen this type of thing?
    • CommentAuthormarkocosic
    • CommentTimeNov 22nd 2013
    Biomass? Far too generous. Early birds get the worm; tariff digression ought to prevent it getting out of hand.

    • CommentAuthorhairydude
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    I'm afraid not Tony. I had a client asking me to decrease the amount of insulation in a new building because it was in his interest to keep the proposed biomass boiler on longer. He's now looking into alternative uses for the heat!
    • CommentAuthormarkocosic
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    Log drying business in the basement? Hot tub? ;-)

    All "useful" according to DECC...
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    All short sighted as at some point a government will change the rules.

    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    I thought the RHI was on deemed usage, so physically burning more does not pay. Though I can see the argument about reducing thermal performance to burn more. But it is a time limited scheme and you will pay the price later on even if you rip out the old boiler and put gas in.
    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    I thought the proposed domestic payments are on deemed usage but the commercial on actual usage.
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    Could be.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    I am for reducing usage not encouraging more usage
    • CommentAuthormuddy
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
    I've heard claims that a timber products manufacturer has so much 'waste' sawdust to burn that the only way is to vent the heat to outside, and collect the RHI payments of course. Doesn't even pay for the fuel.

    I'm just starting to look at RHI for my workshop, and it does seem to be a fairly complicated procedure. I intend using biomass, but I also have waste heat from a kiln that I would ideally like to collect. The kiln will be electric or lpg, I can see it upsetting ofgem.
    Any guidance on commercial RHI gratefully received.
    Domestic RHI will be deemed based on rdSAP not actual usage. For old houses like mine that have retrofit insulation, rdSAP overestimates energy usage. So RHi will be over paid.

    It will still benefit me to insulate and minimise usage as that reduces costs but doesnt reduce rhi.

    I dont believe in undeserved subsidy so will be looking for something worthy to do with the money.

    I'm not expecting RHI to survive the current purge of 'green taxes'.
    • CommentAuthordaserra
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
    Another little imaginary world created in Noddyland. I'm sick to the back teeth of these distortions that only do good to people who know how to game the system as opposed to people creating/building/saving/progressing.
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2013
    Had a chat with a biomass boiler installer just yesterday and discussing the fact I could dry our logs using biomass and claim the commercial RHI for doing it :shocked:
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2013
    This is all the problems of having subsidies.
    I must be possible to have a factory on a farm that makes wood pellets. All the energy needed is generated on site with the associated payments distorting the price. And all to make a product that makes pollution.
    Something is wrong there, but the marketing/PR stuff will look good.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2013
    Situation is a big three storey former rectory, solid walls, currently no heating except coal/wood fires. No mains gas. Difficult to insulate. Interested to know how two alternatives would compare financially...

    1) Putting up a small/medium wind turbine to pay for/offset the running costs of electric heating.

    2) Installing a biomass boiler and wet central heating and getting the RHI?

    Would the house have to be insulated to qualify for one or the other?
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2013
    I find it amazing that the RHI would pay for me to install a wood/biomass burning boiler, A2W or GSHP heating or a range of other 'renewable heating technologies' even though I already have a very high efficiency gas combi boiler!

    They wouldn't ask me to insulate my poorly insulated Georgian flat much (due to cornices, being in a conservation area etc), so the deemed heat usage would be very high and the subsidies extremely generous.

    Since these things aren't cheap, we're probably talking subsidies of over £10k. And since, as a tree hugger, I keep my actual heat usage lowish, I reckon I could make a very decent profit on the whole thing.

    That feels wrong to begin with. But it wouldn't be too bad if it weren't for the fact that none of the above systems are actually any greener than my existing high efficiency combi boiler! Why am I eligible at all? Since I like to think I'm not a complete a*se I won't do it, but I can see others in my situation doing it purely for financial gain (wrong) and in the process -increasing- their carbon footprint (double wrong). Please someone tell me I've misinterpreted something?

    As many of you will know from my previous posts, the only tech I suspect -might- make a decent dent in the carbon emissions of someone in my situation (A2A heat pumps) aren't included in the RHI...
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2013
    Posted By: CWattersWould the house have to be insulated to qualify for one or the other?

    Don't know about relative costs but yes to the above. The RHI (for biomass et al) has such a requirement. FIT (for windmills et al) doesn't.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2013
    Ah that explains a lot.
    GarethC said:

    ''I find it amazing that the RHI would pay for me to install a wood/biomass burning boiler, A2W or GSHP heating or a range of other 'renewable heating technologies' even though I already have a very high efficiency gas combi boiler!''

    My understanding is that it has not been finalised yet. I gather the concentration is to be on non-gas-grid properties, so unless your gas combi boiler is running on LPG, you may not necessarily be eligible.

    Can anyone clarify?
    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2013
    If you are on mains gas then at the moment you can only apply for the RHPP for solar thermal.

    Once the domestic RHI comes into effect (..........) then it will supersede the RHPP.
    It looks like you can still get some subsidy if you switch from gas but that it will be a lower tariff than those off gas and as yet at an undetermined level.

    I think...
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2013
    The RHI eligibility requirements definitely suggest that you don't have to be off-gas grid, and I can't find anything at all about being ineligible if the 'renewable' technology won't actually cut your carbon emissions or bills (i.e. if you have a fairly efficient gas boiler). But you -must- be right. They will have to do something to head off this possibility. The prospect that they don't is too crazy.

    • CommentAuthorMikel
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2013
    The DECC document to which Gareth refers clearly states that you do not have to be off the gas grid to apply for RHI. However, I doubt that the costs involved would make any of the alternatives to mains gas viable. The most sensible option for those on the gas grid is to insulate, insulate and insulate and then turn the heating down!

    I have booked a green deal assessment as I will be applying for true RHI. Our system (GSHP + Solar thermal) is classified as a legacy system and therefore will have a deemed SPF of 2.5 for our GSHP. When I get the results, I'll be able to see whether or not the level of subsidy is generous.

    The EPC for our property in late 2010 showed an energy use of 186 kWh per sq m which works out as a total of 27000 kWh.

    I had a SAP 2009 done for two air permeability figures (6.00 and 15.00) giving total 17200 and 18900 kWh respectively.

    The heat loss calculation required under MIS 3005 gave 9kW.
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