March 2016 changes to the Non-Domestic RHI regulations

What has changed?

On the 3 March 2016 DECC announced a number of minor changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). These changes came into force on 24 March 2016. These amendments will be made alongside the updating of scheme degression triggers for 2016/17 and changes to indexation linking tariffs for new scheme participants. There are also updates to the land criteria for sustainability. The amendments will:

• Adjust tariffs by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for participants with a tariff start state from 1 April 2016.
• Ensuring consistency in rounding of tariffs; and
• Changing the detailed wording of the requirements for equivalent schemes to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to ensure that the regulatory requirements are fair for a scheme wishing to be considered as equivalent to MCS for the purposes of both RHI schemes.
• Align the RHI sustainability land criteria with that set out in the Renewables Obligation Order 2015.
• Biogas CHP installations with an electrical capacity of ≥1MWe can be deemed to meet the sustainability requirements of the RHI if they are meeting the sustainability requirements on the Renewables Obligation scheme.

In addition, DECC has announced their policy intent to introduce a budget cap, intended as a backstop to protect against breaching annual budgets. As this is not included in the current regulations, our approach is not addressed in this Guidance document.  Any questions in relation to the cap should be addressed to DECC.

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