Payments to NDRHI participants are made over 20 years and are based on the heat output for each installation. The NDRHI scheme closed for new applicants on 31 March 2021 and the last payments under the scheme are due to finish in 2041.
In the Government Response to the consultation ‘NDRHI: Ensuring a Sustainable Scheme’, published in January 2021 (1), the government made a commitment to introduce two new obligations to NDRHI participants using biomass:
- Participants will be required to adhere to a fuel quality standard as detailed in Schedule 4A of the 2021 RHI regulations (2);
- Participants using biomass boilers will be required to carry out an annual maintenance check in accordance with an industry standard developed by MCS (3) and accredited by HETAS (4), or an equivalent.
A fuel quality standard is an assurance process which covers the whole chain, from the supply of raw materials to the point of delivery to the participant. The government will require compliance with a fuel quality standard as a criterion for claiming NDRHI payments.
The government considers compliance with this requirement can be demonstrated by using the standards and certification schemes specified in Schedule 4A of the 2021 RHI Regulations. These are, for wood pellets the ENplus A1 standard or an equivalent standard; and for all other woodfuel the EN 15234-1: 2011, ISO 9001: 2015, EN ISO 17225-4: 2021 or an equivalent standard. The certification scheme for these standards is the Woodsure Certification Scheme5, or an equivalent certification scheme.
To allow the industry to prepare, this requirement was introduced into legislation in January 2021 and it will be enforced by Ofgem (and the Biomass Suppliers’ List administrator6) from 01 April 2022. The government expects that where an equivalent standard is used the onus will be placed on participants to provide evidence of compliance with the policy.
In line with the Clean Air Strategy7 and the advice from the 2018 KIWA Report on the Measurement of the in-situ Performance of Biomass Boilers8, the government announced in January 2021 that they would require an annual maintenance check in accordance with a new standard for biomass boilers in the NDRHI scheme. The purpose of a maintenance standard is to ensure that biomass boilers are run efficiently and therefore minimise emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
The government considers compliance with the MCS 040 Standard9 and the accreditation against this standard provided by HETAS to demonstrate the regulatory requirement under the RHI regulations. MCS is the administrator of the MCS 040 Standard, and HETAS operates the HETAS Approved Biomass Maintenance Scheme10 against MCS 040. The government committed to also accept other standards and accreditation schemes which are equivalent to MCS and HETAS respectively. Where an equivalent standard is used, the government will place the onus on participants to provide evidence of compliance with the policy.
Assessment of Equivalence
BEIS have awarded Kiwa the contract to provide third-party assessment of equivalence for alternative standards and accreditation schemes in relation to the Maintenance and Fuel.
If you have a standard or scheme that you wish to have assessed for equivalence with regards to these regulations complete the application form.