Eligibility for Heat Pump Installers & Properties

Eligibility for Heat Pump Installers & Properties 2019-07-22T10:42:35+01:00

Criteria Athena Air Has To Meet To Be An Installer

  • Your installation company must be MCS certified. When dealing with domestic consumers, you must comply with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), Home Insulation & Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES) or the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) codes of practice.
  • The heating system installed for your Domestic RHI customer can be the first installation you’ve completed for accreditation under MCS, provided you can issue a MCS Certificate for it.

Eligibility Criteria For The Property

  • The property must have a domestic EPC as proof of its ‘domestic’ status. The EPC must be the most recent EPC issued and less than 24 months old on the date the application was submitted. It must accurately reflect current information about the property. So, if there has been construction work on the property, a new EPC may be needed to ensure it reflects the changes.
  • If the EPC recommends loft and/or cavity wall insulation, your customer must install it before applying. A new EPC must be provided to us as verification that this has been done. There are some exemptions from installing loft and cavity wall insulation.
  • Heat must only be provided to a single domestic property. Heating systems that provide heating to a domestic property and related properties (e.g. a shed, a garage, or a pool house) are eligible to apply for the scheme, but only the heat demand for the domestic dwelling will be eligible for payment. If heat is provided to other properties, this will not be eligible for the Domestic RHI, but may be eligible for the Non-Domestic RHI.
  • All parts of your customer’s plant must have the same first commissioning date, which must be on or after 15th July 2009.

Ground Source & Air Source Heat Pumps

To be eligible for the Domestic RHI, all heat pumps must distribute heat via a liquid (normally through radiators or underfloor heating) to provide space heating. They may also be used for domestic hot water heating or cooling. Heat pumps that distribute heat via the air are not eligible.

Air Source Heat Pump

Must use a liquid to provide space heating.

Must use a compressor driven by electricity.

Must have a minimum Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 2.5.

Must be metered for performance.

Heat pumps can’t be designed to use ‘exhaust air’

Air source heat pumps can’t be designed to use exhaust heat. That’s residual heat which has been expelled from a building or appliance, as in, for example, building ventilation systems. Heat pumps that provide cooling are eligible, but RHI payments will not include energy used for cooling, such as air conditioning units, are not eligible.

Evidence Required To Apply

Customer requirements:

  • MCS Certificate number;
  • Domestic EPC number;
  • Answers to the eligibility questions and to sign up to the scheme rules;
  • Personal information including bank details; and,
  • Evidence of the cost of the heating system, for scheme evaluation purposes.

Please note this list may not be exhaustive. Customers should read the Essential Guide for Applicants for full details.

Some applicants need to provide additional evidence:

  • For registered Social Landlords (RSLs) making their first application, the applicant will need to provide their organisation’s registration number, the registered name and address and also a letter of authorisation.
  • Where the property requires metering for payment, the applicant will need to provide extra information about their metering arrangements.

Other Evidence:

  • Insulation exemption – if it’s claimed by your customer that it’s not possible to install loft or cavity wall insulation recommended in the EPC. Some reasons may be because their property is a listed building, is in a designated conservation area, houses protected species or that there are structural or environmental reasons that make installing insulation unfeasible;
  • Custom-build properties – if your customer built or commissioned the construction of their own and certain other requirements are met;
  • MMSP – where a Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP) has been installed;
  • Multiple products – if the heating system you installed is made up of more than one product;
  • Grant funding – if your customer received public funding for their heating system;
  • Letter of authorisation – where an organisation or company owns an installation and payments are made into an organisation’s bank account. They’ll be asked to complete the letter to nominate their authorised representative to be the applicant; and/or,
  • Joint ownership authorisation letter- if requested, joint owners may have to state that the applicant has permission from the other owners to apply for the Domestic RHI and to receive the RHI payments from us.


When do payments start?

If an applicant is successful, the first RHI payment will be made three months from the date of application – that means the day we receive a complete application, including any necessary declarations. Payments are made every three months, in arrears, for seven years.

What are they based on?

Annual heat demand. Payments are based on an estimate of your customer’s property’s annual heat demand listed on the EPC or the estimated annual generation listed on the MCS Certificate (sometimes referred to as ‘deeming’), or the relevant heat demand limit (not applicable to solar thermal) – whichever is lower. It’s important that your customer knows which figures will be used to calculate their payments.


We take the heat demand figure in kWh listed on the EPC. It could be the total space and domestic hot water heating figure, or just the space heating figure, depending on what the system has been designed and installed to heat.

For Heat Pumps

As with biomass systems, we take the heat demand figure listed on the EPC, but factor the design SPF into the payment calculation.

For Solar Thermal

We use the annual generation figure that you calculate for populating your customer’s MCS certificate.

Please Note

If the EPC recommends loft and cavity wall insulation, your customer must install this and get a new EPC. This is necessary to verify that the insulation has been installed so it’s always advisable to ask your customer to carry out any necessary insulation work before they get their EPC.