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The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Regulations 2011

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations, which apply to Great Britain, establish a renewable heat incentive scheme (“the scheme”) under which owners of plants which generate heat from specified renewable sources and meet specified criteria may receive payments at prescribed tariffs for the heat used for eligible purposes. Payments may also be made to biomethane producers who produce biomethane for injection. The Regulations confer functions on the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (“the Authority”) in connection with the administration of the scheme.

Regulation 3 confers on the Authority the function of making payments to participants in the scheme and specifies the eligible purposes for which heat will receive payment.

Chapter 1 of Part 2 (regulation 4) defines criteria (“eligibility criteria”) that must be satisfied for a plant to be eligible to participate in the scheme.

Chapter 2 of Part 2 (regulations 5 to 15) specifies the eligibility criteria other than those in relation to metering.

Chapter 3 of Part 2 (regulations 16 to 21) specifies the eligibility criteria in relation to metering, setting out the types of meters which may be used, the requirements with which they must comply and what must be measured.

Part 3 (regulations 22 to 26) sets out the procedures for accreditation, registration, change of ownership and preliminary accreditation. Regulation 22 confers on the Authority the function of accrediting eligible installations (which upon accreditation are known as accredited RHI installations) and specifies the process by which applicants apply to the Authority for accreditation.

Regulation 23 specifies the circumstances in which the Authority may not accredit a plant. These include matters relating to the receipt of grants from public funds; where a plant has not been commissioned; where an applicant has indicated that applicable ongoing obligations will not be complied with and where the plant is one of a number of plants which would together form one eligible installation in accordance with Part 2.

Regulation 24 specifies the procedure for notifying the Authority where there has been a transfer in ownership of all or part of an accredited RHI installation and sets out the process by which the new owner may receive payments under the scheme.

Regulation 25 confers on the Authority the function of registering producers of biomethane who are producing biomethane for injection. It specifies the process by which applicants apply to the Authority for registration and specifies the circumstances in which an application for registration can be refused.

Regulation 26 sets out the process by which a person may apply for and the Authority may grant preliminary accreditation in respect of a plant.

Chapter 1 of Part 4 (regulations 27 to 30) sets out ongoing obligations with which participants generating heat from biomass must comply.

Regulation 28 applies to participants generating heat from solid biomass contained in municipal waste. It specifies the minimum proportion of solid biomass which must be contained in the municipal waste used, sets out how the proportion of solid biomass is determined and specifies the permitted uses of fossil fuel in accredited RHI installations.

Regulations 29 and 30 apply to participants generating heat from solid biomass, not being solid biomass contained in municipal waste. They specify the permitted levels of and reasons for fossil fuel contamination, set out how the proportion of fossil fuel contamination is determined and specify the permitted uses of fossil fuel in accredited RHI installations. Regulation 29 also imposes a sustainability reporting requirements for participants generating heat using accredited RHI installations with an installation capacity of 1MWth or above.

Chapter 2 of Part 4 (regulations 31 to 33) sets out ongoing obligations for participants who are generating heat from biogas and producing biomethane for injection.

Regulation 31 applies to participants producing biogas using gasification and pyrolysis and generating heat from that biogas. It stipulates composition requirements for the feedstock used by participants and specifies the permitted uses of fossil fuel in accredited RHI installations.

Regulation 32 applies to participants generating heat from biogas to whom regulation 31 does not apply. It stipulates feedstock requirements for participants using biogas produced from anaerobic digestion and specifies permitted uses of fossil fuel in accredited RHI installations.

Regulation 33 applies to biomethane producers who produce biomethane for injection. It specifies composition requirements for feedstocks used to produce the biogas from which the biomethane is made and sets out the ongoing obligations relating to administration with which participants must comply. It also imposes a sustainability reporting requirement.

Chapter 3 of Part 4 (regulations 34 to 36) sets out the ongoing obligations for participants which are not specific to those participants generating heat from biomass or biogas or producing biomethane for injection.

Regulation 34 specifies general ongoing obligations relating to administrative and other matters with which participants must comply.

Regulation 35 specifies the ongoing obligations in relation to metering. It imposes requirements on participants in relation to their heat meters and steam measuring equipment; requires participants to provide data when requested by the Authority; and specifies the metering arrangements for participants using heat pumps for both heating and cooling. This regulation also permits the data to be estimated in exceptional circumstances.

Regulation 36 specifies ongoing obligations in relation to the provision of information and gives effect to Schedule 1.

Part 5 (regulations 37 to 42) confers on the Authority the function of calculating and paying periodic support payments to participants. These regulations specify the method by which tariffs are assigned; confer a function on the Authority to calculate and publish a table of tariffs each year based on the tariffs set out in Schedule 3 adjusted in line with the retail price index and specifies the method by which periodic support payments are calculated.

Part 6 (regulation 43) specifies how a plant using the same source of energy and technology as an accredited RHI installations and supplying heat to the same heating system (known as additional RHI capacity) is to be treated under the scheme.

Part 7 (regulations 44 to 48) sets out the provisions in relation to enforcement. Regulations 44 to 47 confer on the Authority a wide range of powers to temporarily or permanently withhold a participant’s periodic support payments or reduce a periodic support payment.

Regulation 47 confers a power on the Authority to revoke accreditation or registration in certain circumstances.

Regulation 48 confers a power on the Authority to recover overpayments.

Part 8 (regulation 49) confers on the Authority a power to revoke any sanction imposed under Part 7 and specifies the circumstances and manner in which the Authority may exercise this power.

Part 9 (regulation 50) confers on the Authority or its authorised agent the power to inspect an accredited RHI installation and its associated infrastructure and specifies the manner and circumstances in which this power may be exercised and the consequences of refusal.

Part 10 (regulation 51) confers a right of review on any prospective, current or former participant affected by a decision made by the Authority under these Regulations, sets out the process by which a person may request a review of such decisions and specifies the Authority’s powers on review.

Part 11 (regulations 52 to 55) confers additional administrative functions on the Authority. Under regulation 52 the Authority must publish procedural guidance in connection with the administration of the scheme.

Regulation 53 requires the Authority to provide information to the Secretary of State including annual, quarterly and monthly reports and to publish certain information on its website.

Regulation 54 requires the Authority to provide certain additional information as the Secretary of State may request.

Regulation 55 describes the form of notices under these Regulations.

A draft of these Regulations was notified to the European Commission in accordance with Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (OJ L 204, 21.7.1998, p. 37) as amended by Directive 98/48/EC (OJ L 217, 5.8.1998, p. 18).

A full impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs of business and the voluntary sector is available from the Department of Energy and Climate Change at 3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW and is published with the Explanatory Memorandum alongside the instrument on www.legislation.gov.uk.

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