How will the DRHI closure affect installers?

The DRHI scheme will close to new registrations on 31 March 2022 so no new accreditation applications will be accepted. In this article, Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, explains how the DRHI closure will affect installers.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) is a UK government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat to help reduce carbon emissions and meet the UK’s renewable energy targets.

A strict cut-off date of 31 March 2022 poses several risks for consumers. However, a more relaxed cut-off date of 4 months from the time of signing a contract with an MCS installer would significantly mitigate these risks. 

For example, heat pumps can take several months to install, and a tight deadline may push installers into a rush and affect the quality of their work. In addition, new consumer protection measures such as the DRHI's mandatory compliance certificate could prevent this from happening, ensuring that consumers are properly protected.

The DRHI is set to close to new applicants at the end of March 2022, with the last payment due in March 2029. The Government decided to extend this deadline by one year due to Covid's impact on the supply chain. This means that many householders already started their installations during the DRHI's initial period, and that they may not be eligible after all.

The DRHI's strict cut-off date of 31 March 2022 presents some risks to consumers. If the DRHI closes to new applications in March 2022, householders could apply for it up to 4 months after signing a contract with a MCS installer. As heat pumps take time to install, a strict deadline could sway some installers into rushing their installations and negatively impact their installation quality.

So what does it mean for installers?

If a company's MIS 3005 certification is valid, it can continue to operate as an installer after the DRHI closure date, or it can switch to designer status and register on MCS's Microgeneration Installation Database. As long as the installer has a contract with a MCS, the DRHI could still allow them to apply for a DRHI after the contract has been signed with a customer.

The closure of the DRHI scheme is affecting air source heat pump installers. 

Those who are not certified are also at a disadvantage. They cannot claim the DRHI unless they have a registered MCS in their name and the new standards may be harder to obtain. The IRHI will be closed on 31 March 2022, and it will not be affected until then.

Householders are now at the end of their eligibility period and will be paying for the scheme for the next seven years. In addition, the DRHI will no longer be available to installers if they don't already have an MCS certification.

A new certification will ensure that they can work with the latest DRHI standard. As long as installers have the necessary accreditations, they can work on their installations. But if they haven't got the proper certifications, they will lose their business. If installers who have already obtained MCS certifications don’t work with the new standard, they can still continue working on a DRHI-certified air source heat pump.

About the author

Benjamin Dyer is CEO and co-founder of Powered Now. Powered Now’s mobile app aims to take the pain out of paperwork for plumbers, electricians, builders and other trade businesses.

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