Heat Pump - Missed Deadline for RHI

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scaredofdebt
scaredofdebt Posts: 1,640 Forumite
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Hi,

We had an air source heat pump fitted last year, the initial work was done in May 2021 but they couldn't install all the radiators at that time as we were having an extension built. The system was fully operational though in the whole house apart from the extension.

They did send someone round approximately August 2021 to finish the work but he said he couldn't install the final radiator as the correct pipework wasn't in place.  This wasn't correct as another fitter came earlier this year (I think Feb 2022) and fitted it using the pipes that were there and had been put in by the builders who built the extension.

When they were trying to sell me the pump, I was told I would get a payment each month for several years towards the electricity bill, I was advised it would be around £3000 in total.  (This is the RHI payment).  I wasn't told about any deadlines for this at the time, I only became aware of the deadline in late March when I started to press the company to get this sorted.  They told me not to apply for this until one of their reps had gone through the process with me to avoid any errors.

I had asked about it earlier on but was told the work needed completely before the application could be made.  The application was made just before the end of March (so before the deadline of March 31st) but Ofgem then asked for further information, which I did not receive from the installing company until April, which is after the deadline.  Ofgem are saying as not all the information was submitted before the deadline we cannot have the RHI payments.

Now it so happens I still owe the installing company about £2,000 - am I within my rights to withhold payment as I have in effect lost out on this money due to their incompetence? 

We asked them numerous times to come and finish the work when our extension was completed in July 2021.  The information we were asked for from Ofgem involved photos of the meters that were installed with the heat pump, this info was available in May 2021.

I realise there are not likely to be any lawyers on here but any advice is appreciated.  I have most of this information in emails.

Thanks,

David



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Comments

  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 4,208 Forumite
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    edited 8 July 2022 at 11:15AM
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    Legal rights and natural justice are different things. 

    Your installers let you down badly by not making sure you got the RHI payment.  On the other hand, it was remiss of you not to find out more about the payments you would get (which are actually paid quarterly, not monthly) and the deadline, which was well-publicised.  Maybe you can negotiate a discount?  Maybe you can qualify for the new £5000 heat pump subsidy?  £3000 in total seems very small for an RHI payment.  
    Reed
  • mjm3346
    mjm3346 Posts: 46,958 Forumite
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    "Now it so happens I still owe the installing company about £2,000 - am I within my rights to withhold payment as I have in effect lost out on this money due to their incompetence? "

    No                                      .
  • MWT
    MWT Posts: 9,288 Forumite
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    edited 8 July 2022 at 12:23PM
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    Now it so happens I still owe the installing company about £2,000 - am I within my rights to withhold payment as I have in effect lost out on this money due to their incompetence? 

    Does your contract with them state that they would ensure you would qualify for the RHI scheme?
    If it does, then they have not lived up to their side and you should not make the final payment without talking to them first about the impact of their failure.
    If it doesn't then the money is owed without any amount withheld.

  • scaredofdebt
    scaredofdebt Posts: 1,640 Forumite
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    MWT said:
    Now it so happens I still owe the installing company about £2,000 - am I within my rights to withhold payment as I have in effect lost out on this money due to their incompetence? 

    Does your contract with them state that they would ensure you would qualify for the RHI scheme?
    If it does, then they have not lived up to their side and you should not make the final payment without talking to them first about the impact of their failure.
    If it doesn't then the money is owed without any amount withheld.

    Can't find the contract at the moment (will dig that out) but I do have this in their quote email:

    Your Guaranteed RHI Grant = £12,810 less £10,000 (Green Homes Grant Voucher) = £2,810

    The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) cash payments are paid to owners who install renewable heat generation on a quarterly basis over 7 years and in many instances can far outweigh the install costs. These are the figures at 1.4% CPI applied every April. Your Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) grant will be reduced by the cost of the voucher you redeem with us.  RHI grants end in March 2022 so there will never be a better time to install your Air Source Heat Pump than now.


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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    MWT said:
    Now it so happens I still owe the installing company about £2,000 - am I within my rights to withhold payment as I have in effect lost out on this money due to their incompetence? 

    Does your contract with them state that they would ensure you would qualify for the RHI scheme?
    If it does, then they have not lived up to their side and you should not make the final payment without talking to them first about the impact of their failure.
    If it doesn't then the money is owed without any amount withheld.
    Can't find the contract at the moment (will dig that out) but I do have this in their quote email:

    Your Guaranteed RHI Grant = £12,810 less £10,000 (Green Homes Grant Voucher) = £2,810

    Did you receive the £10k Green Homes Grant voucher? If so, that explains why your RHI is lower than we'd normally expect.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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  • Astria
    Astria Posts: 1,448 Forumite
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    edited 8 July 2022 at 1:17PM
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    MWT said:
    Now it so happens I still owe the installing company about £2,000 - am I within my rights to withhold payment as I have in effect lost out on this money due to their incompetence? 

    Does your contract with them state that they would ensure you would qualify for the RHI scheme?
    If it does, then they have not lived up to their side and you should not make the final payment without talking to them first about the impact of their failure.
    If it doesn't then the money is owed without any amount withheld.

    Can't find the contract at the moment (will dig that out) but I do have this in their quote email:

    Your Guaranteed RHI Grant = £12,810 less £10,000 (Green Homes Grant Voucher) = £2,810

    The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) cash payments are paid to owners who install renewable heat generation on a quarterly basis over 7 years and in many instances can far outweigh the install costs. These are the figures at 1.4% CPI applied every April. Your Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) grant will be reduced by the cost of the voucher you redeem with us.  RHI grants end in March 2022 so there will never be a better time to install your Air Source Heat Pump than now.


    What does the rest of the quote say? Typically the part where they state their cost to you - as in, what you must pay?
    I would assume it describes the entire cost (ie, it doesn't say something like "minus grant voucher" and subtracts it from the total), and you are therefore expected to pay the entire cost, unless it clearly states in the contract something about the grant.
  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 4,208 Forumite
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    scaredofdebt said:
    RHI grants end in March 2022 so there will never be a better time to install your Air Source Heat Pump than now.

    The deadline is stated clearly in the quote.  But you could argue that there is an implicit promise that you will get the RHI payment if you opt to install the ASHP "now", even if that is not explicit in the actual contract.

    I have looked at the MCS certificate for my own ASHP and the only thing that would depend on the number of radiators is a statement of the Annual Space Heating Demand.  So long as you told the installers how big a radiator you planned to fit in your extension (or they told you what would be required) I don't see what was stopping them issuing your MCS certificate and making any other necessary submission so you could get your RHI much sooner.  It seems to me that they dragged their feet for no particular good reason.  But I could be wrong, I'm a customer, not an installer.        
    Reed
  • scaredofdebt
    scaredofdebt Posts: 1,640 Forumite
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    edited 8 July 2022 at 4:24PM
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    scaredofdebt said:
    RHI grants end in March 2022 so there will never be a better time to install your Air Source Heat Pump than now.

    The deadline is stated clearly in the quote.  But you could argue that there is an implicit promise that you will get the RHI payment if you opt to install the ASHP "now", even if that is not explicit in the actual contract.

    I have looked at the MCS certificate for my own ASHP and the only thing that would depend on the number of radiators is a statement of the Annual Space Heating Demand.  So long as you told the installers how big a radiator you planned to fit in your extension (or they told you what would be required) I don't see what was stopping them issuing your MCS certificate and making any other necessary submission so you could get your RHI much sooner.  It seems to me that they dragged their feet for no particular good reason.  But I could be wrong, I'm a customer, not an installer.        

    There are no other figures mentioned on the quote, the sales person basically said it wouldn't cost us any money as the grants would pretty much cover everything.

    I tried to do the RHI application in October but was missing some info, I emailed the company who told me to wait as I couldn't do the application until all the work was completed and that someone would ring me to help fill in the forms.  They eventually rang me around late March to do the form.

    The application was submitted before the deadline but Ofgem emailed asking for more information which the company didn't give me until after the deadline, this info would have been available to them from around May 2021 when they did most of the installation work.

    Still looking for the contract, will update when I have found that.
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  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 4,208 Forumite
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    I tried to do the RHI application in October but was missing some info, I emailed the company who told me to wait as I couldn't do the application until all the work was completed 
    That's not the way the RHI application worked for me.  I completed the whole thing online in under 15 minutes; I don't remember having to supply any information beyond the number of my MCS certificate; certainly all the questions were easy to answer.  The whole process was automated so I got an acceptance within minutes of completing the application.  Either your Green Homes Grant made everything more complicated or your installers did not do something they should have.
    Reed
  • scaredofdebt
    scaredofdebt Posts: 1,640 Forumite
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    I tried to do the RHI application in October but was missing some info, I emailed the company who told me to wait as I couldn't do the application until all the work was completed 
    That's not the way the RHI application worked for me.  I completed the whole thing online in under 15 minutes; I don't remember having to supply any information beyond the number of my MCS certificate; certainly all the questions were easy to answer.  The whole process was automated so I got an acceptance within minutes of completing the application.  Either your Green Homes Grant made everything more complicated or your installers did not do something they should have.

    I was asked for some additional documents:
    • A copy of your signed MMSP Agreement. This should have been provided to you by your MMSP installer. If this was not given to you when your metering equipment was installed, please contact your installer. Your installer can download and use a template agreement via the following link: https://www.recc.org.uk/members/mmsp.
    • A screenshot from the monitoring system showing the ‘delivered energy consumption’ for your property. (You may be more familiar with this being referred to as a website/app such as MELCloud or PassivSystems.) We need to see that the delivered energy relates to your application, so we need to see your name or first line of the address in the screenshot. Please contact your installer if you need assistance with this.
    I didn't have those, the installer sent the information to me after the deadline.

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