Renewable Heat Incentive

On the 9th April 2014 the Government finally launched the eagerly anticipated Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The scheme has been designed to encourage the shift to low carbon and renewable heat technologies such as Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps, Biomass Boilers and Solar Thermal. This is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat that effectively pays homeowners for the green energy they generate for their homes.

The idea is that householders will have cheaper fuel bills and warmer homes as well as reducing carbon emissions. The RHI will ensure that renewable home heating is not just environmentally sensible but also financially attractive, especially for 4 million properties off the gas grid in the UK.

Who can apply for the scheme?

The scheme is open to homeowners, social and private landlords and people who have built their own homes (self builds). It is also open for those who installed one of the renewable heat measures between 15 July 2009 and 8 April 2014 providing the installation met the MCS (microgeneration certification scheme) standards that applied at the time.

The Eligible Technologies and Tariff levels

Technology  Tariff (p/kWh of renewable heat)
Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps 18.8p
Air Source Heat Pumps 7.3p
Biomass Boilers 12.2p
Solar Thermal Panels 19.2p

How much will I get paid and for how long?

The tariff will be paid quarterly for 7 years (28 payments) and is linked to the retail price index (RPI). The rates are based on technology efficiencies; technology lifetimes; and the cost of financing. In most cases the RHI will have covered the cost of installing the system by the end of the scheme with some technologies, in particular Ground Source Heat Pumps also delivering a significant return on investment. A member of the SolarTech team will be able to advise you on how much your system can earn you. There will be a degression scheme, which means that tariff levels for new applicants will decrease by 10% once the allocated budget has been spent so as with previous government incentives for technologies such as Solar PV it will be the early adopters of the scheme who benefit the most.

What else do I need to do?

All applicants will need to have a Green Deal assessment of their home. If loft and cavity wall insulation are recommended by the assessment, you will need to install these and then obtain an updated energy performance certificate (EPC). SolarTech will be able to assist to ensure you have everything in place prior to your application.