What is the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive?
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial incentive introduced to encourage homeowners to switch to using renewable heating measures.
Using naturally replenished energy is a way to help the UK reduce its carbon emissions. If you join the scheme, you will receive quarterly payments for seven years for each kWh of renewable heat your renewable technology produces.
This scheme is available to those both on and off the gas grid and is available to those having renewable heating measures installed now and legacy customers whose heating systems were installed after July 15th 2009.
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is intended for heating systems for single homes. To apply for Renwable Heat Incentive payments, your home must be capable of getting an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which is proof that your property is considered a domestic dwelling. An EPC is essential for you to be able to apply for and join the scheme. The scheme is available to those that own the homes they live in, as well as private and registered landlords and self-builders.
Renewable heating systems work best in a well insulated home. Because of this, the Renewable Heat Incentive works alongside the Green Deal. Before applying for Renewable Heat Incentive payments, you must first:
- Have a Green Deal Assessment carried out for your property, unless you are building your home. If you have already had an assessment, you do not need another one, provided you can supply the Green Deal Advice Report number.
- Install cavity wall and loft insulation, if this is recommended in your Green Deal Advice Report. If this is not possible for you to do so, you should submit evidence that you are exempt from requiring insulation.
- Get an updated EPC to confirm that you have had the necessary insulation work installed.
Applications are made online and require your EPC number, Green Deal Advice Report number, and MCS number.
A step-by-step application guide is available here
The eligible renewable heating systems for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme are air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, solar thermal panels (flat plate or evacuated tube only) and biomass only boilers and biomass pellet stoves.
For your product to be eligible, it must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and installed and commissioned by an MCS certified installer. If you are a legacy customer applying for RHI payments, your heating system must have been first commissioned on or after July 15th 2009.
The financial support will be paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced as follows:
- For heat pumps and biomass, the RHI payment is based on the heat demand of the property, taken from your EPC, combined with details of the heat pump’s efficiency taken from the heat pump design.
- For solar thermal systems, the RHI payment will be based on the estimate of system performance, completed as part of the MCS installation. The figure is calculated by your MCS installer.
Payments will be made quarterly for seven years to the owner of the heating system. Once you’ve joined the domestic RHI, you’ll stay on the same tariff rate. Below are the unit rates that will be paid:
|Air Source Heat Pump||Biomass|
Ground Source Heat Pump
Figures correct as of April 2015.
You can calculate what payments you could be entitled to if you were to install a renewable technology with the Renewable Heat Incentive here.