The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

This Government incentive has been put in place to encourage households and businesses to use renewable energy for heating. The non-domestic RHI came into force in November 2011. The domestic RHI came into force on 9th April 2014.

The current rates for the domestic RHI to 30th June 2017 are:

Technology Tariff Level
Air Source Heat Pumps 7.63 p/kWh
Biomass boilers 4.28 p/kWh
Ground source heat pumps 19.64 p/kWh
Solar thermal hot water 20.06p/kWh

Payments are made quarterly for 7 years.

In order to qualify for the domestic RHI a householder will need to:

  • Have loft insulation of at least 250mm installed and cavity wall insulation if recommended in the EPC.
  • Have an MCS certified renewable heating product  installed by a MCS certified installer
  • Select a technology from the Domestic Product Eligibility List
  • Make an annual declaration that system is operating correctly and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions once it has been installed.

Heat generation is deemed for most households – for biomass heating systems this will be based on the figure on the EPC.  This figure will also be used for heat pumps, although it will be adjusted downwards to take account of the electricity used to run the heat pump.  For solar thermal systems the figure for heat generation will be taken from the MCS documents produced by the installer.

Heat metering only required for second homes or where a proportion of the central heating could be supplied from another non-renewable heat source.

Eligible technologies are:

  • Biomass boilers (not stoves apart from pellet boiler stoves)
  • Ground and water source heat pumps
  • Solar thermal
  • Air to water heat pumps (not air to air or heat pumps with cooling)

From the autumn of 2014 it will be necessary to buy wood fuel from a registered RHI biomass fuel supplier.  To be on this list, the wood fuel supplied has to meet defined sustainability criteria.  The list of eligible fuel suppliers should be available sometime soon.

Further information and application forms can be found on the Ofgem website and in these Ofgem Fact Sheets: