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Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for non-domestic buildings was launched in November 2011. The domestic side of the scheme was subject to delay but finally went live on 9th April 2014. 

The RHI has been designed by the UK Government to help people save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

Why a Renewable Heat Incentive?

This scheme it part of a Government drive to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions – making the country a more environmentally friendly place to live. The ambition is to increase all UK heating generation from renewable energy sources from one per cent to 12 per cent by the year 2020.

What is a renewable heat system?

A renewable heat system is any type of device which allows a property to generate central heating and water heating from a renewable source of energy like the sun or air.

Who is the RHI for and how do I know if I’m eligible?

  • The Renewable Heat Incentive is open to everyone. This is because it aims to support all levels of renewable heat generation from domestic to commercial scales. Therefore anyone is eligible, including households, landlords, businesses, farmers, schools and hospitals.
  • To claim the Renewable Heat Incentive you must have installed an operating renewable heat system on your property after July 15, 2009.
  • Both the system and the installer must be MCS accredited.
  • Your home must have a Green Deal assessment. This assesses how energy efficient a property is and recommends suitable energy saving measures.
  • Homes must have at least 250mm of loft insulation and, where appropriate, cavity wall insulation.

Renewable heat systems covered by the scheme include:

Benefiting from the Renewable Heat Incentive

  • Under the scheme applicants will receive a payment based on a tariff which is dependent on the amount of heat a system produces. The RHI tariff table details the tariff payments for domestic adopters of green heating.
  • As well as receiving payments applicants will be able to benefit from reduced energy costs as you will be spending less on gas and electricity bills.
  • You will also benefit from reduced carbon emissions.

How long will the tariff payments last?

Depending on the technology, you will receive a set rate for every unit of renewable heat your system produces, and this will be paid out for a period of seven years.

The RHI Premium Payment

First introduced in August 2011, renewable heat installations benefit from financial support via the ‘RHI Premium Payment’ which aims to help people cover the purchase price of green heating systems. The RHI Premium Payment covered technologies across all of Great Britain. The amount depended on the technology: for ground source heat pumps a one-off grant of £2,300/unit was available, and for air source heat pumps it’s £1,300/unit.

Those taking up the premium will be eligible for a RHI tariff from April 2014, as will anyone else who has had eligible equipment installed from July 15, 2009.

With clear eligibility criteria, in order to qualify for a Premium Payment, households had to ensure the following was met:

  • A well insulated home based on its energy performance certificate.
  • Agreeing to give feedback on how the equipment performs.
  • A Green Deal assessment.

How can I apply?

The residential sector can apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive from 9th April 2014.  A forerunner to the incentive, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) closed at the end of March 2014.

It is also worth remembering that any renewable heating system which was installed after July 15, 2009 will be eligible.

Please note – The information above is subject to change and will be updated as and when the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) publishes any amendments.

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