The Government proposals for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) may change, but here are our answers to frequently asked questions, based on the current proposals.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK Government scheme set up to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies among householders, communities and businesses through the provision of financial incentives. The UK Government expects the RHI to make a significant contribution towards their 2020 ambition of having 12 per cent of heating coming from renewable sources. The Renewable Heat Incentive is the first of its kind in the world.
There are two phases to the introduction of the RHI:
- Phase 1: the introduction of the RHI for non-domestic installations in the industrial, business and public sectors.
- Phase 2: the domestic element of the RHI, is expected to be introduced in spring 2014 following the consultation published in September 2012 and more recently the UK Government Heat Strategy.
Phase 1 – Non-domestic RHI scheme
Phase 1 of the RHI provides financial incentives to eligible, non-domestic renewable heat generators and producers of biomethane, for the life of the installations or up to a maximum of 20 years.
Non-domestic sectors include industrial, commercial, public and non-for-profit sectors. A non-domestic installation might be a large-scale industrial heating systems or a smaller community heating project.
Ofgem is responsible for administering the scheme.
Phase 2 – Domestic RHI scheme
The UK Government published its consultation on domestic RHI in September 2012. The key proposals in the consultation are:
- Indicative tariff ranges for air source heat pumps (6.9-11.5p/kWh), biomass boilers (5.2-8.7p/kWh), ground source heat pumps (12.5-17.3p/kWh) and solar thermal technologies (17.3p/kWh) that are MCS certified and meet relevant required standards, including specific emission limits for biomass systems.
- Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage.
- Tariff levels set to provide a better return for householders living off the gas grid.
- Minimum energy efficiency requirements based on Green Deal assessments.
The UK government has also confirmed that people who have installed equipment under RHPP 1 or 2 will be eligible for support through the RHI providing they meet the eligibility criteria of the full RHI scheme. In addition, the UK government are proposing that consumers who installed a renewable heat installation since 15 July 2009 will be eligible to apply for the domestic RHI provided they:
- have installed an eligible technology
- meet the eligibility criteria on energy efficiency. Except in very limited circumstances, this will involve getting a Green Deal assessment and, in some cases, installing some additional energy efficiency measures
- declare any government funding or support already received for the installation of renewable heat
- do not have a back up fossil fuel heating system, or if they do, are prepared or have installed a heat usage meter on which the RHI payments can be based
- meet all current MCS standards. In particular, for air-source heat pumps this includes evidence of either planning consent, or that when applied retrospectively, that the installation complies with the PDR (Permitted Development Rights) procedures in the MCS system.
Renewable Heat Premium Payment
The Renewable Heat Premium Payment Phase 2 scheme has now been extended to March 2014. The financial support covers solar thermal hot water systems, heat pumps and biomass boilers with payments ranging from £300 to £1,250 depending on technology.
Last updated March 2013