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Renewable Heat Incentive

Under the UK Government’s domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, you could receive quarterly cash payments over seven years if you install or have already installed an eligible renewable heating technology.

About the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK Government scheme set up to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies amongst householders, communities and businesses through financial incentives. It is the first of its kind in the world and the UK Government expects the RHI to contribute towards the 2020 ambition of 12% of heating coming from renewable sources.

The domestic RHI was launched on 9th April 2014 and provides financial support to the owner of the renewable heating system for seven years. The scheme covers England, Wales and Scotland and is targeted at - but not limited to - off-gas households.

The UK Government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) makes key policy decisions and energy regulator Ofgem E-Serve administers the scheme. Policy documents can be found on the UK Government website. The eligibility requirements and rules of the scheme are on Ofgem's website.

Ofgem have also published a document of case studies from the domestic RHI for information.  

Further information about the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive can be found on this page. Please note that this information is not an exhautive list of criteria for the scheme. 

Important changes to the domestic RHI scheme, 20 September 2017

The UK government consulted on proposed changes to the domestic RHI scheme and the first of these came into force on 20 September 2017.

The  changes include the following: 

  • Tariffs for new ASHPs to be 10.18 pence per kilowatt-hour (p/kWh)*
  • Tariffs for new GSHPs to be 19.86 (p/kWh)*
  •  Tariffs for new biomass installations to be  6.54 (p/kWh)*

*Between 20 September 2017 and 31 December 2017

  • Heat demand limits introduced, to limit the level of annual heat demand in respect of which any household can receive support. The heat demand limits are  set at 20,000kWh for ASHPs, 25,000kWh for biomass boilers and stoves and 30,000kWh for GSHPs. No limits were proposed for solar water heating systems.
  • For heat pumps if the deemed demand is more than the capped limit then you will be paid the unit tariff multiplied by the amount of renewable heat that contributes to the capped demand.

This is not an exhaustive list of the changes to the scheme and further information can be found in the full RHI consultation response available on the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) website.

The second stage of regulation amendments are planned to follow later and as such the information given here about the domestic RHI may be subject to change.

How will installation date affect tariffs and heat demand limits?

Whether the changes above apply will depend on the application date:

Applications before 14 December 2016

Applications submitted before the 14th December 2016 will not receive the new tariffs. New heat demand limits will not apply.

Applications between 14 December 2016 and 19 September 2017

Any biomass or heat pump applications submitted since the consultation response on 14 December 2016 will have their tariff uplifted to the new tariffs from 20 September 2017. However the heat demand limits will not apply.

Applications from 20 September 2017

The new tariffs and heat demand limits in the Domestic RHI will apply to all new applications submitted on or after 20 September.  

If you have any further questions at this stage then please find details in the full RHI consultation response 

If you have questions about the policy decisions made in the consultation response  you can contact BEIS at emailenquiries@beis.gov.uk or 020 7215 5000.

If you have questions about an existing DRHI application or a system already approved for DRHI payments please contact Ofgem eServe, the scheme administrators, at 0300 003 0744 between 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday or at domesticrhi@ofgem.gov.uk.

Further information about the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive can be found on this page. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of changes to the scheme. 

What could I earn using RHI?

RHI cash payments are made quarterly over seven years. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install, the latest tariffs available for each technology and - in some cases - metering.

You can estimate how much money you could earn through RHI using the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's RHI payment calculator.

Please note there are some elements that could affect RHI payment.

What technologies can I claim RHI support for?

  • Biomass (wood fuelled) boilers
  • Biomass pellet stoves with integrated boilers providing space heating
  • Ground to water heat pumps
  • Air to water heat pumps
  • Solar thermal panels (flat plate or evacuated tube only) providing hot water for your home

Air to air heat pumps, all log stoves, pellet stoves without back boilers and hybrid PVT are not supported by RHI.

Water source heat pumps can potentially be eligible for the Domestic RHI – they are included in the definition of a ground source heat pump.

Certain cooker stoves and certain high temperature heat pumps may also be eligible. 

All systems must also be listed as eligible on the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Product Eligibility List

All biomass fuel used by RHI participants must be sourced from a supplier on the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) at the time the fuel was purchased. This is a list of suppliers of sustainable biomass fuel and it is advisable to check whether your fuel supplier is registered before entering into any long term supply contract. 

Not all fuels from suppliers on the BSL are sustainable as they may supply more than one type of fuel. You should check with your supplier, or prospective supplier, which of their fuels are registered.

The EU directives ‘The Ecodesign of Energy-related Products Directive’ (ErP) and ‘The Energy Labelling Directive’ introduced changes affecting heat pump eligibility. Key points included:

  • The introduction of a minimum performance standard for heat pumps that will be raised over time.
  • The introduction of a requirement for heat pumps to be sold with EU energy labels, which provide an efficiency rating.
  • From 26 September 2015 all new heat pumps entering the market must meet the directives requirements. And after 25 March 2016 all heat pumps must meet the requirements.

Find out more about the Introduction of the Ecodesign of Energy-related Products Directive.

Changes to MCS installation standards for heat pumps:

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme sets standards for installers and products and recently updated the installation standards for heat pumps from version 4.3 MIS 3005 to version 5.0 MIS 3005.

This change could affect eligibility for the domestic RHI scheme depending on a system’s commissioning date. Please see below for the relevant dates. This information can also be found on Ofgem’s domestic RHI changes to the scheme page.

Domestic RHI applications submitted BEFORE 31 July 2017:

Heat pumps with a first commissioning date before 31 July 2017 should meet version 4.3 MIS 3005 standards to be considered eligible (subject to all other eligibility criteria being met).

Customers who installed and commissioned under version 5 prior to 31 July 2017 would not be classed as eligible for the scheme.

Domestic RHI applications submitted ON OR AFTER 31 July 2017:

Heat pumps with a first commissioning date on or after 31 July 2017, can meet either version 4.3 or version 5.0 MIS 3005 standards to be considered eligible (subject to all other eligibility criteria being met).

Domestic RHI applications submitted ON OR AFTER 30 October 2017:

Heat pumps with a first commissioning date on or after 30 October 2017 must meet version 5.0 of MIS 3005 to be considered eligible (subject to all other eligibility criteria being met). 

 

Who can apply for RHI?

  • Owner-occupiers, self-builders, private landlords and registered providers of Social Housing who have installed an eligible technology can apply for RHI support (provided they meet eligibility criteria).
  • Single domestic dwellings are covered.
  • RHI support is not available to new build properties (other than self-build projects).

You must apply within one year of the commissioning date of your system.

How do I apply for RHI?

You can apply for RHI via Ofgem's website. Providing you have all the relevant information to hand and your application does not require a manual review, you should receive an immediate decision. To check if your application will need manual review, visit Ofgem’s website.

If you are unable to apply online then you can contact Ofgem via their Domestic RHI Applicant Support Centre on 0300 003 0744 Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 or by emailing: DomesticRHI@ofgem.gov.uk.

To apply you will need

  • MCS installation certificate number for the heating system
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) number
  • Bank details

If you received a grant from Government or public funds you will also need to provide details of:

  • The amount you were paid
  • The date you were paid
  • Figures regarding the cost of the installation

Please also note:

  • If you are applying for RHI for heat pumps you will also need the Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF)
  • If you are applying for RHI for systems requiring metering will also need the Installer Metering Questions form. 

Tariffs

The table below summarises the latest tariffs available for each technology:

 

Air source heat pump

Biomass

Ground source heat pump

Solar thermal

Tariff (p/k Wh renewable heat)

(Applications submitted between 20 Sept. 2017 and 31 Dec. 2017 incl.)*

10.18 6.54 19.86 20.06

The table above is taken from information published on Ofgem's website.

*Please see the  section named ‘Important changes to the domestic RHI scheme, 20 September 2017 for information about which applications these tariffs may apply to. 

​These tariffs have been set by the UK Government at a level designed to compensate for the difference between costs of installing and operating renewable heating systems and fossil fuel systems, including non-financial costs such as disruption, on the basis of 20 years of heat produced. Fossil fuel costs used are those for off-gas households.

  • Ofgem will make payments quarterly for seven years. Normally the heat required to heat the property will be deemed (estimated) and payments will be based on this amount.
  • Biomass -  renewable heat generated by biomass will be based on an estimated heat demand from an EPC
  • Heat pumps -  renewable heat generated by heat pumps will be based on an estimate of the heat demand from an EPC combined with an estimate of the heat pump's efficiency
  • Solar thermal systems - renewable heat generated by solar thermal systems will be based on the estimate of system performance completed as part of a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation.

Elements affecting payment

  • Once you are receiving domestic Domestic RHI payments, the rate you get will change annually. Prior to the Spring Regulatory amendments introduced on 24 March 2016 the rate changed in accordance with the Retail Price Index (RPI). Applications accredited on or after 1 April 2016 will be adjusted by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead.
  • The RHI scheme uses a 'degression' system designed to manage the scheme budget available for the domestic RHI. From time to time, the tariff for a technology will be reduced (for new applicants only) if the total amount being claimed in total for that technology reaches a certain level. Anyone who is already claiming domestic RHI will not have their tariffs reduced through degression.
  • If you have already received a grant from Government or public funds (such as the Renewable Heat Premium Payment), then the amount received will be taken into account when calculating your domestic RHI payments.

Metering

Most domestic systems payments will be based on an estimated heat output (’deeming’). In some cases, meters are required to determine the technology’s heat output. Ofgem's Do I need metering for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)? and Essential guide to metering factsheets have further details.

The Metering and Monitoring Service Package is an optional feature you could choose to buy from your installer when installing a renewable heating system to provide peace of mind the installation is working as expected; enable the installer to continually improve performance where possible; and to diagnose common problems if they occur.

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Useful guide

Learn more about technologies that apply under the RHI scheme.

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