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.
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.
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:
*Between 20 September 2017 and 31 December 2017
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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:
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).
You must apply within one year of the commissioning date of your system.
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.
Please also note:
The table below summarises the latest tariffs available for each technology:
Air source heat pump
Ground source heat pump
Tariff (p/k Wh renewable heat)
(Applications submitted between 20 Sept. 2017 and 31 Dec. 2017 incl.)*
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.
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.
Our advisors at Home Energy Scotland can give you free, expert and impartial advice. Call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 - Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm - or request a call back.Request a call back
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