Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive finally launches

By Katie Anderson on April 11th, 2014

Wednesday saw the launch of the Government’s long-awaited green heating incentive scheme for the domestic market. The Renewable Heat Incentive pays adopters of renewable heating systems for producing their own renewable heat. 

solar thermal evacuate tubes The scheme’s somewhat soft launch was confirmed in a Government press release announcing that after almost 5 years since it was first announced, the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive has gone live.

If you have installed a solar thermal hot water system, a biomass boiler or ground source and air source heat pumps, and you meet the eligibility requirements, you can make an application to receive payments from the Renewable Heat Incentive tariff.

Open to households in England, Scotland and Wales who have installed a renewable heating system to generate their own renewable heating and/or hot water, the tariff payments will depend on the technology:

  • Air-to-water air source heat pumps (ASHP) – 7.3p/kWh
  • Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers – 12.2p/kWh
  • Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) – 18.8p/kWh
  • Solar thermal – 19.2p/kWh

Under the scheme – which is the first of its kind in the world – eligible households will benefit from payments made quarterly for seven years. So not only will homes be warmer, and fuel bills cheaper, households will be able to reduce their carbon emissions – and get cash payments for installing these new technologies.

The Renewable Heat Incentive, RHI for short, targets both off grid and on grid households who want to ditch expensive oil and electric heating methods and switch to renewable heating products. With around three million off grid households, the RHI will make renewable heating more affordable than ever.

Homeowners, self-builders and private and social landlords can apply for the RHI, but there are stipulations which must be adhered to:

  • The renewable heating product should be installed by an MCS accredited renewable energy installer. The technology itself also has to be MCS accredited.
  • Households need a Green Deal assessment. This involves an assessor carrying out a survey to evaluate how energy efficient the property is. If the assessor makes recommendations, these must be carried out in order to apply for RHI payments.
  • Homes need to be well insulated too. So you may need to get your loft insulated (or topped up to at least 250mm) and check your cavity walls are properly insulated.
  • New and legacy systems installed from 15 July 2009 are eligible for the RHI scheme.

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