Solar Thermal Feed-In Tariff

By Katie Anderson on September 20th, 2011

The Government has introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), as a way of encouraging people to invest in renewable heating technologies, including solar hot water heating systems.

The main benefit of the RHI is the generation tariff, and through the feed-in tariffs, payments will be available to support the use of renewable heating technologies and will pay out a set amount for each kWh of renewable heat produced.

The tariff levels for residential installations are due to be introduced in Spring 2014. The Department of Energy and Climate change has published the proposed domestic RHI tariff rates.

The Renewable Heat Incentive applies to residents in England, Scotland and Wales. Residents in Northern Ireland are not eligible to take part in the scheme. The levels of payment will vary, depending on the technology installed and the size of the system.

How does the scheme work?

To be eligible to receive full payments under the feed-in tariff, certain criteria will apply, including:

  • Only solar thermal panels that are liquid filled flat plate or evacuated tube solar collectors will be eligible for the support.
  • A Green Deal assessment report will need to be carried out. Cavity wall insulation and ¬†loft insulation (to at least 250mm) must be in place.
  • The renewable heating system will need to have been installed after 15th July 2009.
  • The equipment must be new – converted installations will not be eligible. The only exception is if a new system has been installed to replace existing technology.
  • If the system installed is below 45kW capacity then it must comply with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
  • The solar thermal system will have to be regularly maintained.

How much will the feed-in tariffs pay out?

The Renewable Heat Incentive Rates Table has the proposed tariff levels as confirmed by DECC. The proposed tariff levels for domestic solar thermal installations, which have a 20 year lifespan are:


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