Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The government has announced domestic RHI support levels for 2014 - See the press release here.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government support scheme to boost the uptake of renewable energy technology for generating heat. It offers different support mechanisms for the domestic and the non-domestic sector.

Domestic Sector support

In terms of the RHI, domestic installations are those where a renewable heating installation serves a single private residential dwelling only.

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme for domestic installations will now run until March 2014. This scheme gives grants to help with the capital cost of the renewable heating system. All householders can apply for premium payments of £300 for installing accredited solar water heating systems. Householders who are not connected to the mains gas grid can also apply for premium payments for biomass boilers (£950 premium payment), air-to-water heat pumps (£850) and ground and water source heat pumps (£1250). Eligibility for RHI premium payment is subject to conditions, including basic insulation of the house and participation in government surveys and monitoring programmes, if requested.

The RHPP is to 'plug the gap' until domestic installations receive some sort of ongoing tariff-based support - now due to begin in Summer 2014 (pushed back from the initial target date of late 2012). The Government plan to integrate this support with their new 'Green Deal' - "to allow a more whole-house approach to heat production and energy saving." The nature of this support is not yet clear, but DECC have said that it would be available for those who've received the premium payment as well as for anyone else who has installed eligible equipment since July 2009.

For more details, please read our article about the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and the RHI Premium Payments

Non-Domestic Sector support

Installations which are considered non-domestic in terms of the RHI - and this could be anything from a small bed & breakfast to a school to a large industrial plant - can receive RHI support in the form of tariff payments. As with the Feed-in Tariffs for renewable electricity, Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs are banded by technology and size. For example, a small (<200kWth) solar thermal installation will receive 8.5 pence for every kWh of heat generated whereas a large (> 1000kWth) industrial biomass plant will only receive 2.6p/kWh. All heat needs to be measured using heat meters for hot water or steam. The tariffs will be paid for 20 years to eligible technologies that have installed since 15th July 2009.

For more details, please read our article about the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

To learn more about the proposed RHI scheme, take a look at the Questions and Answers section.

To access the Government's documents about RHI support for both the domestic and non-domestic sectors, see the Department of Energy and Climate Change's RHI website: www.decc.gov.uk/rhi

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