What is the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the government scheme to encourage the shift to low carbon and renewable heat technologies. The RHI is a fixed payment for the renewable heat you generate yourself.
The tariffs will be paid for 7 years at a proposed rate of 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps and 19.2p/kWh for soalr hot water systems.
There are many advantages to generating your own heat from renewable sources, both financial and for the environment. It’s easier than most people think to get started with renewable energy in the home or business.
Who is eligible to apply for the RHI?
- Owner occupiers (including second homes)
- Private landlords
- Social landlords
- Legacy (those who installed eligible renewable heat measures between 15 July 2009 and 8 April 2014)
What technologies are eligible for RHI?
We only install qualifying renewable heat systems that are eligible to claim the RHI. These are the qualification criteria:
- Air source heat pumps (ASHP) (initially this is only ASHP that heat water - i.e. air to water)
- Ground and water source heat pumps (GSHP)
- Solar thermal (hot water) - only flat plate and evacuated tube solar panels will be eligible.
To be eligible the heating system must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified.
About Feed-in Tariffs (FITs)
Feed-in Tariffs were introduced on 1 April 2010 and replaced UK government grants as the main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies. Most domestic technologies qualify for the scheme, including solar electricity (PV) (roof mounted or stand alone).
The UK Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) makes the key decisions on FITs in terms of government policy. The energy regulator Ofgem administers the scheme.
Your energy supplier will make the FITs payments to you. The large energy suppliers are required by law to provide them; smaller suppliers are not, but many have opted to offer them anyway.
If eligible to RECEIVE FITs you will benefit in 3 ways:
- Generation tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked.
- Export tariff: you will get a further 4.77p/kWh from your energy supplier for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate but don’t use yourself. This rate is the same for all technologies. At some stage smart meters will be installed to measure what you export, but until then it is estimated as being 50 per cent of the electricity you generate (only systems above 30kWp need to have an export meter fitted, and a domestic system is unlikely to be that big)
- Energy bill savings: you will be making savings on your electricity bills because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.