The RHI is the first scheme of its type anywhere in the world – similar to the FIT, it will pay the home owner per kilowatt hour (kWh) of heat that is produced by a renewable source. It was fully launched on 9th April 2014 for domestic installations dating back to the 15th July 2009 (the non-domestic phase for industrial, business and public sectors launched in November 2011).
It targets homes both on and off the gas grid, but the greatest savings will be achieved by those who are off the gas grid. It is open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.
The scheme supports air and ground source heat pumps (A/GSHP), biomass heating, and solar thermal technologies – money is paid per kWh of renewable heat produced for seven years at a rate depending upon the technology:
1/1/15 - 31/3/15
|Air Source Heat Pumps||7.3p/kWh|
|Ground and Water Source Heat Pumps||18.8p/kWh|
|Biomass Boilers and Biomass Pellet Stoves with Integrated Boilers||10.98p/kWh|
|Solar Thermal Panels (Flat Plate and Evacuated Tube for Hot Water)||19.2p/kWh|
Since heat metering is difficult and would be open to potential mis-use, RHI payments are generally based on:
- an estimated figure of household heat demand from an EPC, and
- an estimate of efficiency for heat pumps, or system performance as part of an MCS installation for solar thermal.
All applicants are required to complete a Green Deal Assessment (GDA) before applying to ensure that their dwellings meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity insulation. As with FITs, the system must be certified under the MCS and meet relevant standards for each technology.
Applicants will need to complete an online application and will need:
- MCS Certificate Number
- Green Deal Advice Report Number
- the EPC Number
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the criteria - further details about the scheme and all the related policy documents can be found on the Ofgem factsheets.
Make Your Home Energy Efficient First!
In order to qualify for the RHI, your home will have to meet basic energy efficiency standards. Even if you’re not planning on installing any technologies appropriate for the RHI, it makes simple common sense to improve your house first.
Insulating, draught-proofing, minimising your electricity usage, or improving the efficiency of your heating system, will leave you better off, improve the comfort of your home, and if you are installing renewable technologies will ensure you make more money – whilst all the while reducing your impact on the planet of course!