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What is the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?

By Energy Company Numbers on March 5, 2017 in Government and Schemes, Help and advice
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The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, or RHI, is a Government scheme set up to encourage people to install renewable heating technologies in their homes. The aim of the scheme is to help people reduce their carbon footprint.

The incentive of the scheme is that each quarter, the Government will pay you a cash sum based on the amount of clean renewable energy produced by your system.

Joining the scheme and eligibility

To join the scheme, your system must only heat one property which has, or is able to get, a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC will recommend actions to improve energy efficiency. If the EPC recommends cavity wall insulation, then you must install this. An EPC can be obtained from an accredited domestic energy assessor, however it is also included in a Green Deal Advice Report. Exceptions apply to the one property rule if the properties are rented out separately, if the properties are subject to business rates or if the properties have separate addresses.

Related: What is the ECO programme?

In addition to this, your renewable heating product must be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), or equivalent. The installation of your product or products must also be certified by the MCS. You must apply to the scheme no more than 12 months after your renewable technology is installed. To apply to the scheme, you must also have made some financial contribution to the cost of your system. If your system was wholly paid for by a grant or another scheme, you won’t be eligible for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

Do I have to replace my whole heating system?

You do not have to replace your whole heating system, however the generating equipment must be new on the first commissioning date.

The technologies and products supported

The technologies incentivised by the scheme are biomass only boilers and biomass pellet stoves, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels. These four technologies are each proven to reduce one’s carbon footprint and improve overall energy efficiency, however not all supporting products are eligible.

To be eligible and supported by the scheme, a product must appear on something called the Product Eligibility List (PEL), which is a list maintained by the Government listing the makes and models of renewable heating products supported by the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Eligibility depends on product-specific technologies and meeting European Standards (EN). For example, biomass stoves must meet the product standard EN 14785:2006 while biomass boilers must meet product standards EN 303-5:2012, or EN 303-5:1999 or EN 12809:2001+A1:2004.

How much could I earn?

To find out how much money you could with the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, you can use the Renewable Heat Inventive Calculator at gov.uk. To use the calculator, you will need to have your home’s heat demand information to hand.

To give you an example of how much you could earn, we were recently contacted by the owner of a 4-bed townhouse in London with a biomass boiler system and solar thermal panels. That system is earning the home owner approximately £2,500 every quarter.

About the Author

Energy Company NumbersView all posts by Energy Company Numbers
Energy Company Numbers is a telephone number directory service dedicated to helping UK consumers keep in touch with their energy suppliers.

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