Specialist Installer of Solar Systems in Oxford and Surrounding Counties

Call us on: 01491 836065

or email enquiries@simssolar.co.uk

The Government has now reported on the Consultation it held last year in relation to the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to the domestic market. The findings are subject to ratification by the House.

The domestic RHI is a financial support scheme for renewable heat, targeted at, but not limited to, off gas grid single domestic properties. The support will be paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced (kilowatt hour or kWh), for seven years, to the owner of the heating system.

The scheme will support:

  •  Air source heat pumps (ASHP)
  •  Biomass systems
  • Ground source heat pumps (GSHP); and
  • Solar thermal technologies.

The support rates vary depending on the technology installed:

TechnologyTariff (p/kWh renewable heat)
Air source heat pump (ASHP) 7.3
Biomass 12.2
Ground source heat pump (GSHP) 18.8
Solar thermal 19.21 (possibly 21.7)

All installations must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and meet relevant required standards for each technology.

Members of the MCS are also expected to comply with the standards set out by the Renewable Energy Association's (REA) Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) which is currently the only scheme backed by the Trading Standards Institute (formerly a role performed by the Office of Fair Trading) for the microgeneration sector.

The scheme will cover single domestic dwellings and will be open to:

  • Owner-occupiers;
  • Private landlords;
  • Registered providers of social housing;
  • Third party owners of heating systems; and
  • Self-builders.

It will not be open to new build properties other than self-build.

In addition, the scheme will be open to anyone in these groups (known as legacy applicants) who has installed an eligible technology since 15th July 2009, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. All applicants including legacy applicants for the RHI need to ensure that:

  • A Green Deal Assessment (GDA) has been carried out to find out which energy efficiency measures are cost-effective for the property;
  • Loft insulation (to 250mm) and cavity wall insulation have been installed where these measures are recommended by the GDA; and
  • Where the GDA shows the required loft and cavity wall insulation is yet to be installed, an updated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is obtained following installation, as proof of installation (or valid evidence is provided proving why installation was not feasible).

The only exception is for self-builders, whose properties will already be energy efficient since they are built to current building regulation standards. However, they will need an EPC in order for Ofgem to be able to calculate their payments.

The renewable heat generated will be estimated in most cases for payment purposes. For biomass and heat pumps, it will be based on an estimated figure of heat demand from an Energy Performance Certificate. For heat pumps, this will be combined with an estimate of the heat pump's efficiency to determine the renewable proportion of the heat. For solar thermal systems, the payments will be based on the estimate of system performance completed as part of an MCS installation.

Those applying for a space heating system who have a backup heating system, such as an oil boiler, or people applying for a second home, will need to install metering equipment on which the RHI payments can be based.

The scheme will open for applications in Spring 2014. It will be administered by Ofgem. Guidance will be available before the launch of the scheme on how to apply and the information that will need to be provided. The opening date for legacy applications – that is, people who installed a renewable heating system before the launch of the scheme – will be phased over time; those that received public funding through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) are likely to be lower priority candidates.

The financial support through the RHI will be paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat generated (kilowatt hour or kWh), for seven years. The support is set at a level designed to compensate for the difference between the cost of installing and operating renewable heating systems and fossil fuel systems, including non-financial costs such as disruption, on the basis of 20 years of heat produced. Applicants that have received a RHPP will have this funding recovered prorata over the course of the seven years of RHI payments.

All of the heat output generated by solar thermal systems is considered renewable. Unlike heat pumps and biomass, solar thermal will almost always act as a complementary system to other heating systems – either fossil fuel or renewable. This is because a solar thermal system will not normally be able to provide 100% of a property's heating demand. RHI payments will therefore be made only on the solar thermal system's deemed contribution to the hot water demand. No metering will be required for the solar thermal system.

The deeming figure for solar thermal will be the estimated contribution of the solar thermal system to the property's hot water demand (in kWh) that is calculated as part of the MCS installation process and shown on the MCS certificate. People will not be able to claim for more than one space heating renewable heating system in the same property. However, installations of solar thermal and another eligible technology will be permitted.

If solar thermal is used together with a biomass boiler or a heat pump, two claims can be made for the RHI – one for the solar thermal system and one for the space heating system. Provided the space heating system isn't bivalent or installed in a second home, each system will receive its full deemed amount.

Tariffs will change annually in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). Increases or decreases will take effect in the first payment period following 1 April each year, in line with RPI changes in the prior financial year (1st April – 31st March). A system of degression will be announced later in the year (2013).

All scheme participants will be required to regularly confirm their on-going eligibility to receive payments under the scheme

 Additional infromation can be found at:

  • Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive: the first step towards transforming the way we heat our homes (outcome of Public Consultation) Download pdf
  • Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive: the first step towards transforming the way we heat our homes (Government Response) Download pdf

Householders can still apply for the RHPP scheme on the EST website

More information on the RHPP scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website