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What is the renewable heat incentive (RHI)?

What is the renewable heat incentive (RHI)?

We explain how the Renewable Heat Incentive works and how to apply to receive payments from the government's programme

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To promote and encourage the uptake of domestic renewable heat energy technology, the government introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive to English, Scottish and Welsh households in 2014. New regulations came into effect in May 2018.

What is the RHI?

The Domestic RHI provides financial incentives to owners of domestic properties who install renewable heating technologies such as ground source heat pumps and solar thermal on their premises.

Those who install these technologies and adhere to the rules of the scheme receive quarterly payments from the government for seven years.

These payment amounts are determined by the amount of renewable heat generated by the household, and the current tariff rates.

To find the current tariff rates, visit the BEIS tariffs and payments page.

Changes to the RHI came into effect in May 2018. They included a specification that all new domestic RHI applications for heat pumps should have an arrangement with an electricity meter which is properly calibrated and working properly to measure the electricity the pump consumes to generate heat. Full details of these changes can be found on Ofgem's website.

Am I eligible for domestic RHI payments?

The Domestic RHI first launched in April 2014 and, as its name suggests, is aimed at households. Homeowners, landlords and self-builders (individuals or groups who built their own homes) are all eligible to apply.

In order to join the domestic RHI scheme, the renewable heat technology which you install must heat a single domestic property. The building must also have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Suitable systems that qualify for RHI payments include:

  • Solar thermal
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Biomass

It is only available to those residing in England, Scotland and Wales.

How do I apply for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive?

Energy regulator Ofgem is responsible for administering the RHI scheme. You can find the application form here.

Where can I get more information on the Renewable Heat Incentive programme?

Due to recent government consultation resulting in planned changes in 2017, it's worth reading up on the latest rules around the RHI scheme.

Find out more on Ofgem's dedicated Renewable Heat Incentive section of their site.

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