Renewable Heat Initiative

(With grateful thanks to the Energy Saving Trust for the following information.)
Domestic RHI scheme
The details of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) were announced by the UK Government on 12 July 2013. The Government has released a document setting out the final policy for the domestic RHI, subject to state aid and parliamentary approval.
The main details of the scheme are listed below:
• The domestic RHI is a UK Government financial support scheme for renewable heat, targeted at, but not limited to, off gas grid households.
• the domestic RHI scheme covers England, Wales and Scotland only
• DECC intend that the scheme will open to applications in Spring 2014 and will be administered by Ofgem
• 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 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
• it will be open to anyone in these groups who installed an eligible technology since 15th July 2009, provided they met the scheme criteria
• For those who have installed a renewable heating system before the launch of the scheme in Spring 2014 and since 15 July 2009 (legacy applications), the date they can submit their application may not be from when the scheme first opens and will be phased over time. This is to help manage the potentially large volume of applications submitted when the scheme opens and to avoid a backlog. Further details on the phasing will be provided by Ofgem prior to launch
• the financial 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:
Air source heat pump Biomass Ground source heat pump Solar thermal
Tariff (p/kWh renewable heat) 7.3 12.2 18.8 19.2
• for biomass the renewable heat generated will be based on an estimated figure of heat demand from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
• for heat pumps the renewable heat generated will be based on an estimate of the heat demand from an EPC combined with an estimate of the heat pump’s efficiency
• For solar thermal systems the renewable heat generated will be based on the estimate of system performance completed as part of a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation.
• to help improve performance of renewable heating systems, there will be an extra incentive for applicants who install metering and monitoring service packages, of £230 per year for heat pumps and £200 per year for biomass boilers
• to be eligible the system must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) scheme and meet relevant standards for each technology, including limits on harmful emissions for biomass systems
• Legacy biomass installations, installed between 15th July 2009 and the launch of the scheme in Spring 2014, will not need to meet the emissions limits requirement.
• all applicants are required to complete a Green Deal Assessment (GDA) before applying and to ensure they meet minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity insulation where required by the GDA
• any public grants previously received, including RHPP, will be deducted to avoid a double subsidy
• tariffs will change annually in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI)
• DECC intend to introduce a system of degression to control the costs of the scheme. This is where tariffs are reduced over time for new applications to the scheme. Those who have already secured their tariff will not have their tariff reduced due to cost control. DECC will announce further details on the cost control policy in Autumn 2013.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the criteria of the scheme. You can find further details about the scheme and link to all the related policy documents on the UK Government website.
Last updated July 2013
Phase Two Extension
An extension to the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme was announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 26 March 2013. The scheme is being extended until the end of March 2014, ahead of the RHI scheme for householders.
The extension continues to offer one-off grants to householders across England, Scotland and Wales to help with the cost of installing renewable heating technologies and will also include a competition for registered social landlords to bid for funds to install renewable heat technologies.
Applicants should note that even though the RHPP scheme is being extended, householders who applied before 31 March 2013 must have redeemed their voucher by their stated voucher expiry date or 31 March 2013, whichever was sooner. If you missed the stated deadline, you will be able to re-apply as long as all the eligibility criteria are met.
Changes to the Householder Stream
Key changes have been made to the householder stream of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 20 May 2013.
As part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s desire to further support the growing market for domestic renewables, the Government has considered new data available on installation costs/recent feedback from industry and has decided to increase the voucher levels for each of the four eligible technologies. The new levels are:
Technology Voucher value
Air-to-Water Heat Pump £1,300
Biomass Boiler £2,000
Ground or Water-source Heat Pump £2,300
Solar Thermal Hot Water £600
These levels will be effective for voucher applications made on the Energy Saving Trust (EST) website from 20 May 2013. We hope the additional money available will encourage even more people to consider switching to renewable heating.
In addition, new applicants from 20 May 2013 will also be required to undertake a Green Deal Assessment before submitting a claim for payment of their voucher. The Assessment will help consumers to choose the most appropriate new technology for their home and circumstances. As the voucher levels are being increased, this additional money will cover the costs of an Assessment.
If you already have an RHPP voucher or have received payment of an RHPP grant please see the RHPP FAQs for more information.
For more information on the changes to the scheme please see the RHPP FAQs.
For information on the Green Deal and how to get a Green Deal Assessment please call our advice line (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales: 0300 123 1234
What is the Renewable Heat Premium Payment?
This is a UK Government scheme designed to help you afford renewable technologies for your home, such as:
• biomass boilers
• heat pumps ( air to water, ground source or water source but excluding air to air and exhaust air heat pumps), and
• solar thermal panels
The amount received as part of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme depends on which technology you are applying for:
Technology Voucher value
Air-to-Water Heat Pump £1,300
Biomass Boiler £2,000
Ground or Water-source Heat Pump £2,300
Solar Thermal Hot Water £600
The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme – Phase 2 extension will run from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, subject to available funding.
Who can apply for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment?
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and your installation did not receive funding under RHPP Phase 1, the RHPP Social Landlord Scheme nor the RHPP Communities Scheme you are eligible to apply for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment. Your installation must also not have been commissioned for the first time, as detailed on your MCS certificate, before 21 July 2011.
If you live in Northern Ireland, find out more about the Renewable Heat Premium Payment at the DETI website.
How you currently heat your home will depend on which technologies you are able to apply for:
• if you have recently removed a mains gas heating system or currently heat your home with mains gas, you are only eligible to apply for solar thermal
• If you currently rely on oil, liquid gas, solid fuel or electricity then you could also apply for air-to-water heat pumps, ground-source or water-source heat pumps and biomass boilers.
If you have any further questions about whether you can apply, call the Energy Saving Trust helpline:
• in England, Northern Ireland and Wales: 0300 123 1234

What do you have to do before applying?
It is important to understand the full eligibility criteria before applying
• The property must be owned by you and continue to be owned by you for the duration of the metering and survey requirements or if you are a tenant you must be purchasing the system yourself and have permission from the owner of the property;
• If the property is a new build, then you must retain ownership of the property either as the occupier or as the Private Landlord. Please note applications from installers, builder/developers or householders in relation to “off-plan” developments, are not eligible for support under this scheme. Similarly, installations where the renewable heating system was installed prior to the first occupation of the property are also ineligible for the scheme
• The property must have loft insulation to 250mm and cavity wall insulation (where practical);
• You must have undertaken a Green Deal Assessment before submitting a claim to EST for payment of your voucher;
• You should have all necessary planning and environmental permissions in place;
• The product and installer you go with must be certified under theMicrogeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or Solar Keymark (or equivalent);
• Read the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme FAQ.
As the applicant it is your responsibility to ensure that all information supplied at application and claim stage is accurate and complete. Any information that you provided to the Energy Saving Trust that is subsequently found to be untrue, inaccurate or incomplete may affect your ability to claim your rebate. Accordingly, applications should not be submitted by your installer.
Metering and surveys
As part of the RHPP scheme, all applicants will be asked to submit information about how the technology you have installed is performing in its environment via online surveys. This is to support the monitoring programme and allow the Government to learn as much as possible about renewable technologies. In addition, metering equipment will be fitted to some heat pump installations. The metering equipment provides live data to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to enable them to evaluate the performance of heat pumps. This is ground-breaking research. The results will be used to inform heat pump technology developments and future government policy. The Energy Saving Trust has commissioned the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to coordinate the monitoring programme.
For heat pump installations, all householders will receive 80% of their voucher value when a valid claim is submitted, together with a signed checklist from the installer confirming whether or not the installation can be fitted with a meter. Householders will receive the final 20% following a visit from the metering team to check that the installation is really ‘meter ready’ and install a set of equipment, or if their installer has been trained to install monitoring equipment and installs it on EST’s behalf. If a householder has indicated that they are not meter ready, they will receive the final 20% of the grant at the end of the scheme.
Preparation checklist
• Ensure you have all the basic energy efficiency measures installed in your home (cavity and loft insulation)
• Arrange to have a Green Deal Assessment. For more help and advice call our advice line (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales: 0300 123 1234; in Scotland: 0808 808 2282) or visit our Green Deal web pages
• Investigate all the various renewable technologies on offer and call our advice line for more advice and information (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales: 0300 123 1234; in Scotland: 0808 808 2282)
• Try getting a minimum of three quotes from MCS certified installers or Solar Keymark (or equivalent)
• Check Planning Permission requirements. In the case of Air Source Heat Pumps, you must ensure that you obtain either;
• Evidence of planning consent being granted, or Lawful Development Certificate (or equivalent) showing that planning consent is not required, or alternatively;
• In England and Wales
o Evidence of compliance with the PDR process which will be a copy of Table 2 comprising fully completed pages 15, 16 and 17 of your MCS020 document, provided by the contracting MCS installer, demonstrating that the final result is lower than 42 db(A).