Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a UK Government backed scheme aimed at proliferating the use of Renewable Products to cut our greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating. This is part of the Government’s plan for tackling climate change and enhancing our security of energy supply. The scheme is applicable in England, Wales and Scotland.
The scheme is broken into non-domestic and domestic categories. The non-domestic scheme became live at the end of November 2011. The domestic scheme is more complicated, there is a pilot scheme running called the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) which is intended to gather information to help shape the full-scheme for domestic RHI which is due to be launched in 2013.
Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
Solar Thermal systems that meet the following eligibility criteria will be eligible to apply for the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme:
- The solar thermal system is used to assist space heating or water heating
- The solar thermal system is used for process heating
- The building where the heat is being used is fully enclosed
- Maximum installed size is 200kW
- Installations of 45kW and below need to be MCS accredited
The RHI scheme for non-domestic installations is administered by Ofgem. It involves a regular payment based on the amount of solar input (kWh) for an eligible use. The solar input is monitored using a heat meter and these readings are recorded and submitted to Ofgem. The current payment for solar thermal is 9.2p/kWh. The scheme lasts for 20 years and is increased annually in line with inflation.
The scheme is subject to degression, that is the tariff for new entrants may be reduced in future if the scheme hits certain trigger points based on installed capacity.
The scheme allows for eligible installations installed and commissioned after 15th July 2009 to apply, although if you have already received grants for the installation this may affect whether or not your system qualifies for further help.
For further information on the RHI please visit the following websites:
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP)
This scheme is currently live and entitles domestic customers to claim for a £600 grant to assist the purchase of their solar thermal system, there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be met:
- Must have 250mm loft insulation and cavity wall insulation
- Needs to be an MCS accredited installation
- Up to two customer questionnaires will need to submitted
- Some customers will be selected at random to have heat meters fited and readings will need to be submitted
The RHPP has a total budget of £15m to cover a range of renewable technologies, applications and payments are administered by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
Full-Scheme for Domestic Customers
The Renewable Heat Incentive for domestic installations is due to be introduced in 2014. As such details at the moment are based on a Government consultation document and are subject to change. The idea is that a regular payment will be made to customers based on the amount of heat energy their solar thermal installation has contributed to their space and water heating demand. We understand that the solar input will be deemed and payments will be made over a seven year period. The RHI consulation document currently states a figure of 17.3p/kWh will be paid for domestic solar thermal installations, this figure will be confimed when the scheme launches.
The RHPP scheme is being used as a test-bed to help understand the benefits of various renewable technologies to householders and help shape usage advice, the eventual tariff and metering/deeming arrangements.
We would suggest keeping a close eye on the Department of Energy & Climate Change website for news of this scheme as it breaks.