Renewable Heat Incentive is great news for home owners

The official launch of the Government’s new domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is great news for homeowners.

The RHI, which came into force on April 9th, is the first scheme of its kind in the world and offers financial incentives to offset the costs of installing low carbon heating technologies.

Now it’s finally here we can move forward certain in the knowledge that installing a renewable heat system, such as an air or ground source heat pump, is a viable investment.

You will now get paid for the heat you generate, similar to the Feed In Tariff for solar PV but for heat.

Over seven years, you will be able to get a rebate from the Government which could pay for up to 70 or 80 per cent of the initial capital costs of the system. 

In the long run, that would make it cheaper to put in a renewable heat system than a boiler.

The biggest beneficiaries are bound to be people living off grid because the cost of heating oil is a lot higher than gas. 

Although the rebate is the same you will be getting greater savings against oil and gas. 

But you don’t have to be off grid to feel the warmth from the RHI. 

It’s also makes renewable heat a viable option for those who have access to a mains gas supply. 

So what are the key points? 

The domestic RHI is open to owner occupiers, private landlords, registered providers of social housing and self-builders who have installed an eligible technology since 15th July 2009, provided they meet the scheme criteria.

The technologies eligible for the payments include biomass boilers, solar thermal systems that provide hot water and ground and air source heat pumps, with tariffs varying depending on the technology.

Only one space heating system is allowed per property but homeowners can apply for solar thermal for hot water and a space heating system. Successful applicants will receive quarterly payments for seven years. 

Any public grants previously received, including the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP), will be deducted to avoid a double subsidy.

The rebate will depend on the size of the property and the technology installed.

The tariffs announced by the Government are: 

  • Solar thermal – 19.2p per kilowatt hour
  • Ground source heat pumps – 18.8p per kWh
  • Air source heat pumps – 7.3p per kWh
  • Biomass boilers – 12.2p per kWh

This rebate can calculated either through a heat meter or through Green Deal Assessment, which tells you how much energy is required to keep the property up to temperature and a payment is then calculated based on that figure. 

The RHI differs from the feed-in tariffs for solar panels launched in 2010 – which paid for both electricity generated as well as exported to the national grid – by paying just for heat generated for use at home.

It comes of the back of the commercial Renewable Heat Incentive, which came into force in November, 2011.

To obtain the rebate you need to apply to Ofgem. It can be quite a time consuming process but whenever we have put in a system for someone we have held their hands to help them through the process. 

We can’t apply on your behalf but we can give you all the information you need to make the application and ensure you get the rebate you are entitled to! 

For further details about the scheme including eligibility criteria and how to apply visit http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/domestic-rhi

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