RHI Tariffs Set

by Chris Bates
17th July 2013

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic users is set to begin in Spring 2014, according to a government announcement.

As part of the long-awaited announcement, The Department of Energy & Climate Change has released details of the tariff levels for the Renewable Heat Incentive. This will be available to all homeowners, including self-builders.

The RHI tariffs have been set at 18.8 pence per kW/h for ground source heat pumps; 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; and at least 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal panels.

How does the Renewable Heat Incentive work?

The RHI will pay out according to the applicable tariff. For example, if you install eligible solar thermal panels, you will receive 19.2 pence per kW/h of energy.

To avoid over-specification of systems, in most cases payments will be made based on a property’s estimated or ‘deemed’ heat demand.

Payments will be made on a quarterly basis for seven years. The tariffs have been set at a level that the government believes reflects the expected cost of renewable heat generation over 20 years.

DECC will offer an extra set payment of £230 per year where consumers take out metering and monitoring support packages for heat pumps and £200 for biomass boilers.

Is my project eligible for the RHI?

The RHI will pay out on eligible installations of renewable heating technology. The scheme will be made available to homeowners, private and social landlords, third party owners of heating systems and people who build their own homes.

Anyone who has installed a renewable heat technology since 15 July 2009 and meets the eligibility criteria will be able to join the scheme.

The eligible technologies for the RHI will be air-to-water heat pumps, biomass-only boilers; biomass pellet stoves with back boilers; ground and water-source heat pumps; and flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels.

In addition, applicants for the RHI will need to complete a Green Deal Assessment prior to submitting their application. Where appropriate, they will also have to ensure they have met minimum requirements in terms of loft and cavity wall insulation levels.

All installations and installers must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered.

When will the RHI launch?

Currently, the government is running Renewable Heat Premium Payments (one-off grants towards certain heating technologies) as a precursor to the RHI. The Premium Payment scheme is scheduled to finish on 31st March 2014. The hope is that the RHI should kick in on or around that date.

The domestic RHI will be administered by Ofgem, which will publish more details on the scheme and how to apply in due course. The Energy Saving Advice Service is dealing with pre-application enquiries on 0300 123 1234.

Picture: Worcester, Bosch Group’s Greensource air-to-water heat pump

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