The renewable heat incentive scheme is the world’s first long term financial support for generating renewable heat. It was introduced to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies amongst householders, communities and businesses through the provision of financial incentives whilst reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.
The Governments Department of Climate Change (DECC) will now pay for the generation of renewable heat; the more efficient the renewable system the more the scheme will pay.
The renewable heating system must be for a single home in a property that can get a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC must be produced as part of a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR and has to be completed before you can apply for RHI. If you've already had a Green Deal Assessment you won’t need to get a new one, as long as you have the GDAR number.
The eligibility for domestic uptake is both on and off the gas grid for properties that are heated by a single system. However, the applicant must own or occupy the property that the renewable heating system operates, the installation is required to meet the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS*) criteria and have had a green deal assessment on the property.
If recommended on the EPC, loft and/or cavity wall insulation must be installed. If it’s not possible to install loft or cavity wall insulation then there is an exemption process, and properties self-built new-build homes are also exempt.
In all cases systems must have been installed by an accredited installer after 15 July 2009 to qualify. For certain renewable heat technologies rated below 45 kW, your installer should be Microgeneration Certification Scheme* (or equivalent) accredited.
Social Landlords are exempt from the Green Deal Assessment from April ’15, provided an EPC less than 2 years old is lodged.
All systems need to be made meter-ready but, in some cases, additional metering will need to be fitted in order to assess payments. For example, if you are not living at the property, there is back-up heating for more than one room, the system does not supply the entire property, due to single system eligibility, or there are systems capable of using other fuel sources.
Although an air source heat pump can meet the heating and hot water needs of an average household, you may also consider a back-up supplementary system. For example, a solar thermal hot water system and a wood pellet, chip or log stove could also be integrated. Solar water heating may provide all your domestic hot water needs during summer, removing the need to run the heat pump at all, and so saving yourself the cost of the electricity.
Only one space heating system is allowed per property but homeowners can apply for solar thermal for hot water and a separate space heating system.
*MCS - Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is a recognised quality assurance scheme, supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. MCS certifies microgeneration technologies used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources. MCS is also an eligibility requirement for the Government's financial incentives, which include the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive.