An Introduction to Domestic RHI

Anyone who has installed an eligible heating system since 15 July 2009 will be entitled to apply for Domestic RHI come early 2014.

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The domestic renewable heat incentive, or domestic RHI, is set to be finalised in spring 2014. Anyone who has installed an eligible heating system since 15 July 2009 will be entitled to apply, and until the final details of domestic RHI are worked out the Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP) are available to help with upfront costs until 31 March 2014.

Domestic RHI Tariffs

The current tariffs for domestic RHI are:

- Air source heat pumps – 7.3p/kWh

- Biomass boilers and Biomass pellet stoves with back burners – 12.2p/kWh

- Ground and water source heat pumps 18.8p/kWh

- Solar thermal technologies – 19.2p/kWh (with potential to increase)

If you choose a metering and monitoring package, you can expect to receive additional payments of £230 per year for a heat pump or £200 per year for a biomass boiler.

Qualifying for Domestic RHI

In order to receive domestic RHI, you will need to make sure that both the equipment and the installer you use are MCS accredited or equivalent (there is more yet to be published on what this might mean) and must meet the relevant standards. Additionally, installers will have to be memers of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).

Payments are to be made by the quarter to homeowners over seven years per kWh of heat generated for the renewable technology’s expected lifespan, based on a predicted heat usage. Any money which was received upfront from the RHPP will be deducted from the future RHI payments.

Domestic RHI has been designed to encourage boiler replacement. Therefore, any payments made are intended to bridge the gap between the costs of installation and the running costs of fossil fuel heating systems and their renewable alternatives. In contrast to the feed-in tariff or the non-domestic RHI, the scheme is not about investment or payback and is more a method of helping people to move on to greener alternatives.

Because the cost of running a heating system are higher for those off the gas grid, and because more carbon dioxide is emitted, DECC has made this sector a priority by setting tariff levels which provide better returns for householders who are not on the gas grid.

In order to manage the RHI budget, a digression scheme similar to that introduced for the feed-in tariffs scheme will be introduced. This will mean that tariff levels will fall by a certain percentage once specified levels of deployment are attained.


In order to qualify for the domestic RHI householders must have a green deal assessment and fit loft and cavity wall insulation where it is required by the assessment.

The proposals are yet to get Parliamentary approval and will be subject to EU state aid approval, so are not final until both of these have been given.

Image by Joelle Nebbe-Mornod

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