The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government backed scheme to encourage the adoption of renewable technologies by paying adopters financial rewards.The RHI was first rolled out in June 2011 as part of a two phased scheme. The first phase for focusing non-domestic properties. The Government defines a domestic property as being:

“…where a renewable heating installation serves a single private residential dwelling only. This does not include multiple residential dwellings served by one renewable heating installation (e.g. district heating) nor residential dwellings which have been significantly adapted for non-residential use. For example, a house where someone works or runs a business from home would be considered domestic whereas a house converted to be a shop or bed & breakfast would be considered non-domestic and could receive RHI support. This means that if a company, private landlord or registered social landlord installs single renewable heating units, in one or multiple residential dwellings, this would constitute a domestic installation and they will not be able to receive RHI tariffs from the outset, but will be able to claim from 2012.”

Local authorities, housing associations, hospitals and schools can all partake in the scheme, as can Community Heat Projects.

Note that the scheme is NOT open to installations of systems before July 2009, which have received the Low Carbon Buildings Programme Government grant. Systems installed after this time are eligible under the scheme and the scheme remains open until 2020.

Included Technologies:

Air Source Heat Pumps: ARE NOT INCLUDED IN PHASE ONE for Commercial systems but ARE included for PHASE TWO for domestic systems

Ground Source Heat Pumps: similar to Air Source Heat Pumps although they take their heat from the ground.

Solar Thermal: Collects heat from the sun which transfers the heat to the building. All solar systems contain a storage element in the form of a hot water tank that ensures the hot water/heat can be supplied at the desired time rather than just when the sun is shining.

Biomass Boilers: boilers that generate heat through burning organic matter.

Biogas: biogas can be burned to generate heat.

Biomethane: similar to biogas, but involves removing the carbon dioxide and other impurities.

Bioliquids: biomass turned into a liquid and used for heat generation.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP): this is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat from a fuel. It uses the fuel more efficiently as it captures the heat and transfers it to where it is needed, whilst also using the fuel for its primary objective of generating electricity.

Note that wood burning stoves, air heaters and open fires are NOT included under the scheme. Only technologies that are MCS accredited, and installed by MCS accredited installers, will be eligible for the RHI payment.

The MCS accreditation scheme is in place to ensure that purchasers of systems have peace of mind that they are getting a system that really will last and produce the amount of energy they say they will.

Tariff Rates:

Different tariffs are set for different technologies to reflect differing costs, benefits, installation costs, expected lifetimes, and annual maintenance costs. The tariff for each technology is set to give an expected rate of return of 12% (or 6% for Solar thermal). The tariff is payed in regular amounts over a 20 year time frame. This is in contrast to domestic RHI which is 7 years

The tariff system for commercial systems is as follows:


How to Proceed:

To apply for the RHI it is very simple. All you need to do is call Cernunnos, an MCS accredited installer and we  will recommend a product and install it for you. After this twe will use the EPC or SAP rating to give you your “deemed” factor on the installation certificate. We will then send this certificate to OFGEM who will then process your payments (once the scheme begins!). Simple!