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Renewable Heat Incentive

What is it?

The Renewable Heat Incentive, or RHI, is a government initiative designed to encourage renewable heat, and is similar to the Feed-In-Tariff for renewable electricity.  Under the scheme, which commenced in November 2011, users of solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and biomethane can claim a tariff for every kilowatt hour of renewable heat used.  The scheme is currently only open to commercial customers, with domestic users being eligible for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, or RHPP.  The RHPP is a one-off £300 grant to help towards the cost of a solar thermal system.  From summer 2013 however, the RHI tariff will be extended to domestic users, even if they have already claimed the RHPP.


The commercial RHI will remain open until 2020, and once accredited new users will receive their tariff payments for 20 years.  The tariffs may drop for new applicants, but once accredited at a certain tariff level, users will remain on that tariff, which is index linked, for the full 20 years.  Tariff levels for new entrants may change through one of OFGEM’s reviews (every four years) or through degression.

The details of the domestic RHI are still being confirmed. The latest proposal is the scheme will also remain open until 2020, but that payments will be at a higher level and run for 7 years. The tariff is expected to be 17.3p/kWh for domestic solar thermal systems.  For the latest information, please refer to DECC’s RHI page here.


Commercial users of any eligible technology (see the table below), which is delivered via hot water, and is at a qualifying scale, can claim the RHI tariff.  From summer 2013 onwards a single domestic property with a renewable heat source will be able to claim the tariff.

In order to claim the RHI, the following criteria must be met:

  • This heat load should be an existing or new heating requirement i.e. not created artificially, purely to claim the RHI
  • The heat must be supplied to meet an economically justifiable heating requirement i.e. a heat load that would otherwise be met by an alternative form of heating e.g. a gas boiler;
  • Acceptable heat uses are space, water and process heating where the heat is used in fully enclosed structures.
  • Only solar thermal systems up to 200 kW are eligible.
  • Systems of 45 kW or below must be registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
  • Only water heating panels (flat plat and evacuated tubes) qualify. Transpired collectors are not included.

Tariff Levels

The table below gives the current commercial RHI tariffs. The domestic tariffs are still to be confirmed.  Please refer to DECC’s website for the latest information.

Small Biomass Solid biomass including solid biomass contained in municipal solid waste (incl. CHP) Less than 200kWth 8.3 (tier 1)
Medium Biomass 200 kWth and above; less than 1,000 kWth 2.1 (tier 2)
Large Biomass 1,000kWth and above 1.0
Small Heat Pumps Ground-source heat pumps; water source heat pumps; deep geothermal 100kWth and above Less than 100 kWth 4.7
100 kWth and above 3.4
All solar thermal collectors Solar thermal Collectors Less that 200kWth 8.9
Biomethane and biogas combustion Biomethane injection and biogas combustion, except from landfill gas Biomethane all scales, biogas combustion, except from landfill gas 7.1


Please feel free to get in contact with us by email or call 0845 189 9894 to discuss any of your requirements.



More information...

For more information on this or any other Enviko services or products please call Enviko on (England & Wales) +44 (0)20 8816 7631 or (Scotland) +44 (0)131 335 0032 or by email.

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We can reduce your carbon footprint and help you to demonstrate your green credentials.

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We find the best solution to match your budget and energy demands.


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