Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
Frequently asked questions
The Domestic RHI was introduced in April 2015 to encourage households to install low carbon and renewable heat technologies.
- Who can apply for the DRHI?
- Can private landlords apply?
- What constitutes a “self-builder”?
- What is Legacy eligibility?
- Do I need a Green Deal Assessment?
- What technologies are eligible for the scheme?
- Can anyone install any equipment and receive the RHI payment?
- Can I install 2 systems?
- Can I keep my old heating system?
- Are the systems metered?
Payments & Funding
- What are the Domestic RHI tariff rates?
- Will the tariffs change?
- How are the tariffs applied?
- How long are the tariffs paid for?
- Is the RHI tariff index-linked?
- What happens if I sell my property?
- What happens if anything goes wrong?
- How long will the scheme last?
Who can apply for the DRHI?
• Home owners (including second homes)
• Private landlords
• Social landlords
• Legacy (renewable heat measures installed between 15 July 2009 and 8 April 2014)
Can private landlords apply?
Yes. So long as the landlord owns the heating system and consent is obtained from the tenants of the premises.
What constitutes a “self-builder”?
A homeowner that has either built or had a dwelling built for their own use.
What is Legacy eligibility?
Any qualifying renewable energy system (Air source heat pumps, Biomass heating, Ground source heat pumps or Solar water heating) installed after 15th July 2009 are eligible for the tariff payments. Any existing grant employed by these systems will be deducted from the RHI payments.
Do I need a Green Deal Assessment?
All households except self-built dwellings will require a green deal assessment. This report documents the energy efficiency of the property. If insulation measures are recommended in this report these must be installed and a performance certificate obtained before applying for the RHI scheme.
Self builders must obtain a RdSAP energy performance certificate to apply for the RHI scheme.
• Air source heat pumps
• Ground and water source heat pumps
• Solar thermal (hot water) systems
• Biomass boilers and wood pellet stoves with a back boilers.
Can anyone install any equipment and receive the RHI payment?
No. The installer of the system must be MCS certified. The new heating system must be MCS certified (or an equivalent scheme) and included in OFGEM’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive product eligibility list.
Can I install 2 systems?
Yes so long as a solar thermal (hot water) system is installed, this allows for two RHI payment claims, one for the solar thermal system and one for the heat pump / biomass heating system. You cannot make a claim for biomass systems & heat pump systems.
Can I keep my old heating system?
Yes but to claim the RHI payment the system/s must be metered and you will be responsible for the cost of installing the required approved metering equipment.
Are the systems metered?
Generally no although for biomass heating systems and air / ground source heat pumps there are two situations that will require the systems to be metered:
1/ If a renewable heat system is installed alongside an existing non-renewable system.
2/ For systems installed in second homes.
A “Metering & Monitoring” package is available at a cost of between £200 & £230 per annum. This enables users to monitor the performance of the system.
Payments & Funding
The following system technologies are included in the DRHI scheme:
• Air source heat pumps 7.3p/kWh
• Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back burner 12.2p/kWh
• Ground source heat pumps 18.8p/kWh
• Solar thermal technologies 19.2p/kWh
The rates are designed to take into consideration the following factors:
• Installation costs
• Technology efficiencies
• System lifetime
• 7.5% compensation for finance of the capital cost of buying and installing the system.
Yes. A tariff degression scheme will operate to manage the RHI budget, similar to the one employed by the Feed in Tariffs. The number of installations is checked quarterly and when certain trigger points are reached, the tariffs will be lowered in phases. Lowered tariffs will only be applicable to systems installed after that date. In short, the earlier you install a system the more you’re likely to benefit.
How are the tariffs applied?
The RHI tariffs are paid per kWh of renewable heat generated. The amount of heat generated from your installation estimated based on the expected annual heat used by the property (deemed).
Generally the deemed rate of heat per annum is multiplied by the RHI tariff rate to calculate the annual payment. This is taken over a twenty year period to cover the life expectancy of the system and paid over a seven year period.
How long are the tariffs paid for?
The Domestic RHI tariffs are paid over 7 years, although they are calculated to cover a 20 year life expectancy of the system. Payments are made quarterly in arrears by Ofgem. The payments will rise every year according to the retail price index (RPI) which come into effect on April 1st each year.
Can I get help with the initial cost of installing a renewable heating system?
You could be eligible to obtain a portion of the funding through the Green Deal which allows you to offset the cost against future savings on your energy bills,
Ofgem need to be informed so that RHI payments can be transferred to the new owner.
What happens if anything goes wrong?
Your first point of contact should be with the MCS accredited installer of the system/s. If the problem is not resolve you should visit the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (recc.org.uk) site and make a complaint.
How long will the scheme last?
DECC expects the domestic RHI scheme run until March 2021 but as with many policies this may be subject to change.