The Domestic RHI Scheme has now ended, but fear not! The new BUS Scheme has been announced. Find out more here
Why Join the Domestic RHI?
● Reliable, clean green energy for your home
● Earn money from your renewable heat pump – find out how much using the RHI Calculator
● Quarterly payments paid over 7 years
● Reduce carbon footprint
● Over 20 Year Lifespan on many renewable heat pump models
What Is the RHI?
The RHI or Renewable Heat Incentive is a Government-sponsored scheme that gives financial incentives to homeowners, businesses and communities for installing Renewable Heating Systems.
The RHI scheme was designed to help the UK reach its target of generating 12% of its heat from renewable sources by 2020. It mainly focuses on households who are off the gas grid but not limited to them.
This scheme is effective in England, Scotland and Wales.
There are two categories of RHI application
● Domestic RHI – For residential homes
● Commercial or Non-domestic RHI - For industrial and commercial sectors, organisations, communities and the public sector.
It should be fairly obvious to distinguish which one will apply to your installation, however, JL Phillips Renewable Energy Ltd will offer advice in this matter at the time of quoting. Here we are only going to be discussing RHI for homes under the domestic scheme. For businesses, please see our commercial RHI information here. These categories of RHI application have separate tariffs, joining conditions, rules and application processes. Moreover, each application can only be to one of the schemes. Understanding the way RHI works can be a bit overwhelming. At JL Phillips, we provide end-to-end support and guidance that will help you make the most of the RHI scheme.
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) focuses on homeowners specifically. It encourages them to promote the use of renewable heat and gives financial rewards for doing so. Switching to heating technologies that use naturally produced energy can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions. This, of course, will lead to a more cleaner and greener environment.
After approval to the scheme, beneficiaries receive a series of quarterly payments over a period of seven years.
How Much Could I Expect to Earn from RHI?
To get an idea of how much you could make from installing a renewable heating system under domestic RHI you can use the RHI Calculaor belowRHI Calculator
Current tariffs determine the rate for your Domestic RHI payments. All tariffs are paid for a period of seven years from the date of accreditation.
The support levels are higher than those in the non-domestic RHI scheme as they attempt to squash 20 years’ worth of support into 7 years. This is because a 20-year tariff at lower values is unlikely to suit many homeowners. You can find the tariffs for the domestic scheme using the link below:
All installations must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and meet relevant standards for each technology, including the proposed limits on harmful emissions for biomass systems. This effectively limits the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to technologies under 45kW.
Who Can Apply for the Domestic RHI?
Anyone who meets the requirements of the scheme, can benefit from it. It’s for households both on and off the gas grid. However , people off the mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.
The scheme covers single domestic dwellings: owner-occupiers, private landlords, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and third-party owners of heating systems and self-builders. New properties other than self-build will be ineligible.
We recommend that you read the Essential Guide for Applicants which can be found below:
Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The key to joining the RHI is that renewable heating technology installed heats only a single property which is capable of receiving a domestic EPC. The EPC is proof that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘dwelling’. Without one, you’ll be unable to apply and join the scheme.
An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use, along with recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money. The EPC is required every time you buy, sell or rent a property.
Ofgem and Technical Requirements
Ofgem has imposed ‘heat demand limits’ on all domestic installations. This means that there will be a limit to the financial support that scheme participants can annually receive for the amount of heat used.
These limits are:
● Air Source Heat Pumps 20,000kWh
● Ground Source Heat Pumps 30,000kWh
● Biomass 25,000 kWh
You can still apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme if your annual heat demand on your Energy Performance Certificate is higher than the heat demand limit. However, your RHI payments will be capped in line with these limits.
MCS Standard Installations
MCS is the primary way of demonstrating that the installation has been installed competently. However, DECC has indicated they will recognise other certification schemes that meet standards such as EN45011 or ISO/IEC 17065 and have suitable consumer protection measures in place. Ofgem and MCS are currently working on an online list of products that will be eligible for domestic RHI support.
Key features of the Domestic RHI
● All installations must be MCS (or equivalent) e.g. under 45kW
● Tariffs are RPI linked and last for 7 years
● Only single domestic dwellings qualify
● Any eligible installation installed after 15 July 2009 can qualify
● Applicants that have also received Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) support will have their support reduced by the value of the RHPP voucher
● Most installations will have their heat generation ‘deemed’ (estimated through the EPC)
● All installations (other than self-build) must have minimum loft and cavity work completed where appropriate
● There will be a degression system put in place, similar to non-domestic RHI
Frequently Asked Questions About RHI
Can I Make a Legacy RHI Application?
Anyone who has installed an eligible technology, in accordance with the scheme criteria, since 15 July 2009 will be able to apply for support. Installations made have to meet with the MCS standards that were applicable at the time of installation, instead of the current standards. However, installations made prior to the scheme launch will not need to meet the air quality requirements that will apply once the scheme opens.
Are Second Homes Eligible for the RHI?
Second homes can access domestic RHI support but these must be metered. They will only receive support up to the level of heat ‘deemed’ by the EPC of the property.
How is Income from the Tariff Assessed?
The renewable heat generated by an RHI installation will be estimated (or ‘deemed’) in most cases, from the buildings’ Energy Performance Certificate. This avoids the consumer having to pay the additional costs of installing meters.
The exception to this will be those who have a backup heating system (such as an oil boiler) or who are applying for a second home. In these cases, meters will need to be installed to measure the actual heat generated.
Payments will be received quarterly and will be RPI index-linked.
Interaction with Renewable Heat Premium Payments
If the applicant has already received support under the RHPP, this will need to be declared during the application process. This will then be deducted from the payments received under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. Initially, this will be a deduction of one twenty-eighth of the value of the public funding per quarter.
More Information on RHI and Heat Pumps
Not all of the heat produced by a heat pump is renewable, so only a proportion of the heat pump output will receive RHI support. The Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of a heat pump will be used to calculate how much subsidy the installation will receive.
For example, a heat pump with an SPF of 3, will only receive RHI support for two-thirds of its output. Heat pumps installed before the launch of the scheme will be given a default SPF of 2.5, or can be assessed by an MCS installer to demonstrate a higher rating.
2.5 is the minimum efficiency for a heat pump to be supported under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
More Information on RHI and Biomass
Biomass only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers are eligible for support. Condensing biomass boilers are currently included in the domestic RHI.
New installations from the start of the scheme need to adhere to the minimum air quality standards: maximum permitted emissions of 30 grams per gigajoule (g/GJ) net thermal input for particulate matter and 150 g/Gj for NOx. In addition, biomass boilers supported under the scheme will need to have their fuel sourced sustainably.
Applicants that source their own woodfuel from their own estate will automatically be considered as sustainable as long as they do not supply other biomass heat installations.
Formal reviews of the scheme are planned for later in 2018, but the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), formerly known as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), reserves the right to hold a review of the scheme at any time.
If you applied for RHPP funding before 20th May 2013, you will have been eligible to apply for RHI from 9th July 2014.
If you applied for the RHPP funding after 20th May 2013, you will have been eligible to apply for the RHI from 9th October 2014.
Every single customer needs an EPC before they apply for RHI, regardless of the installation date. So ensure that you first get your EPC in order.
SPF – Seasonal Performance Factor
SPF – Seasonal Performance Factor is a new calculation which all GSHP & ASHP customers will have to supply with their RHI application
|SPF Example Calculation using SPF score of 4.1 on a Ground Source Heat Pump:
(Total Heat Demand = 31,350 kWh RHI Tariff = 19.86 pence – SPF calculated at = 4.1)
|1 ÷ 4.1= 0.243|
|1 – 0.243 = 0.76 (SPF Calculation)|
|31,350 x 0.76 = 23,826 (Total Heat kWh allowance)|
|23,846 x 20.46p = £4,878.89 (Annual RHI figure)|
|SPF Example Calculation using Ofgem score of 2.5 on a Ground Source Heat Pump:
(Total Heat Demand = 31,350 kWh RHI Tariff = 19.86 pence – SPF calculated at = 2.5)
|1 ÷ 2.5 = 0.4|
|1 – 0.4 = 0.6 (SPF Calculation)|
|31,350 x 0.6 = 18,810 (Total Heat kWh allowance)|
|18,810 x 20.46p = £3,848.53 (Annual RHI figure)|
What You Should Know About Heat Metering and Backup Systems
● Any installation ASHP, GSHP or Biomass which has a backup system in place (i.e. the original heating system) must have a meter fitted prior to RHI Application.
● Once the Heat meter is installed and RHI has been granted, the customer will only get paid for the reading taken from the meter regardless of the EPC calculation.
● It may be advisable to think about removing the backup system which then alleviates the need for the heat meter and means that the customer can claim the full allowance as indicated on the EPC.
Making Your RHI Application
To apply for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive you should visit the Ofgem website and complete the online form at the link below:
When completing the questions within the application, the following guide may help:
Or, you can apply via telephone; Ofgem on 0300 003 0744 press option 4 and ask to make an ‘Assisted Digital RHI Application’.
To complete the application either online or via telephone you will need the following:
● The Microgeneration Certificate (MCS) & MCS Compliance Document
● The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) report number
● For Heat Pumps only: SPF calculation (if you are not happy with Ofgem’s figure of 2.5)
● Bank Details
You will need to provide the EPC and Green Deal Assessment.
JL Phillips provides you with a handover pack containing everything else you will need to apply, which you receive once the final payment for installation of heating technology has been made.
For enquiries regarding the application process, please use the contact details below.
If you haven’t yet started the application process you can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service for advice on:
● Tel: 0300 123 1234 or email: email@example.com
If you have already started your application, and afterwards, if you have been approved to join the scheme, you can contact the Domestic RHI Applicant Support Centre at Ofgem for advice and support on:
● Tel: 0300 003 0744 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
● MCS Help Desk – 0207 090 1082
If you are having any problems or don’t understand anything contact J L Phillips on 01636 642790 and we shall do our best to guide you through the process.