The Renewable Heat Incentive or RHI is a scheme launched by the UK government to reward people who use renewable energy for home heating. The scheme has two categories, domestic and non-domestic sectors. Its aim is to help the government reach its target of generating 12% heat from renewable sources by the year 2020. Unlike feed-in tariffs that provide income, the RHI scheme provides regular tariffs to help offset installation and operation of renewable heating.
How does it work?
When you apply and qualify for the scheme, for seven years, you will get a tariff payment on a quarterly basis for every kilowatt-hour of heat you produce. You can install more than one qualifying technology to receive more payments for each system. Technologies include ground and air source heat pumps, biomass-only boilers and solar panels for water heating. The amount you will receive will be estimated based on your EPC or Energy Performance Certificate rating. You can benefit more if your home is off the gas grid and you switch to a renewable heating system.
How much could you earn?
Earnings depend on different factors, including the size of your home, your heating consumption and the new technology installed. Aside from the tariff payments, you can also save on your energy bills. Current rates for domestic tariffs are at 10.18p/kWh for air to water heat pumps, 19.86 for ground source, 6.54 for biomass and 20.06 for solar thermal panels.
Installation expense versus RHI payments
Installation costs vary according to the technology and its size. Savings also vary depending on your heating consumption and the efficiency of the new heating system. Your actual saving is by not having to pay for fossil fuel heating. You can ask the BEIS to have an idea of how much you could earn. This should help you decide if it is worth investing in a renewable heating system.
Currently, all newly installed heat pumps qualifying for the RHI scheme must have an electric meter with them. This will help users use the technology in the most efficient manner as they can monitor how the system works and understand their energy usage. The government offers additional annual payments for users of biomass boilers and air and ground source heat pumps registered for MMSP, a metering and monitoring package that also monitors the system’s performance.
Whether or not there is existing RHI to reward consumers switching to renewable sources of energy, people should be made aware of the importance of renewable resources. It is a good thing that more options are being assessed and offered to consumers; in the end, everyone living on the planet will benefit from overcoming resource depletion. Work with companies that provide quality central heating boilers and renewable technology for a more efficient home.