Households can now be paid to generate their own heat

Householders can now be paid for heat generated by solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker confirmed last week.

The new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for householders is designed to drive forward uptake of renewable heat technologies in homes across Great Britain to cut carbon, help meet renewables targets and save money on bills. The scheme is a world first, and has been up and running for the commercial sector since November 2011.

Greg Barker in making the announcement stated - “Investing for the long term in new renewable heat technologies will mean cleaner energy and cheaper bills. So this package of measures is a big step forward in our drive to get innovative renewable heating kit in our homes.

Eligible applicants

The scheme will be made available to homeowners, private and social landlords, third party owners of heating systems and people who build their own homes. Anyone who has installed a renewable heat technology since 15 July 2009 and meets the scheme eligibility criteria will be able to join the scheme.

Eligible technologies

RHI domestic will support air to water heat pumps; biomass only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers; ground and water source heat pumps; flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels.

Tariff payments

Payments will be made on a quarterly basis for seven years. The tariffs have been set at a level that reflects the expected cost of renewable heat generation over 20 years. In most cases, payments will be made based on estimated heat demand of the property.

The tariff levels have been set at 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal.

Scheme requirements

Applicants will need to complete a Green Deal Assessment before submitting their application and must ensure they have met minimum loft (250mm) and cavity wall insulation requirements, where appropriate. All installations and installers must be MCS certified (or certified by an equivalent scheme). #

The RHI for householders will be administered by Ofgem and more details on how to apply will be published in due course. Pre-application enquiries should be directed to the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

DECC is currently finalising the details of the expansion of the non-domestic RHI scheme and will confirm the way forward in the autumn alongside the outcome of the tariff review. DECC’s aim to introduce these changes from Spring 2014 remains unchanged.