Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.

People who join the scheme and stick to its rules, receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces.

Who is it for?

The scheme’s open to anyone who can meet the joining requirements. It’s for households both off and on the gas grid.

People off mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Key to joining is that the renewable heating system heats only a single property which is capable of getting a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) open key term pop-up. The EPC is the proof we need that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘dwelling’. Without one, you won’t be able to apply and can’t join the scheme.

An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use, plus recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money. It’s required every time you buy, sell or rent a property. It’s included as part of a Green Deal Assessment, which is a requirement for most to join the Domestic RHI.

Where it’s more complicated

If your property set-up doesn’t quite fit into standard descriptions, or if your renewable system supplies heat to more than one building, it can be more difficult to decide which scheme to apply to. Or, if you’d be eligible to join either.

It will be assessed case by case, but very generally:

  • Properties with a home office within a house that has, or can get a domestic EPC, should be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
  • Properties with annexes attached to the house are normally covered by one domestic EPC and should be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
  • Properties with a main house and a self-contained outbuilding (with its own bathroom and kitchen), both heated by a renewable heating system, would normally have an EPC for each. They would not be eligible for the Domestic RHI.
  • Properties with a main house and other outbuildings all heated by a renewable heating system may not be eligible for the Domestic RHI.

Eligible Heating Systems in the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

To be able to apply to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) you’ll need to check your renewable heating system is one of the types eligible for the scheme, and that it’s a make and model that meets specific technical requirements.

Which Heating Systems are Eligible?

There are four eligible renewable heating system types. These are:

  • Biomass only boilers, and biomass pellet stoves
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels.

What you will need to do:

All biomass products installed after scheme launch will need an Emission Certificate (RHI) open key term pop-up. If it is a biomass product and has no emissions certificate (you can check if it is missing on the PEL), you will need to ask your installer to complete the template which can be downloaded from the ‘Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive product eligibility list’ page.

Technical eligibility requirements and uses

The table below summarises the eligibility requirements by renewable technology type and also what the heat produced can and can’t be used for.

Heating System Type

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Uses

Ineligible Uses

Biomass Boiler

  • Must use a liquid to provide space (eg,room) heating
  • Must be designed and installed to use solid biomass fuel
  • Must comply with Air quality open key term pop-up requirements
  • Space heating (eg, room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property
  • Biomass systems do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so
  • Designed to generate heat to cook food

Biomass Stove

  • Must be designed and installed to use with wood pellets. (Log burning stoves are not eligible)
  • Must use a liquid filled heat exchanger, enclosed within the system
  • Must comply with air quality requirements
  • Space heating (e.g., room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property
  • Biomass systems do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so

 

Air Source Heat Pump

  • Must use a compressor driven by electricity
  • Must use a liquid to provide space (e.g., room) heating
  • Must have a minimum ‘seasonal performance factor’ (SPF) of 2.5
  • Space heating (e.g., room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property
  • Air source heat pumps do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so
  • Designed to use heat from air expelled from an appliance or building when generating heat
  • Air source heat pumps with an SPF lower than 2.5

 

Ground Source Heat Pump

  • Must use a compressor driven by electricity
  • Must use a liquid to provide space (e.g., room) heating
  • Must have a minimum SPF of 2.5
  • Space heating (e.g., room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property
  • Ground source heat pumps do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so
  • Have a ground loop array that is shared with heat pumps in other eligible properties

Solar Thermal

  • Flat plate or evacuated tube only
  • Hot water heating for a domestic property only
  • Space heating (e.g., room) or heating a swimming pool (an internal heat dump, e.g. towel rail, is considered to be space heating)
  • Thermal stores contributing to space heating
  • Any use which is not domestic hot water heating
  • Generating electricity

Current and future tariffs

Applications Submitted

Biomass Boilers and Stoves

Air Source Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Solar Thermal

01/10/15 – 31/12/15

6.43p

7.42p

19.10p

19.51p

01/01/16 – 31/03/16

5.14p

7.42p

19.10p

19.51p

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