Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

The Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Government environmental programme that provides financial incentives to increase the uptake of renewable heat. For the non-domestic sector broadly speaking it provides a subsidy, payable for 20 years, to eligible, non-domestic renewable heat generators and producers of biomethane for injection based in Great Britain. Of course this is subject to the detailed scheme rules.

Ofgem is responsible for implementing and administering the scheme on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Eligibility for the Non-Domestic RHI

To take part in the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, you must demonstrate your installation meets the eligibility criteria when applying for accreditation.

  • Date of accreditation
    It is important to note that the applicable tariff and the date that RHI payments are calculated from is the later of:
    (a) The first day on or after we receive your application on which both the application was ‘properly made’ and the eligibility criteria were met, and
    (b) The date your installation was commissioned.
  • General eligibility checklist
    1. The applicant must be the owner of the installation (see RHI Guidance Volume 1, chapter 4); their identity and their bank details must be validated. Where there are multiple owners, the applicant must have permission to act for the others.
    2. The plant must be an eligible renewable heat technology type and size.
  • Eligible Heating Systems Completed and Plant First Commissioned on or after 15 July 2009?
    – Solid Biomass
    – Biogas below 200kWth
    – Ground and Water Source Heat pumps
    – Geothermal
    – Solar collectors
    – Energy from Waste
  • Eligible Heating Systems Completed and Plant First Commissioned on or after 4 December 2013?
    – Air to Water Heat Pumps
    – Biogas 200kWth and above
    – A CHP system which generates heat from either solid biomass, biogas or waste in combination with any other source of energy

Eligible technologies and sizes

Eligible Technology

Technology-specific criteria

Eligible Sizes

Solid Biomass*

Must generate heat from solid biomass.

All scales eligible.

MCS certification requirements apply for installations less than or equal to 45kWth.

Solid Biomass Contained in Waste*

Must generate heat using solid biomass contained in waste.

All scales eligible.

Ground-Source Heat Pumps

and

Water-Source Heat Pumps

Must have a CoP of at least 2.9.

Must have a design SPF of at least 2.5.

Reversible heat pumps must only measure heating not cooling.

Capacity of heat pumps to be specified based on design conditions.

Must not use energy located and extracted from 500m or more beneath the surface of solid earth.

For simultaneous heat pumps, heat drawn from the ground must be measured

Must measure electrical input to the heat pump system

All scales eligible.

MCS certification requirements apply for installations less than or equal to 45kWth.

Air-Source Heat Pumps

Must generate heat by absorbing energy stored in the form of heat in the ambient air

Must not be designed to provide cooling or to use heat which has been expelled from a building or from a process which generates heat

Must have a CoP of at least 2.9.

Must have a design SPF of at least 2.5.

Must measure electrical input to the heat pump system

All scales eligible.

MCS certification requirements apply for installations less than or equal to 45kWth.

Geothermal

To count as geothermal, must generate heat using naturally occurring energy located and extracted from at least 500m beneath the surface of solid earth.

All scales eligible

Solar Thermal

Collector type must be flat plate or evacuated tube.

Installations less than 200 kWth eligible.

MCS certification requirements apply for installations less than or equal to 45kWth.

Biogas Combustion*

Must be from anaerobic digestion, gasification or pyrolysis.

Participant must not use biogas which is landfill gas.

May not generate heat from solid biomass.

All scales eligible

CHP* Must generate heat from one (or more, except for geothermal) of the following sources:

  • Geothermal,
  • Biogas,
  • Solid biomass contained in waste, or
  • Solid biomass,

and meet the criteria for those technologies.

See RHI guidance volume 1 for further information about exceptions relating to CHP installations.

Biomethane Injection*

See RHI Guidance Volume 2, chapter 12.

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