Renewable Heat Incentive

UK Renewable Heat Incentive for Solar Thermal Hot Water Installations

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a Government operated scheme, similar to Feed In Tariff for electricity. It is a fixed payment paid to the householder or business owner for any renewable heat generated by a specially installed renewable heating system.

The Renewable Heat Incentive will come into effect in October 2012 and will require users to install an approved renewable heating system such as solar water heating panels. As there is no mechanism akin to the Feed-in Tariff for measuring imported and exported heat, an estimate will be made as to how much heat energy each renewable system will generate.

This estimate will be based upon a number of factors; the type of renewable technology installed and the size and age of the house or building. The home or business owner is then paid a fixed amount based on the estimate and the technology employed. This payment is likely to be made annually.

The Renewable Heat Incentive can benefit households, business owners, landlords, community organisations, schools, hospitals, care homes and other organisations. Eligible technologies include solar thermal, water and ground source heat pumps, biomass power and biogas together with any injection of biomethane into the natural gas grid.

Any renewable technology installed on or after July 15, 2009 is eligible for the scheme and can register in time for the start date of October 2012. By the launch date, most heating technology installers should be able to assist you with registration.

If you want to install an eligible system, make sure you consult a renewable energy company for expert advice.

All tariffs will be paid for 20 years. Details of how tariffs will be paid are yet to be published but are expected to be fixed for the entire period with compensation for inflation.

The tariff payment period should be long enough for customers to pay off their installation costs. Another key benefit will, of course, include the savings associated with the removal of the need to use gas or oil.

As of July 2011, up to 25,000 installations will be supported by a new ‘RHI Premium Payment’ to help people cover the purchase price of green heating systems. The RHI Premium Payment will cover technologies across all of Great Britain. The amount for solar thermal for example is £300/unit.

Those taking up the premium will be eligible for a RHI tariff from October 2012, as will anyone else who has had eligible equipment installed from July 15, 2009.

There will be clear eligibility criteria in order to qualify for a Premium Payment. For example you must have a well insulated home and will agree to give feedback on how your equipment performs.

The Government is expected to publish details of the RHI Premium Payment and how this will apply in May 2011.


  • andrea hogan 4th February 2011

    are there grants available for solar power for local community primary schools would be grateful for a response!

  • elizabeth 3rd March 2011

    is this sceme by the conservative goverment ,or an old one from labour , just want to know who is responsible for it.

  • alan anderson 5th May 2011

    my system was installed in Dec.2006 by a company called
    SOLARIS FREE ENERGY which was a fully accredited firm
    accred.no2128509. if people like myself were allowed to
    qualify it would enable you to achive your targets a bit easier.
    if we fall off the rader you and i both lose out which seems abit unfair.

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