Sign up to our Editors Choice newsletter now! Click here

Government launches long-awaited renewable heat incentive scheme

Accessibility Menu

Menu Search

24dash - The UK's most up-to-date social housing and public sector news website

Government launches long-awaited renewable heat incentive scheme


Published by Anonymous for in Central Government and also in Environment, Housing

Government launches long-awaited renewable heat incentive scheme Government launches long-awaited renewable heat incentive scheme

The government today finally launched its long-anticipated renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme for homes.

The much talked about RHI will pay people for the 'green heat' they generate for their homes, offsetting the cost of installing low-carbon systems.

The scheme is open to everyone – home owners, social housing providers, private landlords, and people who build their own homes. It is available to households both on and off the gas grid.

Minister for Energy Greg Barker (pictured) said: "This is the first scheme of its kind in the world – showing yet again that the UK is leading the way in the clean energy sector.

"Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, they will reduce their carbon emissions, and will also get cash payments for installing these new technologies.

"It opens up a market for the supply chain, engineers and installers – generating growth and supporting jobs as part of our long-term economic plan."

The technologies currently covered by the scheme are:

  • Biomass heating systems, which burn fuel such as wood pellets, chips or logs to provide central heating and hot water in a home. Biomass-only boilers are designed to provide heating using a ‘wet system’ (eg through radiators) and provide hot water. Pellet stoves with integrated boilers are designed to burn only wood pellets and can heat the room they are in directly, as well as provide heat to the rest of the home using a ‘wet system’ (eg through radiators) and provide hot water.
  • Ground or water source heat pumps, which extract heat from the ground or water. This heat can then be used to provide heating and/or hot water in a home.
  • Air to water heat pumps, which absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to provide heating and/or hot water in a home.
  • Solar thermal panels, which collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. The two types of panels that are eligible are evacuated tube panels and liquid-filled flat plate panels.

Only one space heating system is allowed per property but homeowners can apply for solar thermal for hot water and a space heating system.

The guaranteed payments are made quarterly over seven years for households in England, Wales and Scotland. (Northern Ireland has its own RHI scheme). The scheme is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of fossil fuel heat sources and renewable heat alternatives.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has already backed the scheme, and says its introduction could make 2014 a breakthrough year for renewable heating.

Mike Landy, head of on-site renewables at the REA, said: "Domestic RHI is set to be one of the highlights of the Government’s green agenda in 2014. It will mean that renewable home heating is not just environmentally sensible, but also financially attractive."

Welcoming the announcement, Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Association, said: “The industry is delighted the domestic RHI has finally launched and that the journey to cleaner home heating can now begin. Installing low carbon heating technologies into energy efficient homes is one of the most important ways of securing cheap, affordable, clean energy, and this world-first scheme is a very important start.”

John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, said: “The long wait for the domestic RHI is finally over and people can now start to be rewarded for the clean, renewable heat they produce in their homes.

“Alongside the Green Deal, the RHI will help to create homes that are warmer, cheaper to heat and that emit fewer carbon emissions – major wins in the fight against rising energy bills and climate change.”

John Kellett, Mitsubishi's general manager of heating systems, said: "RHI has been planned so that it produces a long term and sustainable growth in the use of renewable technologies.

"It also makes the case for heat pumps much stronger, especially against carbon-intensive and expensive technologies such as oil, LPG and direct electric.

“We know air source heat pumps are one of the most straightforward renewable technologies to install and that they will provide a constant, comfortable level of heat to a building whilst lowering running costs and reducing carbon emissions."

For further details about the scheme including eligibility criteria and how to apply visit


Login and comment using one of your accounts...