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Government confirms Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs for green heating

By Katie Anderson on July 15, 2013

Households with renewable heat technologies such as solar thermal systems, heat pumps and biomass boilers will be pleased to hear that after nearly four years the Government has finally confirmed the level of support available under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) when the scheme launches in Spring 2014. 

The Government hopes that the RHI will encourage more people, particularly those living off grid, to install renewable heat technologies, not only as a way of helping the UK meet its renewables targets and cut carbon emissions, but by generating their own renewable heat it will enable householders to reduce their energy bills considerably.

To be eligible for the RHI scheme householders will need to have had their systems installed from 15 July 2009 onwards. But it’s not just residential homeowners who can apply for financial support. Both social and private landlords will qualify for RHI payments, as will homeowners who self-build.

Applicants will also need to carry out a Green Deal assessment; a survey which assesses a property’s energy efficiency and recommends suitable energy saving measures, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in a press release on Friday. In order to claim the RHI householders must also ensure that their home has a minimum 250mm of loft insulation and cavity wall insulation if appropriate.

Tariff levels will be dependent on the type of technology installed, and will be as follows:

Solar thermal (evacuated tube and flate plate) – at least 19.2p/kWh*
Ground source heat pump – 18.8p/kWh
Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves with a back boiler – 12.2p/kWh
Air source heat pumps (air-to-water) – 7.3p/kWh

Energy and Climate Change minister Greg Barker said he was confident that the domestic RHI would be successful in helping drive demand for renewable heat technologies.

“The uptake of microgeneration technologies under the Feed-In Tariffs scheme has shown that renewable technologies can move from niche to mass market in just a few years, and with the support of the domestic RHI, I hope that renewable heating technologies will see such success.”

Until next March householders keen to switch to renewable heat can apply for a one-off Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant to help fund the installation costs. Payment depends on the technology:

Ground source heat pumps – £2,300
Biomass boiler – £2,000
Air source heat pumps – £1,300
Solar thermal – £600

*It could be more once DECC has carried out its assessment into the marginal cost of renewable energy. Final solar thermal tariff figures will be published in the Autumn.