DECC Unveils Renewable Heat Incentive

12 July 2013

Homeowners generating their own renewable heat will receive a financial boost, the Government has announced.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has unveiled the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, a new initiative designed to promote microgeneration and sensible energy usage.

RHI will support air to water heat pumps; biomass only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers; ground and water source heat pumps; flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels. Those that install such measures will be entitled to a quarterly payment for each measure installed, which could see them paid ‘hundreds of pounds’ per year.

The scheme is available to homeowners; private and social landlords; third party heating system owners; and people building their own home. It will run alongside the Green Deal, the Government's flagship energy efficiency initiative.

The Green Deal allows homeowners and landlords to install a variety of energy efficiency measures into their properties. While the most common of these measures include Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation and boiler replacement, the scheme also allows for the installation of several renewable energy measures, including air to water heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar PV panels.

The aim of both RHI and the Green Deal is to help reduce carbon levels and meet renewables targets, as well as reduce the cost of energy bills throughout the United Kingdom.

According to the DECC, tariff levels have been set at 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal.

“The Coalition is committed to helping hardworking families with the cost of living,” said Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change.

“Investing for the long term in new renewable heat technologies will mean cleaner energy and cheaper bills. So this package of measures is a big step forward in our drive to get innovative renewable heating kit in our homes.”

“Householders can now invest in a range of exciting heating technologies knowing how much the tariff will be for different renewable heat technologies and benefit from the clean green heat produced. We are also sending a clear signal to industry that the Coalition is 110 per cent committed to boosting and sustaining growth in this sector.”

Householders looking to take advantage of RHI will first need to ensure their property meets requirements regarding Loft Insulation and Cavity Wall Insulation. In order for a property to qualify for the Government tariff, it must feature Loft Insulation of at least 250mm and must have Cavity Wall Insulation installed. Those properties not suitable for Cavity Wall Insulation should feature Solid Wall Insulation.

The scheme, which is a world first, takes the baton from the previous Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant scheme, which paid a supplement to those homeowners installing renewable energy technology such as Solar Thermal panels. The Renewable Heat Incentive has been available to the non-domestic sector since November 2011.

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