The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

This is the UK Governments’ financial incentive to encourage a switch to renewable heating systems for hot water and space heating for domestic properties. Should you join and comply with the scheme rules, you’ll receive quarterly payments for 7 years. Not subject to income tax. 22.4% of the total or about 145 million tonnes (2012) of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere each year to heat and light our homes in the UK, and the Government have committed to reduce this.  The Government expects the RHI to make a significant contribution towards their 2020 ambition of having 12% of domestic heating coming from renewable sources. The scheme is available for households both off and on the gas grid. Those without mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and decrease carbon emissions.

Supported technologies include:

  • Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps (heating and hot water)

  • Solar Thermal (hot water only)

In order to ensure that their money is well spent, the Government have set some qualifying conditions.  These include a minimum level of insulation, approved equipment and accredited installers.  The heating systems require a thorough property survey and a heat loss assessment. The Solar Thermal requires an assessment of the level of occupancy to determine payment levels.  Air Source and Ground Source Heat Pumps use an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) figure to determine payment. These technologies enjoy Permitted Development status, which greatly simplifies the installation process.

The Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

This is a scheme for commercial and charitable institutions with the same aim as the Domestic scheme.  Included is a community scheme, where one installation provides heating to two or more domestic properties or a mixture of commercial and domestic properties.

The scheme relies on measuring the actual heat used, using heat meters and sending the readings to Ofgem on a quarterly basis.

For each technology, the tariff is lower than for the Domestic scheme, but it lasts for 20 years.  Not subject to income tax.

The technologies supported include all of those in the Domestic scheme.

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