The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is now open and will pay households for renewable heat they generate in their homes.
The payments, over seven years, are to offset the cost of installing low carbon heating systems such as solar thermal, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps.
The scheme is open home owners, social and private landlords, and people who build their own homes. It is available to households both on and off the gas grid.Finn Jensen of Blackshaw Environmental Action Team said,
“We have been waiting for the d-RHI for two years but now it is finally here.
Ensure the kit you buy and the installer of the kit are MCS registered – otherwise you will not qualify for RHI payments. Your property will also have to have a certain standard in insulation – so if you live in a cold, drafty house you will have to insulate first. Finally, think twice about using the Green Deal for the installation costs.”
Energy Minister Greg Barker said the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (d-RHI) would also provide a boost to industry.
“Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, they will reduce their carbon emissions, and 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.”
Biomass Boiler Buyers Beware!
However, people considering installing renewable heat at home might want to read this
blogpost by Louise Bateman- 10 things your installer won’t tell you before you purchase
a biomass boiler.
And that is quite apart from the damage caused to forests and their biodiverse ecosystems by industrial-scale logging for wood pellets.
And the fact that biomass boilers contribute to air pollution.
Technologies and payment tariffs
The technologies currently covered by the scheme and associated tariffs are:
- Biomass heating systems (12.2p/kWh), 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 (18.8p/kWh), 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 (7.3p/kWh), 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 (19.2 p/kWh), which collect heat from the sun and use it to heat 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. Industry expects the Domestic RHI to trigger healthy growth in the solar hot
water market. All roofs except North facing roofs are suitable for solar thermal and the
technology requires a relatively modest amount of roof space. A typical system for a
four bed home would cost around £4,500.
Solar Trade Association Chief Executive Paul Barwell said
“Anyone thinking about putting solar power on their roof should seriously consider a solar heating system as well.
Solar hot water panels take up about one square metre of roof space per person, so there are plenty of homes that can now make the most of both solar technologies.”
Andy Deacon, Director of Development at the Energy Saving Trust, says:
“The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) makes renewable heat technologies more cost-effective in off-gas properties – around six per cent of all UK homes – which are often heated by more expensive fuels.
“With rising energy bills and worries about energy security, there needs to be a major transformation in the way we heat our homes, with the domestic RHI helping to make this a reality through enabling households to receive an income for renewable energy generation, while also achieving financial and carbon savings.”