Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Update

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, launched on 9th of April 2014, aims to promote the use of renewable heat in order to reduce the UK carbon emissions and have by 2020 at least 12% of heating coming from renewable sources. This is a part of the Renewable Heat Incentive which is formed by two schemes: Domestic and Non-Domestic with separate tariffs, joining conditions, rules and application processes. Therefore, it is only possible to apply for one of the two schemes in accordance with the property characteristics. The renewable heating systems have to be installed between 15th July 2009 and 9th April 2013.

While the Non-Domestic RHI launched in November 2011 can be applied in the case of commercial, public or industrial premises with a renewable heating system; the Domestic RHI, which covers England, Wales and Scotland, can be applied if the renewable heating system heats only a single property for which is possible to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Furthermore, the domestic RHI will cover single properties dwellings as well as it can be opened to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.

Tariffs. There are two different types of tariffs: the generation and the export tariffs. With the former is possible to earn a fixed income for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated whether you use yourself in your property or export it to the grid. In the case of the latter an additional income is earned for every kilowatt hour of electricity which is sold back to the grid.

The tariffs per unit of heat generated for seven years are the following:

  •        Air source heat pumps > 7.3 p/KWh
  •        Ground and water-source heat pumps > 18.8 p/KWh
  •        Biomass only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with integrated boilers > 12.2 p/KWh
  •        Solar thermal panels (flat plate and evacuated tube for hot water only) > 19.2 p/KWh

These tariffs have been set from the UK government considering the fossil fuel costs that are faced by households off the gas grid. Ofgem will make the payments quarterly for a period of seven years. The renewable heat generated is considered as follow:

In the case of biomass the renewable heat generated will be based on an estimated figure of heat demand indicated in the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

In the case of heat pumps the renewable heat generated will be based on the heat demand indicated in the EPC combined with an estimate of the heat pump’s efficiency.

In the case of solar thermal systems the renewable heat generated will be based on the system performance completed as part of a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation.


Systems metering. In order to apply for the scheme and receive incentives it is necessary to install meters in order to monitor the technologies installed in the property even if it is not always necessary. For example, solar thermal for heating domestic hot water never has to be metered. For biomass, heat pumps and solar thermal, the figures are from the EPC in the first two cases and from the MCS certificate in the latter. On the other hand, metering is required in the case of back-up heating. The systems have to be metered in the following cases:

  • A renewable system eligible for the Domestic RHI and others not included, for instance an oil boiler
  • Heat pump that is capable of using another fuel as well as the renewable source
  • There is more than one renewable heating system for space heating


Syntegra Consulting is a leading energy consulting company in the UK- for further information about Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, please telephone +44(0)8450091625 or e-mail: