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Renewable Heat Incentive

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a fixed payment for the renewable heat you generate yourself


The Renewable Heat Incentive is similar to the Feed-in Tariffs, a comparable scheme for electricity which went live in April 2010. The Feed-In Tariffs have done more than anything else to accelerate the installation of renewable energy capacity in Europe. That’s why the founders of Renewable Heat Incentive Limited were so active in the campaign to introduce them in the UK. It succeeded and in 2011 the first phase of the Renewable Heat Incentive will come into force.

While the Renewable Heat Incentive is similar to the Feed-In Tariffs, there are some important differences, and in particular:

  • It will be paid for by the Treasury not by energy users.
  • There is no ‘National Grid for Heat’ and so importing and exporting heat is not relevant.
  • It will be introduced in phases, with residential schemes not eligible until Phase 2.

There are three steps to the RHI:

Step One: you install in your property renewable heat systems such as solar thermal panels, heat pumps or a biomass boiler

Step Two: you measure how much heat your renewable energy systems produce

Step Three: you get paid a fixed amount based on that output, the type of technology and the size of the system

Who is it for?

Broadly speaking, the Renewable Heat Incentive is for everyone, including households, landlords, businesses, farmers, schools, hospitals, care homes and more. The RHI can even be used by entire communities, coming together to invest in a renewable scheme from which they will all use the heat and share the income.

However residential systems are not eligible for support until Phase 2.

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