The UK government wishes to encourage the use of renewable energy sources in the home. It subsidises renewable electricity production via Feed In Tariffs (FiTs). The Treasury will subsidise certain types of heating from renewable sources. These subsidies are called Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments. Unlike FiTs, RHI payments will be paid for by the government – FiT payments are recouped from energy customers. RHI payments for commercial installations are already available, but domestic RHI payments have been postponed with an anticipated start of spring 2014. However, households who have installed eligible technology after 15th July 2009 will be eligible for domestic RHI payments when available.
Although yet to be finally decided, eligible technologies are likely to include ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps (that heat water), biomass boilers and solar thermal systems. The equipment and the installer must be accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Householders face two further hurdles to qualify:
a) They must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate including a Green Deal assessment.
b) They must install any insulation measures (excluding solid wall insulation) identified by ‘green ticks’ under the Green Deal assessment. ‘Green Tick’ measures are those which would pay for themselves within 20 years and therefore qualify for Green Deal funding.
The Energy Saving Trust website describes the extent of the domestic RHI payments as follows:
“Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage.”
Until 31st March 2014 a “one off” government voucher of between £300 and £1250 is available towards the cost of installation, called the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP). Recipients of RHPP can also claim RHI payments. Further details can be found here.