Edie explains: Renewable Heat Incentive

This week's edie explains looks at the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) - a Government environmental programme that provides financial incentives suppliers of of renewable heat.

The RHI has two versions – Domestic and Non-Domestic, and this article will focus on the non-domestic scheme for businesses.

How does it work?

The scheme provides a 20-year subsidy to eligible, non-domestic renewable heat generators and producers of biomethane for injection based in Great Britain.

By providing a long-term financial incentive, the objective of the Non-Domestic RHI is to significantly increase the proportion of heat generated from renewable sources.

Who is it for?

Non-domestic applications include commercial, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. This includes bed and breakfasts and multiple dwellings sharing the same heat source.

Eligible Technologies

The following installations must have been completed and the plant first commissioned on or after 15 July 2009 to be eligible:

– Solid Biomass
– Biogas below 200kWth
– Ground and Water Source Heat pumps
– Geothermal
– Solar collectors
– Energy from Waste

The following technology types must have been first commissioned on or after 4 December 2013 to be eligible:

– Air to Water Heat Pumps
– Biogas 200kWth and above
– A CHP system which generates heat from either solid biomass, biogas or waste in combination with any other source of energy

A full eligbility checklist can be found here

How much can you recieve?

Tariffs from 1 January 2015

Solar Thermal*
up to 200kW

10p per kWh

Ground Source Heat pumps*
up to 100kW

Tier 1:  8.7p per kWh of heat pump size for the first 1,314 hours per annum

Tier 2:  2.6p per kWh for every kWh produced after that

up to 200kW

Tier 1:  6.8p per kWh of boiler size for the first 1,314 hours per annum

Tier 2:  1.8p per kWh for every kWh produced after that

Are all producers affected equally?

Biomethane producers are treated differently to other participants in the Non-Domestic RHI. This is because the Government has decided that the regulations and standards currently in place for biomethane injection are sufficient to ensure that the Non-Domestic RHI requirements are met, so no further RHI-specific accreditation standards are necessary.

Back in May, Decc started a review to evaluate whether larger planned biomethane plants still warranted subsidy support thanks to their increasing economies of scale.

It ultimately concluded that a tiering system was the best option, hopefully offering a consistent return for suppliers as subsidies should decrease alongside production costs. The aim of this new policy is also to ensure the continued growth of biomethane injection to the grid, and ensure value for money on RHI budgets.

The Biomethane tiers are as follows:



up to 40,000MWh




80,000MWh +


Find out more…

The tariffs are reviewed and changed regularly, so keep up to date on the official Ofgem site  And here’s how you apply.

Sustainability Live 2015: Non-domestic RHI

The future of renewable heat will be the subject of a panel discussion at the Energy Efficiency Theatre during Sustainability Live 2015 in April. Reagister to attend for free here.

edie staff

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