Receive money by generating renewable heat Can you make the Renewable Heat Incentive pay?

15 May 2014

Grass grown in pound symbol shape

The RHI offers you payments for generating your own heat at home

The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has launched, giving you the chance to receive payments from the government for generating your own renewable heat.

The RHI scheme pays quarterly for seven years. The amount of money received will depend on which renewable heat technology you install, and how much renewable heat it produces.

The scheme is primarily targeted at, but not limited to, households off the gas grid. It typically costs more to heat homes that don't use gas.

Read the Which? RHI guide to find out more details about the scheme, how much you could make, how to find out if you’re eligible and how to go about applying.

RHI payments and technologies

There are four different technologies eligible for the RHI scheme. Each technology has a different tariff per kilowatt-hour of renewable heat – payments also depend on their efficiency.

Is the RHI worthwhile?

Whether or not RHI will work for you depends on several factors, including what type of home you have.

Take, for example, a three-bedroom house currently using electric heating. By installing a ground source heat pump, the household could receive RHI payments for seven years that not only cover the cost of installation of the pump, but also save them money on their annual heating bill. 

On the other hand, a small semi-detached house using gas-fired heating is unlikely to make any savings by switching to renewable heat.

Our RHI costs and earnings page will be able to help you judge whether the RHI is worthwhile for your home, and will provide you with a rough idea of the payments you could receive and how much it would cost you to install a renewable heating system.

How to ensure you are eligible for RHI

Before installation, you must complete a Green Deal Assessment to establish which of the technologies is suitable for your home. Your Green Deal advisor will explain the savings to be made by switching to renewable heat and the cost of installing the technologies, and will provide you with a Green Deal Assessment report and a new Energy Performance Certificate.

There are a lot of different things you need to do, and jargon you need to understand, in order to qualify for RHI. For example, you need to make sure that you choose an approved Green Deal Assessment organisation, that both the installer and the technology are MCS certified, and that the specific technology features on the Ofgem list of eligible technologies.

To ensure you don't miss out on any essential steps and miss out on the chance of qualifying for RHI payments, we've put together an easy-to-use checklist that contains links to all the essential information you'll need to know before you apply for the RHI scheme. Go to our How to apply for RHI page for more information.

More on this…

  • Find out more about RHI: RHI your questions answered
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  • Check that you're on the best energy deal at Which? Switch