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Jun 28

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive and How Can it Help You?

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The renewable heat incentive (RHI) is a U.K. government program designed to increase the amount of heat that is produced through the use of renewable power. It is the first program of its kind in the world.

If you install a renewable heating system, then you will not only save money on your electrical and/or gas bills, you will also receive an incentive payment based on the amount of heat your system produces. Different types of renewable heating systems receive different reimbursements:

− Solar heating: 8.5p per kW-hr
− Geothermal / ground source heat pumps: 3.0 to 4.3p per kW-hr
− Biomass: 1.9p to 7.6p per kW-hr
− Biogas: 6.0p per kW-hr


To benefit from the renewable heat incentive, your system must be metered. In addition, the system itself must be MCS certified and it must be installed by an MCS certified, registered contractor. After the system is in place, the contractor can help you get it registered through Ofgem, the agency that administers the program. Then, you will submit your meter readings regularly and you will receive your RHI cheques quarterly. You will also have to sign an annual compliance agreement, and your system may be inspected by Ofgem.

The renewable heat incentive will offer payments for the first twenty years of the life of the system. However, the opportunity to register systems may only be available for a limited time.

Who can benefit?

As of November 2011, businesses have been eligible for reimbursements under the renewable heat incentive. Starting in 2013, residential systems should be eligible as well.

The most common types of domestic renewable heating systems are solar thermal systems, ground source heat pumps, and biomass boilers. Solar thermal systems and ground source heat pumps will pre-heat your domestic hot water so that your water heater or boiler will have less work to do. Biomass is simply an organic fuel that is available as pellets. It can be used to fire boilers and stoves.

Regardless of the type of system you choose, you will be taking advantage of what may prove to be a rare opportunity to offset or even recoup the costs of installing a renewable energy system. It’s the right thing to do for the environment, and it may benefit your bank balance, as well.

To find out more about the Renewable Heat Incentive, speak to Geothermal International who can answer your questions about geothermal energy.

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