How it works
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government initiative to encourage more people to use renewable energy. The scheme was announced in March 2011 and will offer quarterly payments to those with renewable heat installations – including solar thermal.
Right now, the payments are only being given to commercial projects. But the second phase of the scheme, which is now set to launch in summer 2013, will see payments given to households too.
In the meantime there’s a grant to help eligible homes reduce the up-front costs of installing – the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).
How much is it worth?
Initially the government had a budget of £15 million to pay out for systems installed between August 2011 and March 2012. Now, it’s added an extra £25 million to the funding pot, available from 2 April 2012.
It’s estimated around 7 million homes will receive a share of the budget, and those installing solar thermal systems will receive a one-off payment of £300. To check whether your home’s eligible, just speak to one of our advisors.
Everyone who receives the RHPP will then be able to apply for the full RHI tariff once the scheme’s introduced in 2013. Those who’ve installed an eligible technology since 15th July 2009 can also apply subject to the panels and installer being MCS accredited, along with meeting the energy efficiency requirements of the RHI.
The government hasn’t yet published its final proposals for how the scheme will work for homeowners, so there’s no guarantee that those who receive the RHPP will be able to claim the ongoing RHI tariff.
How to apply
You can apply for the RHPP via the Energy Savings Trust website. Just select ‘Solar Thermal’ from the drop-down menu and fill out the online form. The form will ask you to confirm that:
- You live in the property where the system is being installed, and have loft insulation to 250mm and cavity wall insulation where practical
- You’ve obtained a range of quotes for your installation, and chosen the one that best suits your needs
- You’ve obtained all necessary permissions for the installation – including planning permission (where applicable) and consents from any joint owners of the property
- Your installation was not commissioned for the first time before 21 July 2011
- You are the private owner or landlord of the property for which the application is being made, or a tenant with permission from the owner of the property
- The property where the new renewable heating system is being installed is a permanent residential building and is occupied for the majority of the year