What is the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI)?

What Exactly is the Renewable Heating Incentive?

Exciting News!

Offgem recently published an article on their webite (www.ofgem.gov.uk) that all over England, Scotland, and Wales we hit a major milestone on 29/09/14: 10,000 accreditations for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in less than six months of the scheme being opened. The facts speak for themselves really, more and more people turn to wanting to use renewable energy. Let me start by explaining about what the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is and how you could benefit from it.

Biomass Renewable Energy Boilers

We have discussed the Renewable Heating Incentive before but the key recent change is that since April 2014 it is possible for domestic users to get paid for using Biomass Renewable Energy. (Previously there was just grants available to part fund the installation of biomass boilers)

The RHI is the worlds’ first long-term government financial support programme for renewable heat. It was first introduced in 2011 to promote the use of renewable heat by paying installation grants to participants of the scheme. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can not only help the UK reduce its carbon emissions but also saves money on our heating bills. The Renewable Heat Incentive applies both to heat (from low carbon sources) and to biomethane fed into the gas grid.  In addition, you get continuous payments for the next seven years for using renewable energy. With the rising cost in fuel bills each year it sounds like a no-brainer to me!

The Renewable Heat Incentive has two schemes – Domestic and Non-Domestic and is open to anyone who can meet the joining requirements. It’s for households both off and on the gas grid. People off mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.

  1. Domestic RHI – launched 9 April 2014 and open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders. The key to joining is that the renewable heating system heats only a single property that can get a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC is the proof that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘dwelling’. An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use, plus recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money.
  2. Non-domestic RHI – launched in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organizations. Generally, if the renewable heating system is in commercial, public or industrial premises, then you would apply to the Non Domestic RHI. This can include small and large businesses, hospitals, schools, and organisations with district heating schemes where one heating system serves multiple homes.

Now to the good bit; save money and get paid for using renewable energy! People who join the domestic RHI scheme receive ongoing payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces. The ongoing payments are calculated multiplying a tariff with the heat demand/use in your home. The current tariff rates in pence per kilo watt hour (p/kWh) are as follows (a);

* Biomass – 12.2 p/kWh
* Air Source Heat Pump -7.3 p/kWh
* Ground Source 19.2 p/kWh

Special Note:
The domestic rates are reviewed every quarter. It is already suggested that the domestic RHI for biomass will start to drop by as much as 10 percent by January 2015. (This is similar to what happened with the Feed In Tariff (FIT) for solar pv panels) So clearly acting sooner rather than later to claim the RHI would be advantageous.

It’s easier than most people think to get started with renewable energy in your home or business. At Wood Pellet Solutions we can assist you with choosing the right energy options allowing you to maximise your financial return from the RHI. Contact Us for further information.

Contact Us Today for further information or quotation or Phone 01225 580401

(a) Example of domestic tariff rates taken from the Ofgem Website, www.ofgem.gov.uk

Top 10 Reasons To Switch To A Wood Pellet Boiler

A wood pellet boiler is the future of sustainable home heating, but there’s more to them than just that; lets have a further look.


Lets start with the obvious here. Even if you were to forget about the many other advantages of wood pellet boilers, sustainability is one reason you couldn’t forget. Rather than burning a fossil fuel, you’re burning what could effectively be considered wood waste. You remove waste, and create heat/energy at the same time, without impacting the environment.

Low emissions

The approximate life cycle CO2 emissions (including production) of coal is 484 kg/MWh, which is a lot of CO2. With oil and natural gas it’s 350 and 270 kg/MWh respectively. When you compare those to the emissions of wood pellet boilers though, you see a very different story. It’s around about 25 kg/MWh, which is a huge difference, so you’re not only using a sustainable fuel source, but you’re saving the environment at the same time. 

Receive an income under the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI)

There is already a RHI for commercial buildings, but next year, there’s going to be one for domestic installations too, and this is a pretty big deal. Here’s why.

Firstly, if you live off the mains gas grid, you’re already entitled to a £950 grant to help towards the cost of a biomass boiler.

Then, from about mid 2013 though, the Government will start to pay homeowners for the green heat they generate from biomass boilers. Full details about the levels of payment are due to be announced by the Energy Saving Trust later this year, but it’s certainly an added incentive for anyone looking to make the switch.

Low running costs

The price of wood is much lower than the price of oil, and what’s more, it can be sourced locally. It’s not travelled, hundreds, if not thousands of miles to reach you. The price of wood is also much less likely to fluctuate as wildly as gas and oil does, as the world market has basically no effect.

No need to be connect to the grid

So as I mentioned, there’s currently a grant for those who choose biomass boilers when living off the grid, and that’s one of the great things about it, you don’t actually need to be connect to the grid. Not having access to gas mains is no longer a problem with a wood pellet boiler, in fact, it’s an advantage.

Automatic ignition and self-cleaning

When you think about wood pellet boilers, you might think that you have to sacrifice more of your time cleaning, and igniting the boilers, which doesn’t really sound like fun. Most boilers these days contain an automatic ignition, and are self-cleaning, which takes a lot of the hard work out for you. You might need to give is a brush every couple of weeks, but that’s nothing compared to the advantages.

Commercial and domestic installations

Wood pellet solutions aren’t just for domestic installations, as you’ve probably gathered by now. They can be scaled up to suit any of your commercial or domestic needs. And green business have become a selling point in recent years. People like to see that big businesses aren’t damaging the environment, so by sourcing your energy sustainably, you can do your bit, and gain positive recognition.

Smaller and easier than logs or wood chips

Much less bulky in size, and they burn cleaner than logs or wood chips. This makes them ideal for home solutions where you don’t want to dedicate so much room to your boiler. Storage is also much smaller, and can be hidden away, unlike wooden logs, which tend to take up a lot of room. And unlike logs, you can use an automatic hopper to add the fuel to your boiler, saving you time and work.

Long life

The boilers that we sell are fantastically well made, and so long as your follow the manufacturers servicing schedule, and maintenance guidelines, you’ll be sure to have a boiler that’s going to last. Have a look at our boilers here.

It’s easy to switch

From our sales team, to our team of approved installers, we have anything you need to get started with your wood pellet boiler. Before long, you could be taking advantage of the RHI, lowering your running costs, becoming more sustainable, and helping the environment. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, then click here and fill in a contact form; we’ll get right back to you. Alternatively, you could call 01225 580401. We cover the whole of the UK.