As a way to promote the use of renewable energies across the country, the government introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in April 2014 as a way to reduce UK-wide carbon emissions. There are, however, two different strands to this scheme, Domestic and Non-Domestic. Therefore, it’s important that you are fully aware of the differences, rewards, and eligibility requirements before submitting an application.
Domestic and Non-Domestic
As the name suggests, the Domestic RHI is directed primarily at homes, and could significantly help you reduce your monthly energy bills. As a reward for the installation of the system, and repayment for the clean energy that is produced, homeowners could be eligible to receive quarterly payments for up to seven years. If your renewable heating system is within a home or domestic property, or one that is able to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) produced, then the Domestic scheme would be most suited to you.
In comparison, the Non-Domestic RHI looks to increase the amount of renewable energy adopted by businesses. Successfully installed systems may be eligible for quarterly payments over 20 years dependent on the amount of heat produced through the renewable system. The Non-Domestic RHI is only applicable for the public sector, and businesses or non-profit organisations. According to the ofgem webpage, this includes businesses of any size, as well as hospitals, schools, and district heating schemes supplying multiple homes.
Each scheme has its own set of specific requirements to allow you to receive the payback.
For the Domestic scheme, you must be able to provide an EPC that is less than 2 years old at the date of application. Your property will also need to comply with the scheme’s eligibility considerations, which states that the renewable energy must be used to heat a single domestic property, or ‘dwelling’. If your home includes an office or studio space under the same roof, you should still be able to apply for this scheme. If your property includes outbuildings that require heat, these will also be covered as long as they are covered under the same EPC as the main house, and are not for commercial use – such as a separate office building, workshop, or studio. The applicant must be the owner or occupier of the property, and the system installation date must also be after the date that the applicant moved in.
The heating systems also come with their own specific requirements. There are four types of renewable heating systems that are eligible for the scheme; Biomass boilers and pellet stoves; Air source heat pumps; Ground source heat pumps; and Solar thermal panels. For more information about how these systems work, and additional system requirements, take a look at this guide. Your chosen system must also be certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), or equivalent, which you will be required to prove on the application. The system must be used for domestic space heating and hot water heating.
For the Non-Domestic scheme, the requirements surrounding the system itself are similar. However, the applicant must be the owner, or partial owner of the installation to be approved. The business is not allowed to use public grants to fund the system on any level. The system may only be used to provide space heating and hot water heating, and cannot be used to heat a single domestic property. For a more comprehensive breakdown of eligibility, the following ofgem document provides all the information that you will need to apply.
When you’ve decided which scheme is right for you, contact Swift Renewables to choose your ideal renewable heating system. We specialise in installing RHI approved and MCS accredited renewable heating systems so you will be reaping the benefits in no time.