Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) inquiry

Published on Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:35
Written by Scott Buckler

In order to meet its Renewable Energy Directive target of generating 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020, the Government "anticipates that around 12% of heat will need to come from renewable energy"

However, to date, uptake of renewable heat technologies has been disappointing; renewable heat has recently been described as "the sleeping giant of UK renewable energy policy".The Government expects that a domestic RHI scheme will contribute significantly towards the Renewable Energy Directive.

The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) programme is due to be introduced in summer 2013 while a non-domestic RHI has been in operation since November 2011. The Government was expected to launch a domestic scheme in October 2012 alongside the Green Deal (which were also delayed to January 2013).  The launch of the domestic scheme was, however, postponed following fears that the scheme would exceed its budget.

DECC's latest proposals indicate that the domestic RHI scheme will be open to all householders who replace their current heating system with certified renewable technologies or have done so since 15th July 2009. It is intended that recipients will receive support for deemed heat generated through tariff-based payments over a seven year period. Households will, however, be expected to finance the upfront costs of installation themselves through personal funds or a loan.

Consultations have recently closed on the Government's proposals for a domestic RHI scheme and extension of the non-domestic RHI scheme. The domestic RHI consultation document sought opinions on the design of the scheme and covered eligibility criteria, indicative levels of support and assurance mechanisms.

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