Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive for Solar

The Main Points

The best looking part of the consultation
Clearline Solar Panels
Today, the UK government launched a consultation on its proposals for the domestic stream of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), slated for launch in summer 2013.  the solarblogger has read it all, so you don't have to.  Here is a quick summary of the contents of the consultation, more detailed analysis to follow. 


The consultation is launched on schedule, so we seem to be on track for a scheme launch in Summer 2013


The system must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
Only systems smaller than 45kWth qualify.  This is unlikely to be relevant to solar (since 45kWth is 64 square metres of solar panel).
House must have a Green Deal assessment and to have completed all of the “green tick” measures that relate to thermal efficiency (those that are eligible for full financing through the Green Deal).  Measures must be installed before the RHI subsidy can be paid.


Tariff Payments

Tariffs are to be paid over seven years.

DECC have applied a value for money cap, based on the “marginal cost of renewable energy” – the subsidy levels supporting offshore wind.

Solar thermal tariffs would therefore be capped at 17.3p/kWh.year, but DECC are seeking evidence to support a tariff level higher than the cap, and want to look at other alternatives such as a partial upfront grant.

The energy is to be estimated by calculation (deemed) rather than measured by a heat meter, and MCS is the preferred route to develop a deeming methodology, with the calculation by the installer under MIS3001.

Legacy Systems

Systems installed since  15 July 2009 can apply for the RHI, subject to meeting all the qualification criteria.  If they have received a grant (such as RHPP), this would have to be re-paid.


New Build Housing

New build housing does not need to have a Green Deal Assessment. The consultation hints at a lower tariff rate due to lower installation costs in new build compared to retrofit.

Social Housing

DECC’s preferred current position is to exclude social housing, but the door seems to have been left open to include Registered Social Landlords on a different tariff.


  1. I can't say I agree with the idea of having to have a Green Deal assessment. I think this might impede business for installers who for one reason or another don't want to get involved in Green Deal work.

    For legacy systems it seems very frustrating that you would have to give the RHPP payment back.. It was billed as an amount for "tiding people over until the scheme starts", not a loan!

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  3. Thanks for the update, keeping up to date with all the consultations, launch dates etc... is not always easy, good summary - will check back for more updates over the next few months. The green deal assessment seems a good idea to ensure any energy generated is well utilised rather than disappearing out of leaky and poorly insulated buildings, but it does leave room for a lot of uncertainty for those installing systems pre-lauch date in the hope of still qualifying for the RHI payments once the scheme is live.

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  5. At least it is easier for New Build.