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BEIS publishes RHI consultation response

The government has published its long-awaited response to the recent consultation on the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which offers financial support and incentives for low-carbon heating technologies in domestic UK properties.

Several major changes were proposed by the consultation, with the scheme due for reform in April 2017. 

Solar thermal to stay

Initially, the government had proposed the controversial removal of support for solar thermal technologies from the scheme. However, following the #keepsolarthermal campaign by the Solar Thermal Association the government has announced that, subject to parliamentary approval, Solar Thermal will continue to be funded under the RHI. 

This means that all four technologies currently supported by the RHI (air source heat pump (ASHP), ground source heat pump (GSHP), biomass and solar thermal) will continue to be funded. 

Tariff changes

  • The tariffs for new ASHPs will be increased to 10.02 pence per kilowatt-hour (p/kWh).
  • The tariffs for new GSHPs will be increased to 19.55p/kWh.
  • The tariff for new biomass installations will be increased to 6.44p/kWh.
  • The increased tariff for biomass boilers and stoves, ASHPs and GSHPs will be applicable to those participants who apply to the scheme on or after 14 December 2016 (the date the consultation response was published) although the increased tariffs will only apply from the date the regulations come into force.

Heat demand limits introduced

To limit the level of annual heat demand in respect of which any household can receive support, heat demand levels will be introduced:

  • ASHP – 20,000kWh
  • Biomass boilers – 25,000kWh
  • GSHP – 30,000kWh
  • Solar thermal – no limit

It’s important to note, however, that these limits will not disqualify properties with higher heat demands from applying to the scheme.

Electricity metering

All new ASHPs and GSHPs applying for support under the scheme will be required to have electricity metering to monitor their heating system.

However, payments will continue to be on the basis of the deemed heating requirements of the property, except for second homes and where a renewable heating system is installed alongside another heating system, in which cases payments will continue to be on the basis of heat metering.

Other changes

  • GSHPs making use of a shared ground loop will continue to be eligible for the non-domestic scheme and will not be eligible on the domestic.
  • Some changes to the budget management arrangements for the scheme.

The full consultation response ‘The Renewable Heat Incentive: A Reformed Scheme’ is available on the BEIS website.

If you have any questions about the policy decisions made in the consultation response then you can contact BEIS at email or 020 7215 5000.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the changes to the Scheme Regulations announced in the consultation response are expected to come into effect in April 2017.

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