Renewable Heat Incentive Scotland

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Renewable Heat Incentive Scotland

There are many options when it comes to domestic and commercial heat pumps.


What is the Renewable Heat Incentive Scotland?

The renewable heat incentive (RHI) Scotland is a scheme set up by the UK Government to encourage people to switch to renewable heat technologies in both domestic and non-domestic properties. These incentives are implemented through companies such as Heat Pumps Scotland. The reason that the government are doing this is that they plan for 12% of heating to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scotland

Domestic RHI was first launched in 2014, the Government offers homeowners financial incentive for 7 years to install a renewable heating system. These people are essentially rewarded for producing clean, renewable energy.

A domestic property is classed as domestic if it heats only a single property which can earn an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You will need to use the EPC as evidence when applying for the scheme.

Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scotland

Commercial, public or industrial premises then a non-domestic RHI must be applied for.

Large and small businesses, schools, hospitals are all classed as non-domestic. Community heating schemes where one heating system supplies heat to multiple properties are also classed as non-domestic.

Non-domestic premises will receive quarterly payments over 20 years, and this is based on how much energy is generated through their installations.


Am I Eligible for RHI?

You could be eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive funding if you live in Scotland, England or Wales. You must:

  • Own your own home
  • Be a private or social landlord
  • You must be the owner of the premises, if there is more than one owner you must have permission from all before acting
  • The plant must be an eligible renewable heat technology and size

Please be aware that if you are a landlord you need to get permission from tenants, as heating systems need to be checked yearly to ensure they are up the standard required by the government.


Eligible Systems for Domestic RHI

Renewable energy systems that are eligible for RHI in domestic properties include:

  • Biomass boilers
  • Solar water heating
  • Certain types of heat pumps


Eligible Systems for Non-Domestic RHI

Renewable energy systems that are eligible for RHI in non-domestic properties include;

  • Solid biomass
  • Solid biomass contained waste
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Water source heat pumps
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Geothermal
  • Solar thermal
  • Biogas combustion
  • CHP
  • Biomethane injection

*Not all eligible renewable heating systems have been listed due to the high volume. To find out if your heating system is eligible for domestic or non-domestic RHI please go to

Average Payments for RHI

Applications submitted Biomass boilers and stoves (p/kWh) Air source heat pumps (p/kWh) Ground source heat pumps (p/kWh) Solar thermal (p/kWh)
01/04/2017-30/06/2017* 4.28p 7.63p 19.64p 20.06
01/07/2017 – 19/09/2017 3.85p 7.63p 19.64p 20.06p
20/09/2017-31/12/2017* 6.54p 10.18p 19.86p 20.06p
01/01/2018 – 31/03/2018 If any new tariff changes are to be made due to digression, the announcement by BEIS would be made by 1 December 2017.

Benefits Heating Installers

Not only does this scheme help people in domestic and non-domestic properties, it also helps professionals who can install these systems. The government are working with certified installation companies such as Heat Pumps Scotland to help bring a high quality service to ensure that all heating systems are correctly installed and maintained. Giving you peace of mind about the service that we can provide.


How to Apply for RHI

Before applying for RHI insure you have the following:

  • MCS Certificate Number
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Personal information and bank details
  • Your metering questions (if you need to be metered)

After you have all of this information you need to fill out the RHI application form and submit it to the energy regulator – Ofgem.

Submitting your application online through Ofgem is recommended because it is free – unlike a lot of application-management organisations will change a fee. If you are unable to apply online, you can phone 0300 003 0744 to complete an over the phone application with an Ofgem adviser.

In order to qualify for RHI payments you must apply to Ofgem within 12 months of your renewable system being commissioned. Payments can also be backdated until this time.

There are a lot of stages that need to be completed in order to qualify for RHI funding. Make sure you check out this RHI Checklist to ensure you don’t miss out any important steps.

The Benefits of Switching to Renewable Energy

There are many benefits of switching to a renewable energy source including;


Lower Running Costs

Despite some methods which have an upfront cost, using renewable energy sources – such as heat pumps – will generally cost less to run than conventional methods. Along with the RHI scheme you could make your money back on certain systems in a number of years.

Your VAT could also be lowered by as much as 5% due to it being a renewable energy source.


Less Maintenance

Heat pumps require less maintenance than combustion heating systems. Some aspects of your heat pump will need to be checked annually, but this can be done by yourself. A professional will only need to check on your heat pump every 3 to 5 years, depending on what type of heat pump you have.



Heat pumps are a lot safer than conventional heating systems.


Less Carbon Emissions

Heat pump systems produce less carbon emissions compared to combustion heating systems. An efficient heat pump system could lower your amount of CO2 emissions by as much as 600%.


Can Provide Cooling as Well as Heating

Heat pumps can not only provide your property with heat, but in the summer can reverse the process giving you a build in cooling system.


Long Life Span

The life span of a heat pump can be relatively long, lasting up to 50 years. However, the average life-span is between 14 and 15 years.


Reliable Source of Heat

Heat pumps are an exceptionally reliable and steady source of heat.


Heat Pumps Can Help Prevent Condensation

If you decide to use your heat pump for cooling in the summer, it can dehumidify the rooms in your property. In the winter condensation can also be reduced by circulating warm air throughout the property.


Heat Pumps Can Improve Air Quality

Heat pumps don’t burn anything to create heat, therefore, don’t produce any smoke or add fumes to the air. As your heat pump circulates air in the room, the filters can clean and purify the air by removing dust, mould spores, and odours, smoke and other particles. They are great systems to have in place if people with asthma reside or work in a property.

Efficient and Effective Energy

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