Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The Domestic RHI is a government financial incentive introduced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to promote the use of renewable heat. Its aim is to cut carbon emissions and help the UK meet its EU renewable energy targets. People joining the scheme and keeping to its rules receive quarterly payments for seven years to offset the cost of installing renewable energy heating systems like heat pumps.
To be eligible for the domestic RHI, the property must meet two important requirements – loft insulation must be a minimum of 280mm – 300mm or confirm to current building regulations and if you have cavity walls they must be fully insulated. Only exemptions are buildings with solid brick or concrete walls.
The domestic RHI works as a financial support program for households with renewable energy heating systems. With the help of the RHI, households can save a significant amount of money in the long run if they have eligible heating systems like heat pumps installed in their home.
Payments are made every three months (quarterly) in arrears to the homeowner for a seven year period following application completion.
RHI payback amount depends on the EPC (Electrical Performance Certificate) results from your recent EPC by a qualified energy assessor which must be within the last two years of making a RHI application.
When applying via the Ofgem website for the domestic RHI you will require an MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certificate by an accredited MCS company and an EPC (Electrical Performance Certificate).
Grants for home insulation and new boilers
£1,000s in grants are available under what's known as the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme. It's only available to people who get certain benefits and have an income of £16,190 or less. Many big energy providers are giving away:
- Boilers. A grant toward the cost of replacing an old or broken boiler, which can cost up to £2,500 – full info on boilers.
- Loft and cavity wall insulation. Worth up to around £1,000 combined – full info on insulation.
Energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers are required to offer energy efficient home improvements under the ECO scheme. However, the number of measures they'll install depends on their market share, so smaller suppliers will generally have very limited availability.
Suppliers that are part of the scheme include all the big names, including British Gas, E.on, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, SSE and Ovo, as well medium-sized providers such as Avro Energy, Bulb, Octopus Energy, Shell Energy, Utility Warehouse and Utilita. For the full list, including contact details see Ofgem's website.
A new boiler typically costs £2,500, according to the Energy Saving Trust, but some householders can get a grant that can slash this to just £200-£400, or even get one installed for free.
To qualify you will need to:
- You own your own home (or, in some cases, rent from a private landlord)...
- Someone living at the property qualifies for certain benefits, such as pension credit, universal credit, child benefit, carer's allowance and disability living allowance. See the full list of qualifying benefits.
Boiler scrappage scheme
According to the Times 14th August 2021, the government is considering a boiler scrappage scheme offering homeowners £7000 to scrap gas boilers and buy low carbon alternatives like heat pumps. The grant is planned to come into effect in April 2022 and last for three years.