The Renewable Heat Incentive, abbreviated as “RHI,” was a programme that offered monetary incentives to homeowners who heated their homes with renewable energy sources.

Renewable Heat Incentive

Renewable Heat Incentive

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), which will debut in May 2022, has taken the position of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which stopped accepting new applicants on March 31, 2022 but continues to operate for members who have already participated. The RHI was a government programme that was designed to assist the United Kingdom in meeting its legally enforceable aim of achieving net zero emissions by the year 2050. It was available to households in England, Scotland, and Wales, regardless of whether or not they were connected to the gas grid.

There was a domestic version and a non-domestic version. The non-domestic version included industrial, commercial, public sector, and community organisations. The domestic version was intended for residential dwellings. The RHI system in Northern Ireland, on the other hand, stopped accepting new participants and applicants in 2016, but it is still active for those who are already enrolled.

How did the RHI programme operate?

People who heat their houses with specific renewable technology are eligible for financial help under a programme known as the Renewable Heat Incentive, or RHI. The RHI’s domestic component began accepting participants in April 2014, and payments are still being given to those who were already enrolled.

It was sponsored by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and its primary objective was to reduce carbon emissions and assist the United Kingdom in meeting its targets for the use of renewable energy by offsetting the cost of installing and operating a modern heating system. The application process was handled by Ofgem, which is the energy regulator. The programme will be terminated in 2029, after the final payments have been made to those who submitted their applications in March of 2022. Find out more about the various green energy providers and which one is the most suitable for your needs by doing some research.

How exactly did the payments for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) work?

Renewable-Heat-Incentive (RHI)

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Participants in the RHI programme are eligible to receive a tariff payment once every three months for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of renewable heat they generate. These payments are scheduled to continue for a total of seven years. During the time that the programme was being implemented, it was also possible for households to install more than one technology and to earn money for each system that they utilised.

The renewable technology that participants installed, the date that they submitted their application to receive RHI, and the rating on their home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) all influence how much they are paid per kWh of heat produced by their system. If you are already a participant in the programme and you continue to fulfil your ongoing responsibilities, you will continue to receive payments until the conclusion of your seven-year membership.

Which kinds of technology were qualified for RHI funding?


RHI funding

For the purposes of the Renewable Heat Incentive, heating systems that utilised air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, biomass boilers, and solar water heating were all considered eligible. In our specialised guides, you can learn more about renewable heat technologies, such as how to identify whether or not your home is suited to install any of them, as well as other helpful information:

Air-to-air and air-to-air heat pumps

Pumps that draw heat from the ground

Heating the water from the sun

What’s the difference between the Smart Export Guarantee, the Feed-in Tariff, and the Renewable Heat Incentive?



Smart Export Guarantee

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) provided financial incentives in the form of cash payments to private households who produced and sold renewable forms of power. RHI payments are not intended to provide homes with an income in return for the renewable electricity that they put into the grid; rather, the purpose of these payments is to help offset the cost of building and operating a renewable heating system.

The programmes offered incentives for the following renewable technologies: The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is intended for the installation of renewable heating technologies such heat pumps, biomass boilers, and solar water heating. The FIT was designed to encourage the installation of renewable energy sources that generate power, such as solar panels and wind turbines. In 2019, the FIT was no longer accepting applications from new students. It has been replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

The SEG compensates homeowners financially for the surplus of renewable energy that their homes generate and then send into the national grid. On the other hand, in contrast to the FIT, the SEG does not compensate you for the generation of power that is not exported.

What sets the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the Renewable Heat Incentive apart from one another?


Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was a financial incentive offered by the government to encourage the use of renewable heat, and payments were spread out over a period of seven years. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government-led programme that is intended to assist in the decarbonization of buildings by providing one-time grants to support the installation of heat pumps and, in certain circumstances, biomass boilers. The goal of the programme is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted from buildings.

The BUS is scheduled to debut in May of 2022. It will offer applicants with a lump sum of up to £5,000 for air source heat pumps and £6,000 for ground source heat pumps instead of the £7,000 that was granted by the RHI, which was paid out in quarterly instalments over a period of seven years. The new programme will be implemented over the course of three years, and the government has allotted a budget of 450 million pounds to support it during that time. Your installation must have been put into service on or after the 1st of April 2022 in order for you to be eligible for the BUS.

Before you get started, you need to make sure that the renewable heating option is appropriate for your house. You may learn more about solar water heating, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and stoves, and more by reading our guides. Before you look into installing renewable heating, it’s also a good idea to check the insulation in your home and make sure it’s as energy efficient as possible.

It is required that applications for the BUS be submitted through the heating system installer that you hire to carry out the works in your home in order to be considered. Installers can retrieve a voucher application form from the website of the energy regulator, Ofgem, and then email it back to the organisation to complete the process. Ofgem will send an email to the homeowner of the house asking for their approval to take part in the scheme as soon as it has received the form from the heating system installer. After this has been completed, installers will be notified via email of the conclusion of the process.

Following the installation of your low-carbon heating system, your installer is obligated to send an email to Ofgem including the documentation required for your voucher redemption. This evidence must include the MCS certificate number.