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Renewable Heat Incentive: Proposals for a domestic scheme

Objectives of the consultation

This consultation, issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), sought views on the proposals for long term support for householders who install renewable heating system such as biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar thermal in their homes. The support was aimed at any householder looking to replace their current heating with renewable heating kit or who have installed any such technology since 15 July 2009, including those who received the Renewable Heat Premium Payment. DECC was also considering having bespoke tariffs for the registered social landlord and new build sectors, recognising their potential contribution to the roll-out of renewable heat, but taking into account the possible lower installation-related and other costs they might benefit from.

Key proposals covered by the consultation:

  • Indicative tariff ranges for air source heat pumps (6.9-11.5p/kWh), biomass boilers (5.2-8.7p/kWh), ground source heat pumps (12.5-17.3p/kWh) and solar thermal technologies (17.3p/kWh) that are MCS certified and meet relevant required standards
  • Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage
  • Tariff levels set to provide a better return for householders living off the gas grid
  • Budget management system similar to one introduced for the Feed-in Tariffs scheme
  • Minimum energy efficiency requirements based on Green Deal assessments

The Government was proposing to introduce the domestic RHI scheme in the summer of 2013 and for it to be run initially by Ofgem. This consultation closed on 7 December 2012.

Supporting papers

To download papers which supported this consultation, please follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE has always been a strong supporter of the Government’s renewable energy and carbon emissions reduction targets, and of measures to incentivise take-up of renewable energy and low carbon technologies. For large, well-engineered projects, especially biomass installations, a RHI type support structure offers advantages. However, some of these advantages are less apparent for small scale systems, especially heat pumps. 

CIBSE is not convinced that the design of the tariff incentive in its current form will stimulate growing investment where it is running at a slow rate as is the case with renewable energy heating technologies.

CIBSE also believes that a RHI-structured scheme will only penetrate the rented sector where heat is included in the service charge such as community heating and where the landlords naturally retain the income for an investment made. CIBSE considers that if the rented sector is included, then it is important to provide safeguards to tenants, so that they do not face either financial or other disadvantages following a landlord’s decision to go ahead with an eligible technology investment.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.

Results of the consultation and next steps

The Government published its reponse to the consultation and the domestic RHI policy statement on 12 July 2013. To download the documents, please follow the links below.