What is the renewable heat incentive?
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a fixed payment for the renewable heat you generate yourself. It is similar to the Feed-in Tariffs, the comparable scheme for electricity. The Feed-In Tariffs have done more than anything else to accelerate the installation of renewable energy capacity in Europe. That is why the founders of Renewable Heat Incentive Limited were so active in the campaign to introduce them in the UK. It succeeded and in July 2011 the first phase of the Renewable Heat Incentive has come into force.
While the Renewable Heat Incentive is similar to the Feed-In Tariffs, there are some important differences, and in particular:
- It will be paid for by the Treasury not by energy users.
- There is no ‘National Grid for Heat’ and so importing and exporting heat is not relevant.
- It will be introduced in phases, with residential schemes not eligible until Phase 2.
There are three main steps to the RHI:
Step One: you install in your property renewable heat systems such as solar thermal panels, heat pumps or a biomass boiler
Step Two: you measure how much heat your renewable energy systems produce
Step Three: you get paid a fixed amount based on that output, the type of technology and the size of the system
No tariffs have yet been published, apart from indicative levels for the Premium Payment.
Perhaps something can be deduced from the proposed tariff levels within the original consultation document for the Renewable Heat Incentive, which were as follows: