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How do I claim the domestic renewable heat incentive?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 September 2013 at 9:08 am

Q: I have recently installed an air to heat system in my home. What do I have to do to claim the renewable heat incentive payment?

A: First, I'm assuming you are talking about an air to water heat pump. If you have an air-to-air heat pump then you are not eligible for the renewable heat incentive (RHI).

As someone who has installed before the start of the full renewable heat incentive scheme you will be classified as a 'legacy applicant'. That applies to anyone who has installed an eligible heating system between 15 July 2009 and the domestic RHI launch.

You will not be able to apply until the scheme starts (this is expected to be in Spring 2014). However, you can prepare in advance so that you have all the necessary paperwork.

You will need to have an MCS certificate, which your installer should already have given you.

It is a requirement of application that you have a green deal assessment, and that you insulate your loft and cavity walls (if you have them) to a minimum standard. This can be funded through the green deal if you wish, and you may be eligible for green deal cashback. If insulating is not feasible, you will have to provide evidence of why not. If you are a self builder you just need an EPC on the finished property.

Tariffs will be paid per kWh of renewable heat generated. The amount of heat generated from your air source heat pump will be 'deemed'. This is an estimate of the property's expected annual heat usage. As a legacy applicant it will be assumed that the seasonal performance factor for your heat pump is 2.5. If you believe that it is better than that you can ask an MCS accredited installer to certify its performance. .

For heat pumps, the estimated heat use of a property will be calculated after the installation of required energy efficiency measures (see below). This figure will be taken from the energy performance certificate (EPC) done as part of a green deal assessment.  Click here to read more about calculating the payments for heat pumps

If you do not intend to use the green deal for financing, you may prefer to get the assessment done after you have insulated. 

Applications will be handled by Ofgem. When the system opens, you will have to fill in an online form. There will be an alternative available for those who don't have access to a computer. You will need your MCS certificate, EPC and green deal advice report to hand when you fill out the form.

If you have received any other funding, such as the renewable heat premium payment, you must declare it on the form, and it will be deducted from your RHI payments. So you will also need details of that to hand when you apply.

More information on the RHI on YouGen

YouGen guide to the domestic renewable heat incentive

Domestic RHI: your questions answered

What the domestic RHI means for heat pumps

YouGen guide to heat pumps


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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6 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 9 December 2013 at 11:50 am

The schedule for phasing legacy applications to the domestic RHI has now been published. You can read the detail here.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 November 2013 at 9:27 am

Hi @ellwood

First of all to get RHI on the wood pellet stove it must have a back boiler and be providing water and/or space heating.

If you have cavity walls, then they will have to be insulated for you to be eligible. However, if it's solid wall it is not a requirement.

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ellwoodComment left on: 27 November 2013 at 4:28 pm

Hi Cathy,

Just had my green deal assessment done. The Green Deal improvement recommended by my assessor is a wood pellet boiler and the improvements recommended on the EPC are wall and floor insulation, low energy lighting, and a new condensing boiler with cylinder thermostat.

To claim RHI payments on the Pellet boiler do I need to carry out any of the other works ?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 30 September 2013 at 4:26 pm


I think that there will be a cut off date after which legacy applications can't be made. If that is the case, and your extension is finished before then, I guess you can get a new EPC. I'll try and find out more and get back to you on this one.


I don't think it's going to make a difference, but if you want to be safe then wait until it's been ratified in Parliament. We'll cover that in the blog when it happens.

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dch_controlComment left on: 30 September 2013 at 3:56 pm

Should I be thinking of getting a Green Deal assessment for my ground-source heat pump now, ahead of the actual RHI application or do you think it best to wait in case there are any further tweaks to the requirements?



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BeemerComment left on: 17 September 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hi Cathy, Hope you had a good break. Hope you can help with this query :

 If a self builder has had part of their property completed and installed a large wood pellet biomass boiler, i presume they can claim their RHPP accordingly ?  However, if they are due to add to the new build sometime next year,[ which the wood pellet boiler will also heat],  can a new epc be completed once this new part of the development is complete, so that the kw/h figure for their RHI reflects the new total area ?

ie is there any time limit between the application for the RHPP and when the RHI application goes in ?


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