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How to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Domestic

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is now open for applications (9th April 2014).

Details on the Domestic RHI including general eligibility criteria and rates.

Considering installing renewable heat?

If you are considering installing a renewable heating system like a biomass boiler, heat pump or solar panels and applying for the RHI, we can guide you through the process. The first step is to book a Free site survey so we can assess which solution is appropriate for your property and offers the greatest return. Click here to arrange a Free Site Survey.*

Already installed renewable heat?

If you have already installed a renewable heating system and it was commissioned after the 15th of July 2009 you could be eligible to receive RHI payments over 7 years. The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) refers to this as a 'Legacy Application'.

All legacy applicants must apply to the Domestic RHI scheme within the first 12 months of its opening.

Because of the large volume of RHPP recipients, Ofgem is staggered when you can apply to ensure you get the best level of service. It works like this:

• if you did not receive RHPP, you can apply at  scheme launch
• if you received, but did not use the RHPP  vouchers, you can apply at scheme launch
• if you applied for RHPP before 20 May 2013, you  can apply three months after the scheme opens
• if you applied for RHPP on or after 20 May 2013,  you can apply six months after the scheme opens

If, during the first year of the scheme, Government has to reduce tariffs for the Domestic RHI due to high uptake, you will not be affected and will continue to receive the original rate.

The specific eligibility criteria that need to be in place before applying for the Domestic RHI are as follows:

Energy Efficiency 

  • A Green Deal Assessment (GDA) needs be carried out on the property to establish which energy efficiency measures are cost-effective

  • Loft insulation (to 250mm) and cavity wall insulation have been installed where these measures are recommended by the Green Deal Assessment

  • Where the GDA shows the required loft and cavity wall insulation is yet to be installed, an updated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is obtained as proof, following installation (or valid evidence is provided proving why installation was not feasible).

You can book your Green Deal Assessment here.*

System Maintenance 

  • As part of the application process you will need to confirm that your system is operating correctly.
  • You will need to confirm annually that your system is being maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most manufacturers' warranties stipulate an annual service.

You can set up an Annual Health Check/Service here.*


  • If your system is installed alongside another space heating system (including hybrid) such as an oil boiler then it will need to be metered and payments will be based on meter readings. This is not required if the second technology is solar thermal. A separate application can be made for solar thermal in addition to the main renewable heating system.
  • Your system will also need to be metered if it is installed in a second / holiday home.
  • An additional annual payment is available (£230 heat pumps & £200 biomass) to the first 2,500 applicants who purchase an approved 'Metering & Monitoring Service Package' from their installer. This Service Package means that you and your installer can view measured data from your system online and monitor and improve performance. 

If your installation needs to be metered, Ecoliving can help assess which metering solution is required and install this for you. Please contact us using this form and mention 'RHI Metering' in the 'Notes' box.*

Demonstrating Efficiency

Heat Pump specific - the Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of the heat pump is part of the calculation to determine the RHI payment. This is only relevant to heat pumps and not biomass boilers nor solar thermal panels.

The SPF is worked out using a rating calculated by an MCS installer like Ecoliving. The higher the SPF the higher the payment. Heat pump systems installed before the launch of the RHI will be given a default SPF of 2.5. Worked examples below showing the difference between the same installation with an SPF of 2.5 and an SPF of 3.4.

Example 1.  SPF of 2.5 Total annual heating demand = 15,000 kWh

                Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) with SPF of 2.5. ASHP RHI Tariff - 7.3p/kWh

                Eligible heat demand = 15,000 kWh x (1-1/2.5) = 9,000 kWh

Total Annual RHI Payments = 9,000 kWh x 7.3p/kWh = £657

Example 2. SPF of 3.4 Total annual heating demand = 15,000 kWh

                Air Source Heat Pump with SPF of 3.4. ASHP RHI Tariff - 7.3p/kWh

                Eligible heat demand = 15,000 kWh x (1-1/3.4) = 10,588 kWh

Total Annual RHI Payments = 10,588 kWh x 7.3p/kWh = £773

To have your heat pump SPF calculated may improve your RHI annual payment. The SPF is calculated using manufacturers' data and information about your installed system and the heating distribution circuit.  

You can book an assessment visit to calculate your heat pump SPF. Please contact us using this form and mention 'SPF Calculation' in the 'Notes' box.*

Checklist for Legacy Renewable Heat Installation RHI Eligibility

1.            Green Deal Assessment & follow up EPCs, as required (All installations)                

2.            System 'Health Check' and Annual Service (All installations)                                        

3.            Installation of heat meters (Bivalent & Second Homes only)                                        

4.            Calculation of the system SPF (Optional to improve level of RHI payment)   

Further sources of information on the Domestic RHI:

Ofgem's Webpage Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Ofgem's Webpage How to apply for the Domestic RHI

Ofgem's An Introduction to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

Ofgem's Already installed before RHI Opening?

Ofgem's Do I need metering for the Domestic RHI

Ofgem's A metering and monitoring service package for Domestic RHI


* Please note that while Ecoliving covers a lot of the UK, there are postcodes where we cannot offer our range of services. We will let you know if this is the case after we receive your enquiry.

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Ecoliving is a specialist provider and award winner of micro-renewable energy solutions - heat pumps, biomass boilers, combined heat and power (CHP), underfloor heating, solar and wood burning stoves. We also offer service, repair and maintenance.

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T: 0141 309 5543