Anyone who installs a qualifying renewable heat system is eligible to claim the RHI. These are the qualification criteria…


First of all you have to be either in England, Scotland or Wales, sorry Northern Ireland!

They must use an eligible type of renewable heat production


Sadly not all renewable heat technologies are eligible. Here’s a list of all the ELIGIBLE renewable heat technologies:


Photo Credit: JMacPherson


Biomass and biogas heat generation must also use eligible sources of fuel.

The tariff paid depends on what type of energy is used and the size of the system.

There are limits to the system’s size

For example solar and biogas heating are only eligible for installations below 200kW. 

This differs to the Feed-In Tariffs where a 5MW ceiling has been applied for all renewable technologies.


Even then they might not be able to receive tariffs immediately. 

Only new equipment is eligible for RHI; converted installations aren’t. However new systems replacing existing renewable technologies will do just fine.


Each eligible installation has to be registered by the energy regulator Ofgem.

There are some specific requirements you must meet. Such as, systems below 45kW capacity must comply with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.


The heat cannot be wasted and must be used for a prescribed purpose; space, water or process heating (not for electricity production, for example).

There are criteria about how this output should be measured.

The installations will have to be maintained and may be inspected periodically.


The owner of the renewable heat installation is the beneficiary of the tariffs.


Want to learn more about RHI? Read our previous blog to find out more here


I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!


How much can you earn from solar in your town?


From April 1st the Feed-in-Tariff, that pays you for generating your own electricity from solar panels (whether you use it yourself or not) will drop to 14.38p/kWh, but what does that mean in your area?


Based on the Energy Saving Trusts’ calculations you can see how much you should expect to earn and save in your region each year:

  • Scotland: £624
  • North East: £635
  • North West: £650
  • Yorkshire: £643
  • East Midlands: £655
  • West Midlands: £661
  • Wales: £667
  • East of England: £672
  • London: £688
  • South East: £718
  • South West: £742

Remember, these are estimates for a 4kW system, and the FiT is index-linked and should increase year upon year with inflation.

Not installed solar panels yet? Find prices here.

Biomass Heaters and RHI’s

People are always look for ways to save money, whether that’s cutting down on luxuries or reducing the utility bills. Well another way to help is by investing in a new heating system. Biomass heaters are the solar panels of the heating industry. Not only can they reduce your heating bill by £100 – £580 a year, the government will give £2000 off the installation of a biomass boiler under the renewable heat premium payment scheme, RHPP. This offer is only available until spring 2014. Now the cost of a biomass boiler is a whopping £11000. The other options are significantly cheaper but not as efficient. The more expensive heaters are the ones that will save you more money. Now £11000 is a lot even with £2000 off (£9000). The annual savings on your energy bill will help repay that in quite a few years, however the time it takes to make back the money will be dramatically reduced as of spring 2014. The government will remove the RHPP scheme and introduce a new scheme, the renewable heat incentive, RHI. This is like the solar panel feed-in tariff except the more efficient your biomass boiler the more you get paid back. This scheme is already in play for non-domestic uses.

Apart from the financial side of this, there is also an environmental side. These biomass boilers use biological materials from plants (mostly trees). This material can be processed into heat, fuel or electricity. When it is burned it produces co2 which is taken back in by the tress that are planted to replace the ones that have been cut down. So there is no overall gain in co2.

If you would like to get quotes for a biomass heater then visit our website

If you’re a quality biomass Installer new to Price Engines, sign up now or if you’re already an existing customer, and can offer biomass installations, then log in to your Customer Admin Area and add biomass and start receiving telephone qualified sales leads today.

DECC aim to raise awareness of the RHI payments available

EPC - small changes

Now that heat pumps will receive RHI payments the next task is letting people know, following a report on Public Attitudes “much still needs to be done in terms of educating consumers about the benefits of renewable heat technologies,” says Rexel UK director Brian Smithers.

According to the report “Nearly half (46 per cent and 42 per cent respectively) are unaware of air-source and ground-source heat pumps.

 That means may homeowners will be unaware they are able to claim £1,250 towards the cost of installation as well be eligible for the RHI tariff payments.

Although these figures are discouraging, especially when the government is working to ready the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme for summer 2013, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The RHI scheme will work in the same way as the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme for solar panels introduced by the government in 2010.

Initially, awareness of the FiT scheme was low. Rexel carried out a survey in July 2011, revealing that only 13 per cent of Brits had heard of and understood photovoltaic (PV) Feed-in Tariffs.

But one year on, the latest DECC Tracker shows that 82 per cent of people support the use of solar, so you can see how public attitudes and awareness has moved on.

There are clearly lessons to be learned here. For the adoption of technologies incentivised by schemes like the RHI to improve, people must have access to good advice.

It’s the industry’s job to help customers make sense of new energy efficient technologies and navigate the various incentives available.

Legislation to encourage the adoption of these technologies, such as the RHI for renewable heat, can only take us so far.

It’s crucial that the industry comes together to share knowledge and educate, not only the consumer but also the developers, specifiers and installers who play such a key role in helping the UK to meet its carbon emission reduction targets

Solar panels top home-buyer wishlist

EPC - small changes

The listing of solar panels as the most desirable property extra, in a new study from mortgage provider ING Direct, has been welcomed by solar leaders as valuable and solid business research – reports

According to the study, solar panels are seen as a significant bonus by home-buyers. Topping the property extras list with a score of 38%, solar panels rank above weekly bin collections and satellite TV connection (both 32%) and having a greenhouse (25%).

Compared with the so-called ‘deal-sealers’ of the past, such as double-glazing (1980s) and dining-room ‘hatches’ (1960s), the emergence of solar as the top 2012 extra was welcomed by the Solar Trade Association’s Head of External Affairs, Leonie Greene, as a sound base for further industry action.

“It’s all about how we get the message out there,” she told edie, adding that, with the message needing to be kept clear and simple, the new study findings would definitely help.

The industry had faced anecdotal claims in the past about people not liking renewable energy installations on houses. The new study, in contrast, provided the first hard evidence on the matter and helped to put the record straight.

Rexel UK business development director, Brian Smithers, also welcomed the study findings, saying it was essential to continue educating suppliers and consumers on such things as product and installer choice, to deliver the expected levels of energy generation.

Also positive was Sundog Energy’s Commercial Manager, Sarah Lennie, whose company has a new advice centre opening near Penrith on Saturday, Sept. 22, to ‘shine a light on some of the mysteries and myths that currently surround the solar industry’.

“Our message to home owners is that solar is the home improvement that earns you money,” she said. “This latest indication from ING Direct is definitely good ‘added value’ evidence for the industry.

How to beat the solar tariff cuts

Solar quotes - click here“Installing before the deadline requires a few potentially time-sensitive steps.”

There are now only a few weeks left before the latest tariff cuts take effect, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to gather some prices, book an installation date and submit your information in time to qualify for the current Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and earn up to £13,500 more than installing after August 1st.

The first step is to find out how much a system would cost for your property. Even if you have received a quote in the past, but a few months ago, then with the market as competitive as it is, you should definitely look to get some up-to-date prices.

Once you have some quotations from reputable installers and you can decide which company you would like to go with, then there is only a small window left for them to install the panels and register the installation for you to qualify for the FiT.

Be careful not to leave it too late. Companies are generally pretty fast at quoting, and installation times can take as little as 2 days for a typical residential install, but companies have a busy calander leading up to the tariff cuts which can delay your install date for a few weeks, and the installation needs to be completed with enough time left to get the paperwork done so you receive the FiT.



Solar manufacturing costs continue to fall

EPC - small changes“Falling manufacturing costs mean more homeowners are investing in solar”

Solar panel prices have continued to fall, following on from the decline since 2011, putting pressure on manufacturers who have struggled to generate worthwhile profits due to excess manufacturing capacity. This reduction in cost means that the average homeowner will now pay less for their solar panels.

The demand for solar panels grew by 40% in 2011, but excess manufacturing capacity has created a situation of overproduction and also competition, which has forced the larger manufacturing companies to slash their prices.

Unsurprisingly, these price drops have boosted solar sales and made solar power less dependent on returns from the feed-in-tariff to compete against fossil fuels. However, the falling costs have virtually erased profits at the major manufacturers, such as China’s Suntech Power Holdings , Yingli Green Energy Holding, Trina Solar Ltd and U.S.-based First Solar. The biggest indication of this can be seen on the falling share price for each of these large solar companies, along with the insolvency of previously dominant solar companies such as Germany’s Q-Cells.

What does this mean to those of us looking to install panels? Well the short answer is that we’ll be paying less. There is now real competition at every level of the process; from manufacturing the panels to the companies installing them. So right now you will get the most competitive prices to install panels whilst the feed-in-tariff still rewards you with up to £850 per year for doing so.

To view instant prices for your property – click here

Deadline for heat pump grants – extended!

Heat pump quotes - click here“You can still claim up to £1,250 towards your heat pump –
and start saving instantly on your fuel bills”

With the existing Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme closing on March 30th 2012, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has announced a second phase of the scheme, declaring: “The new Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme will be bigger and better than the original.

The second phase of the scheme, which offers grants towards the installation costs of thermal solar panels and both air and ground source heat pumps, will be launched on April 2nd this year and with a £10m increase to its budget.

Karen Lawrence, Energy Ssaving Trust’s director of delivery, who will continue to administor the scheme, said:

“One of the main barriers that prevents people from taking the plunge is the up-front capital cost. The announcement of the second phase of the government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme not only offers homeowners help with the initial costs, but it also provides them with access to heat technologies that can help them to reduce their energy bills, year on year.”

So once again homeowners will be able to claim up to £300 towards their thermal solar panels, and up to £1,250 towards the cost of having a heat pump installed. Which is some welcome good news for the renewable energy industry that has to constantly adapt to the ‘flexible’ decision making from the government. What impact will this have? It already seems likely that the proposed RHI tariff will be pushed back until 2013…

For an instant online quote for a heat pumpclick here


The Government needs to add clarity to the renewable industry

Richard Branson and other signatories have contacted David Cameron urging him to provide some clarity, and consequently introduce some stability, for the renewable energies industry.


In the letter, published in the Guardian, he references the tariff scheme for solar and discusses the impressive status of the UK’s wind power – a response to a recent letter by backbenchers rubbishing wind power in the UK. He goes on to point to Germany as a shining example for what renewable energy can do for a country:

“…where community and large scale energy farms have delivered a 25% cost reduction, taking electricity bills down to 2008 levels.”

We are yet to see any retort from the PM, but hopefully there will be some response that can address some of these issues of uncertainty that are threatening what is still a thriving industry.

It’s good but it could be so much better – 1GW of solar now installed in UK

In a week which saw the Government launch it’s appeal to the Supreme Court over the December 2011 solar tariff cuts…. and Pancake Day, you may have missed one important solar milestone.

The amount of installed solar energy generation passed the 1GW mark on Wednesday.

It’s not only good news – it’s great news and the Government were quick to point out that there envisaging a 22GW figure by 2020 – that would equate to solar panels being installed on 4 million homes.

According to the Guardian, whilst we’re all proud of passing the 1GW milestone, it should be noted that Germany (currently cutting it’s own tariff scheme amounts) installed 7.5GW in 2011 and currently has half the world’s solar power – 25GW installed.

photo credit: darlene