Renewable Heat Incentives – the best bits for homeowners

Yesterday, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne announced (the long awaited) Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme details and tariffs.

Like the Feed-in Tariffs for photovoltaic solar panel installations (and other renewable electricity generating technologies), the Government is going to pay you for each kWh of renewable heat you generate.

The RHI is the first of it’s kind in the world.

What technologies are included:
Solid Biomass installations
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Water Source Heat Pumps
Deep Geothermal
Solar Thermal
Biomethane injection and biogas combustion (except from landfill gas).

Tariff Rates:
Rates will range from 1.9 pence per kWh (tier 2 solid biomass) to 8.5 for solar thermal.

The other most common technology for many homeowners – ground source heat pumps will enjoy 4.3 pence per kWh on a system of less than a 100kWh capacity.

All tariffs will have a duration of 20 years.

What’s interesting is that the announcement already includes a provision for tariff rate rises in line with inflation (like we’re going to see with the feed-in tariff this April).

When are the payments going to start?
The announcement lists the RHI’s payments starting from 2012 (alongside the start of Green Deal).

In the meantime, it’s promising up to 25,000 installations will be supported by a RHI Premium Payment to help people cover the purchase price of green heating systems. Those taking up the Premium will be eligible for a RHI tariff from October 2012 (when the Green Deal begins).

Those that have already completed qualifying renewable heat installations from July 2009 onwards will also qualify for tariff payment from October 2012.

The announcement opens the door for many homeowners to start putting into practice, installations they’ve been planning and no doubt the renewable heat industries will welcome the end to the uncertainty that’s surrounded the RHI’s.

You can read the full announcement by visiting the Government’s Energy website – click here.

photo credit: bradley gordon

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