Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Category: Non-Domestic RHI
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UK:  Ofgem have reported that they have received an increasing number of complex questions about the eligibility of Ground Source Heat Pumps and shared ground arrays for both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI schemes.

In a statement Ofgem say they are aware that a number of installers are working on innovative developments, particularly in the social housing sector. These developments typically include shared ground arrays – with shared ground or water loops – providing heat to more than one heat pump unit located in each individual flat or house. As administrators of both schemes, Ofgem has set out a response to these new industry initiatives.

The 2014 Domestic RHI Regulations define a Ground Source Heat Pump as a plant that generates heat by absorbing energy stored in the form of heat from the ground, including water in the ground, or surface water, or both, and uses that energy to heat a liquid. It follows that a ground array forms part of the plant for the purposes of the Domestic RHI scheme.

Under the current Domestic RHI Regulations, any application involving a plant that is a heat pump seeking accreditation for the Domestic RHI can only be considered eligible if it provides heating solely to a single eligible property, assuming all other conditions are satisfied. 

Therefore a plant incorporating shared ground loop arrays that provide heat to more than one single eligible property is not eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme. However, a plant featuring a shared ground loop array, providing heat to multiple domestic properties, can be considered for the Non-Domestic scheme, assuming all other eligibility requirements are met for that scheme.

To find out more about both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI Schemes click here


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UK:  The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced details of a series of free one-day training courses, designed to help potential heat pump customers – such as businesses, developers and housing providers - understand how heat pumps can deliver lower energy costs, greater comfort and better buildings.

The courses are NOT designed for installers or consultants, but to give potential heat pump customers in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors the chance to learn more about why heat pumps make sense, build their technical knowledge and understand the financing of heat pumps including unlocking the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The roadshows will be held on:

  • Tuesday 16 June – London (non-domestic sector)
  • Thursday 18 June – London (domestic sector)
  • Tuesday 23 June – Glasgow (both)
  • Wednesday 24 June – Newcastle (both)
  • Wednesday 1 July – Exeter (both)
  • Thursday 2 July – Cardiff (both)
  • Tuesday 7 July – Manchester (both)
  • Wednesday 8 July – Birmingham (both)

Places can be booked online at or by calling 020 8469 1333.

It is understood that a further event looking specifically at opportunities for water source heat pumps will be announced shortly.


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UK:  The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published an interim evaluation of non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The RHI is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat and pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings.

Using a range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques the evaluation has so far focused on the views and experiences of applicants to the scheme, possible applicants to the scheme and the wider investment community. The evidence suggests that:

  • The RHI is stimulating investments in renewable heat technologies (RHTs);
  • Experiences with the installation and operation of RHTs have been positive; and
  • Although RHTs are being installed in a wide range of sectors, the relatively low prevalence of non-biomass RHTs, larger systems, and the lack of non-self-financed installations shows that areas of the supply chain still have room to develop

Almost half of energy consumed in the UK is used to provide heat, 43 per cent of which is used in the non-domestic sector. Reducing carbon emissions from non-domestic heat is therefore an important part of meeting UK greenhouse gas reduction targets. The non-domestic RHI was launched in November 2011, with installations of eligible RHTs since July 2009 qualifying for support. The RHI scheme aims to:

  • Incentivise the roll out of renewable heating technologies to contribute to the UK’s 2020 renewable energy target;
  • Deliver significant reductions in the carbon emissions resulting from heating; and
  • Prepare for mass rollout of renewable heating technologies beyond 2020 by building sustainable supply chains, improving performance, reducing costs and increasing awareness of these technologies.

The interim evaluation of non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), prepared by Eunomia, NatCen Social Research and Frontier Economics.

Eunomia’s consortium will be carrying out further planned evaluation research that will give DECC insight into the performance of the RHI, its effect on non-domestic organisations and its influence on the development of the supply chain.

To download a copy of the evaluation, click here


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UK:  Heat pump manufacturers have welcomed the official extension to the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), to now include air source heat pumps, following the announcement by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) on Wednesday 28 May 2014.

Under the incentive scheme companies receive regular payments for every kWh of renewable heat they use in their business, if generated by a ground, water or air source heat pump.

Tariffs are available for air source heat pumps at 2.5p/kWh and ground source heat pumps at a Tier 1 rate of 8.7p/kWh and Tier 2 rate of 2.6 p/kWh. Tier 1 is paid for the first 1,314 full-load equivalent hours and Tier 2 for all remaining output.

Businesses will receive a regular quarterly payment for the next 20 years, which provides long term and sustainable growth in the use of renewable technologies. The payments can amount to thousands of pounds

And help make the case for heat pumps much stronger, especially against traditional fossil fuel heating.

Eligibility of heat pumps

After the new regulations are introduced, applications submitted for ground-source and air-source heat pumps will be required to include the following:

  • A design seasonal performance factor (SPF) of at least 2.5
  • Measurement of electrical input to calculate SPF and provide quarterly meter readings
  • Ground-source heat pumps capable of simultaneous heating and cooling will have to measure heat drawn from the ground and provide quarterly meter readings
  • Ground-source heat pumps capable of cooling must provide a capacity value based on the heating function only
  • In addition to using naturally occurring energy in the form of heat. ground-source heat pumps will be able to, use heat from:
  • Heat gathered and stored in the ground using solar collectors providing no other subsidy for this heat is being received
  • Heat from space cooling or process cooling
  • Waste heat from industrial processes  

New Tariffs

UK: With the upcoming review of scheme1 - Non Domestic renewable heat incenctive. a number of leading heating industry stakeholders (Heating & Hotwater Industry Council, Sustainable Energy Association, UKLPG, Baxi, British Gas, Calor, Robur, Viessmann and Worcester Bosch) have come together to support the inclusion of gas absorption heat pumps. GAHPs can deliver decarbonisation benefits for a wide range of properties on and off the gas grid.

By combining the technologies, a high efficiency modern condensing gas boiler and an air source heat pump, GAHPs provide an efficient and low carbon way to utilise gas and LP gas in homes across the UK.  It also has the potential to reduce energy bills.

There are a number of companies developing a range of highly efficient GAHP products with technical characteristics suitable for commercial, industrial and community heating.

It now seems critical that the formal review of the non-domestic RHI to be published in 2014 establishes support for GAHPs as with other renewable heating solutions.

Roger Webb, Director of the Hot Water and Industry Council (HHIC) commented: "GAHP’s are an alternative means of delivering renewable heat in the UK by making use of the existing gas infrastructure. Inclusion in the RHI is important to demonstrate their value and to drive up sales of these products."

Dave Sowden Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) also commented: "A crucial part of the non-domestic RHI review process is to ensure the right mix of technologies is available to support the intentions of the scheme and help to achieve the UK’s renewables targets. We would support the inclusion of additional technologies where they can be shown to meet the defined qualifying criteria and provide a cost-effective contribution. GAHPs are one such example of a technology with this potential and should be included in this review."

As advised by DECC, "the introduction of support for new technologies will only normally be considered as part of formal RHI reviews." The next opportunity would not be until the formal review of the non-domestic RHI in 2017 currently excluding GAHPs and putting this renewable heating technology at major competitive disadvantage.

For more information on the Renewable Heat Incentive Click Here.