There are currently two government incentives available to home owners. The first is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the second is the Green Home Grant Scheme (GHGS). These incentives are there to support homeowners financially who are switching their household heating from fossil fuels to a qualifying renewable heat source. Government Incentives are constantly reviewed and therefore it is important to understand the process and the key dates of when you need to apply.
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a payback incentive to encourage homeowners and private landlords to install a renewable energy heating system. The RHI scheme payments are made quarterly over 7 years. The idea of the incentive is to compensate the person for the additional outlay involved in fitting a renewable system.
The Renewable Heat Incentive is due to end on 30th March 2022 after which it is expected to be replaced with the Clean Heat Grant Scheme. If you are considering upgrading your heating system with a renewable heating system and wish to take advantage of the RHI, your application will need to be approved before the closing date.
You must use an MCS-certified supplier to qualify for the RHI. R A Brown is fully accredited and offers free advice on the RHI as part of our comprehensive customer service. The scheme is being administered by OFGEM on behalf of BEIS (The department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy).
Why should I switch to a renewable heating system?
If you are interested in sustaining the world we live in, switching to a renewable heating system, such as an air source or ground source heat pump, means you are using a naturally replenished source of energy (i.e. the sun).
Using renewable energy rather than oil or LPG helps the UK reduce its carbon emissions and meet their carbon reduction targets.
The government pays an incentive to property owners who install a renewable heating if their system meets certain energy-efficiency requirements, the homeowner can then apply for the incentive via OFGEM.
What does MCS approved mean?
MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme. MCS is a standards certification which certifies low-carbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources.
MCS is a mark of quality. Membership of MCS demonstrates adherence to these recognised industry standards; highlighting quality, competency and compliance.
How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An Energy Performance Certificate will need to be completed by a local energy assessor.
You can find an energy assessor by using the EPC Register Find a local Energy Assessor near you.
What is Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF)?
The SPF measures the energy efficiency of the property and is calculated by looking at heat losses, room size and output of the heat emitters.
The more accurately sized the heat emitters you have, the higher the SPF – as the heating will be as energy efficient as possible.
The governments default Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) is 2.5.
What information do I need to complete my RHI application?
Before you apply for the RHI, you will need to make sure you have followed any requirements and gathered all the relevant information you need to complete your application.
Applicants will need to make sure they install an eligible system and meet minimum insulation requirements to be eligible for the Domestic RHI and provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which is no more than 24 months old, the application must be made by the homeowner as this is an application based on your property details.
To make this easier and so you have the most up to date and relevant information needed for your application, please see the link below to OFGEM which provides a factsheet to guide you through the application process.
There is also a step by step application form helpsheet which is useful to demystify the application from
How do I apply for the RHI?
The application for the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is made via OFGEM, it is the homeowners responsibility to make the application, the application cannot be made by the installer on the homeowners behalf.
If you have already installed a renewable heating system, you have up to 12 months to apply to the scheme from the date it is commissioned. This is the date that the date the installer tests and signs off the system (you will find this date on your Microgeneration Certification Scheme certificate)
Please see the OFGEM essential guide for applications for full details and guidance.
Before you apply, you can use this OFGEM resource which is a helpsheet on how to answer the RHI application form OFGEM application form helpsheet.
When you are ready to apply, you can apply on the OFGEM website here Apply for the RHI here on the OFGEM website.
Green Home Grant Scheme
The Green Home Grant Scheme (GHGS) is a Government incentive which was launched on 30th September 2020 and will run until 30th March 2022.
The scheme allows homeowners and landlords to apply for vouchers worth up to two thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople up to a maximum of £5,000 (£10,000 for households on low income).
To be eligible for the voucher, the household must first install a primary measure:
- Insulation (solid wall, cavity wall, underfloor, loft, flat roof, room in roof, park home).
- Low Carbon Heat (air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, solar thermal),
In addition to a primary measure, households can then install eligible secondary measures:
- Draft proofing.
- Windows and doors: double/triple glazing (replacing single glazing), secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing), upgrading to energy efficient doors (replacing doors installed prior to 2002).
- Heating controls and insulation: appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves.
Does the amount you spend on GHGS primary measure affect the amount which can be spent on a secondary measure?
GHGS Vouchers must be used to install at least one primary home insulation or low carbon heating measure. If you install at least one of the primary measures, you can use your voucher to help cover the cost of secondary measures.
The subsidy for the secondary measure is capped at the value of the subsidy provided for the primary measures. For example, if you receive £400 for a primary measure such as a cavity wall insulation, you will be able to receive a maximum of £400 for a secondary measure such as an energy efficient replacement door.
How does the Green Home Grant Scheme affect the RHI Payments?
You can claim the Green Homes Grant for a renewable heat installation in addition to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
It is important to note that you need to claim the Green Home Grant first and then when you apply for the Domestic RHI, you will need to notify Ofgem that you have used the Green Home Grant and this amount will be deducted from your Domestic RHI Payments.
Which Accreditation should my Installer have?
If you wish to apply for the Green Home Grant Scheme, tradespeople must register for Trustmark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to take part in the scheme. Therefore, make sure your installer has the Trustmark or MCS accreditation.
If you wish to apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive your installer must be MCS approved.
How can I get a guide price for a heat pump for my property
We require some information to be able to custom design a renewable heating system for your property. The more information that you can provide us the more accurate we can be.
- Your contact details
- Your property address, including postcode
- Do you own the property/rent it/is it a holiday let?
- Plans of the property (one of the following
– Architect plans are ideal of course, including elevations and sections.
– Estate agent floor plans – We can work with these floor plans but please ensure that we have all the room sizes (ideally including ceiling heights)
– Basic drawing of the layout of your property accompanied with a list of the room sizes including ceiling heights.
- Window sizes in each of the rooms – Approximate age and are they Double glazed, single glazed etc.?
- Details of existing heating system. Is it oil or gas? Combi boiler or cylinder? Approximate age of the system.
- Radiators or Underfloor heating? Which system do you have, or would you like to have installed?
- The current number of radiators in each room, if installed.
Using the information that you provide we can produce a guide estimate for the work that you wish to be carried out. This estimate will also detail the expected running costs of the proposed system and the sum that you are likely to receive if you are eligible to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Please email the plans and answers to the questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
If I am interested after the guide estimate, what is the next stage?
If the information in the guide estimate sounds appealing and you wish to proceed then we can arrange to carry out a site survey so that we can complete a detailed heat loss calculation and then custom design your heating system to perfectly suit your property.
Give us a call on 01603 898904 to arrange a site survey.
How do I apply for the Green Home Grant Scheme (GHGS)?
You can a apply for the Green Home Grant Scheme through the government website (gov.uk)
Full information on the scheme details including how to apply, redeem the voucher are available through the link below.