Farmers and rural landowners installing renewable heat technology in their homes will be able to apply for up to 19.2p/kWh in government support from spring 2014.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last week (Friday 12 July) confirmed the tariffs for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme – 7.3p/kWh for air-source heat pumps, 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers, 18.8p/kWh for ground-source heat pumps and at least 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal.

An extension of the non-domestic RHI, which has been up and running since November 2011, the domestic scheme will cover new projects, schemes installed since 15 July 2009 and any installations currently being funded by the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) grant scheme.

“The RHI is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems, in order to save money on bills, cut carbon and meet renewables targets,” said Dan Thory from Fisher German.

“Renewable heat can be very cost effective, especially for those living off the gas grid, and therefore is of particular interest to farmers and those living in rural areas.”

Edward Holloway from Knight Frank’s renewable energy team welcomed the news, but warned that the scheme would require homeowners to have a Green Deal assessment and meet minimum loft (250mm) and cavity wall insulation targets.

Domestic RHI explained

• Available to homeowners, private and social landlords, third-party owners of heating systems and people who build their own homes

• Any renewable heat schemes installed since 15 July 2009 will be eligible for support

• Any installations today under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHHP) grant scheme, which runs until March 2014, will be eligible for domestic RHI support, with RHPP deducted from RHI support payments

• Eligible technologies – air-to-water heat pumps, biomass-only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers, ground- and water-source heat pumps, flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal pumps

• Support paid on a quarterly basis for seven years, with tariffs set at a level that reflects expected cost of renewable heat generation over 20 years. Payments will change annually in line with the retail price index

• An extra set payment of £230 a year will be paid where householders take out metering and monitoring support packages for heat pumps and £200 for biomass boilers

• Applicants are required to complete a Green Deal assessment before submitting their application and ensure they meet minimum loft (250mm) and cavity wall insulation requirements

• All installations and installers must be MCS certified

• Green Deal finance available to cover upfront costs of equipment

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Farmers to benefit from domestic RHI scheme