The Renewable Heat Incentive: Why Solar Panels Aren’t The Only Option…

With government changes to the Feed-in Tariff affecting the amount that homeowners can earn with solar panels, now’s a good time to reassess a lesser known subsidy.

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The renewable heat incentive is a government scheme which pays those who install eligible renewable heating technology. It was originally designed with large, difficult to heat buildings in mind, such as schools and hospitals, but has since been extended to homeowners. If you have an eligible piece of heating technology installed, then you could qualify for payments. A typical payment for a small terrace home with a ground source heat pump is £7,700 over seven years according to the DECC website.

Which technologies can I claim the Renewable Heat Incentive on?

Here at Complete Renewables, we have three main products which benefit from the renewable heat incentive. These are:

  1. Ground source heat pumps (typical payment £7,700)
  2. Air source heat pumps (typical payment £2,660)
  3. Solar thermal panels (typical payment £1,330)

In addition, those with biomass boilers are also eligible. These technologies are considered ‘renewable’ because they can heat your home without the use of finite fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

How do these technologies work?

We are experienced fitters and installers of ground source heat pumps in Essex, so we have a deep understanding of how these technologies can improve the comfort of your home and save you money.

Ground source heat pumps work by extracting heat from the ground and then circulating that heat around your home. They work best when you are able to dig deep trenches for the pipes. You might be surprised to learn that the ground is quite warm, even in winter, so that when the heating fluids are piped through a compressor to raise the temperatures you will not need an additional heating source for your home.

Air source heat pumps work in the same way, but, as the name suggests, they extract heat from the air rather than the ground. Think of a fridge or an air conditioning unit working in reverse and you are not so far off! Air source heat pumps are cheaper and easier to install than ground source heat pumps.

As trusted local solar panel trade suppliers in Essex, we get a lot of requests for solar thermal panel installations too. While the typical PV solar panel converts sunlight into electricity, a solar thermal panel, or solar water heating system, uses the sun’s energy to heat your water supply. They work by collecting the sun’s heat and using this heat to warm up the water stored in a cylinder. Though a solar thermal panel can easily meet a whole family’s hot water needs, you can keep your boiler as a backup if you want.

How long will the Renewable Heat Incentive payments last?

The RHI is a binding agreement between you and the government. This means that if you do your part by installing renewable heating technology in your home, the government guarantees that it will pay you at the agreed rate for at least the next seven years. But the government’s current RHI subsidy is up for review in March 2016, and the rumours are that the payments will be reduced. If you are considering getting thermal solar panels or a heat pump installed, then you should act now to make sure that you qualify for the current rate of payment.

If you need a solar panel supplier in Essex, look no further than Complete Renewables. Our experienced and reputable engineers can help you understand renewable heat technologies and give you an accurate estimate of what you can expect to earn through the renewable heat incentive.