Commercial landlords and developers and the RHI

Since the introduction of the Non-domestic Renewable Heat incentive (RHI) commercial properties are eligible for payments from the Government for every unit of heat delivered from renewable technologies.

Many landlords and developers are unaware of the opportunity according to Julian Sowerbutts of the Renewable Design Company “Landlords can benefit from installing renewables in their commercial properties, the RHI represents an additional income stream that is guaranteed and index linked for a period of 20 years, this should be an integral part of their plans for 2013”

To be eligible for payments a landlord or developer need to be the freeholder of the building or have the permission of the freeholder to install a renewable heating system. Eligible systems include ground source and water source heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal panels, all of which provide heating and hot water for the end user at considerably less than fossil fueled systems. The renewable technologies can be retro-fitted alongside existing heating systems, added as part of a refurbishment or included as part of a new-build project. Once installed the heating is then metered and payments are based on how much heat is used, and these payments can be substantial.

As Mr Sowerbutts explained “the business model for landlords and developers is for them to install the systems but retain the RHI payments themselves, the tenant then benefits from the reduced heating costs. As long as the heating system is operating the landlord will receive the payments for 20 years, paying back their investment with an ongoing income stream”

The benefits can be significant, not only do the reduced heating bills attract tenants providing a marketing opportunity, but the systems tick the green box by reducing the carbon emissions for the building as well as providing an income. Maintenance and servicing is down to the tenant, as with any other landlord/tenant arrangement.

“Whilst the tariff levels are so generous landlords and developers should be getting involved instead of missing out, these opportunities do not come along very often. We offer a free consultation service to landlords and developers interested in taking advantage of this initiative” Julian Sowerbutts can be contacted at The Renewable Design Company, see details below.


Tel: 01242 698410 or 07780 705260