Who is eligible for the RHI?
The owner of an eligible technology installation as long as:

  1. the applicant is the owner of the installation
  2. the installation is of an eligible technology type and size (see table below)
  3. installation of the plant was completed and first commissioned on or after 15 July 2009
  4. the heat must be used for space, water or process heating
  5. the heat must be used in a building
  6. the installation has not received, and will not receive, a grant from public funds
  7. the plant must be new at the time of installation
  8. the heating system must use a liquid or steam to deliver heat
  9. the installation does not serve a single domestic premise
  10. for installations 45kWth or less the equipment and installer must be certified under the MCS

Other eligibility info (click the ‘+’ for more details);

Only heat that is used for eligible purposes can be claimed for
The heat must be used for space, water or process heating. If the some heat is wasted or used for an ineligible purpose then Ofgem will need you to ensure that the ineligible heat is metered separately to the eligible heat.

The Renewable Heat Incentive has built in protection to ensure that only heat that is produced for useful purposes is paid for. It would not be possible for Ofgem to list every single ineligible use for heat. Instead, they have given the following criteria for eligible uses of heat:

  • This heat load should be an existing or new heating requirement i.e. not created artificially, purely to claim the RHI; and…
  • The heat must be supplied to meet an economically justifiable heating requirement i.e. a heat load that would otherwise be met by an alternative form of heating e.g. a gas boiler.
  • Acceptable heat uses are space, water and process heating where the heat is used in fully enclosed structures e.g. not open air swimming pools etc.

And the following ineligible uses of heat:

  • Any heat that is used for electricity generation
  • Heat that has already been paid for under the scheme

The owner of the installation will receive the RHI payments
Part of the RHI application requires you to declare the legal owner of the installation. This is the person that will receive the RHI payments. This makes it tricky (but not impossible) for a tenant to pay for an installation with the assurance of receiving the RHI.

The installation must be an eligible technology and size
The technologies that are eligible include:

  • Ground and water source heat pumps
  • Biomass boilers
  • Biogas combustion (but only up to 200kWth)
  • Deep Geothermal
  • Energy from biomass proportion of Municipal Solid Waste
  • Solar Thermal (but only up to 200kWth)

The government have signaled their intention to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive in 2013 to cover the following technologies:

  • air source heat pumps
  • hot air heating
  • bio liquids
  • landfill gas

You can read more about the governments intentions on DECC’s website.

The renewable plant must be new and have been installed after 15th July 2009
The government have made clear that their reason for introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive is to increase the number of new installations of renewable technologies in the UK. With this in mind they have decided that systems commissioned before 15th July are not eligible for the RHI. However, the scheme permits the replacement of the existing main plant with a new one

The installation must be situated in England, Scotland or Wales
Northern Ireland is not covered by the Renewable Heat Incentive. However, Northern Ireland have developed their own scheme which is very similar. You can find all the info you need at this link.