Air Source Heat Pumps and the Renewable Heat Incentive

Air source heat pumps are one of the UK’s most popular renewable technologies and work by taking a natural heat from the air and transferring to the home where it’s used for space and hot water heating. Air source heat pumps can save you hundreds on your energy bills and generate you an income with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Read on to find out about the RHI and how much you could earn through the scheme.

The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Government scheme that encourages homeowners and businesses to install renewable heat technologies through financial incentives.

The scheme works in a similar way to solar panels’ feed-in tariff, paying for every unit of renewable heat you generate. The RHI will pay you for all the energy you generate, whether you use it or not.

The RHI will pay you quarterly for 7 years from your registration. With the scheme you’ll get 7.63p/kWh, and you could earn up to £837 per year. This gives you a fantastic return on your investment on an air source heat pump.

Changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive

Before the general election in June 2017, the government consulted on proposed changes to the domestic RHI scheme. But because the election was called, the regulations couldn’t be re-laid and come into force before, as Parliament was dissolved.

The proposed changes include the tariff going up to 10.18p/kWh, but this will be considered by the new government before anything comes into effect. We will keep this page updated so you’ll know exactly what is going on, but don’t hold back from installing an air source heat pump now. The scheme uses a degression system designed to manage the budget for the RHI, so if lots of people install a heat pump at the current rate you could end up getting a lower rate when you install your system. You have until 30th September to lock in the current rate.

How to apply for RHI

You can apply for RHI through the Ofgem website. If you have all the relevant information to hand when you apply, you should get an immediate decision. This is unless your application needs a manual review, which you can check on the Ofgem website here.

To apply for RHI, you will need your:

  • MCS installation certificate number for the heat pump
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) number
  • Bank details

You can also get the RHI for ground source heat pumps, biomass heat and solar thermal panels. If you haven’t decided which renewable heat source to install yet, take a look at our guides.