Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for Solar Hot Water Systems

solar thermal panels eligible RHI

While the upfront costs of solar thermal hot water systems can be high (approx. £3,000 to £5,000 for a mid-size system), the RHI will provide an extra return on this investment.

This extra return can be added to the potential fuel savings you will gain by switching to a renewable fuel. This calculates how long it will take for the upfront cost of the new system to be matched by the money that you save. The RHI can significantly reduce this duration.

The domestic RHI scheme was established to target properties that are not supplied by mains gas as you can make the most savings from renewable heat systems. But you can still make savings if you switch from gas, and the RHI is available to all domestic homes.

flat plate solar eligible RHI

Am I eligible for RHI?

  • Your solar hot water system must be installed by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installer.
  • You must apply within 12 months of the commissioning date of your solar thermal hot water system.
  • Solar thermal hot water systems must be either evacuated tube or flat plate style.
  • You must have made some financial contribution to the solar hot water heating system. It cannot have been fully covered by a grant or other source of funding that you do not have to pay back.
  • Your property must have an Energy Performance Certificate that is less than 24 months old, and have the required loft and cavity wall insulation unless exemptions (for example if you live in a Conservation area) apply.

How much could I get from RHI?

  • The tariff for solar thermal hot water systems as provided by Ofgem is 20.06p per kWh of heat generated. This tariff is for applications submitted between 1 April 2017 and 30 June 2017.
  • Solar thermal hot water systems do not require metering, so your payments are always based on estimated heat production. Your MCS certified installer will estimate for you, and will take into account both the size of the system and its efficiency.
  • As an example, if your system produced 2,000 kWh of heat per year, at a tariff rate of 20.06p/kWh you would receive £401.20 per year or £100.30 per quarter.
  • These payments last for 7 years, so your total excluding any adjustments would be £2,808.40.
  • The tariff rates are subject to yearly adjustment in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Applications to the RHI are very quick and easy and can be done online via Ofgem’s website.