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The Department for Energy and Climate Change have announced details of its ‘Pay as you generate’ scheme for domestic renewable heat technologies, known as the Renewable Heat Incentive. Under the scheme, householders installing a flatplate or evacuated solar thermal system, biomass only boiler, pellet biomass stove with back plate boiler, air to water heat pump, water or ground source pump can receive quarterly payments for seven years for generating heat using these technologies. Anyone that installs a system after the 15th July 2009 is eligible for the scheme. The rate paid depends on which system you install:

Biomass boiler: 12.2p/kWh

Ground Source Heat Pump: 18.8p/kWh

Air to Water Heat Pump: 7.3p/kWh

Solar thermal: At least 19.2p/kWh (Further increases may be confirmed in Autumn)

The payment amounts are currently dictated by the determined heat demand of your house rather than by how much heat your system generates – this is because some systems are installed without the capacity to measure and record how much heat is being produced. Applicants can opt for a monitoring package that will do this, and to incentivise uptake the government are offering an additional £230 a year for heat pump installations and £200 for biomass boilers.

Can I install the system myself?

Sadly currently unless you’re an MCS qualified installer you won’t qualify for the scheme if you install it yourself – though, to be honest, it’s probably safer this way too. You can find a qualified installer in your area in our Find A Tradesman section of our website.

All Renewable Heat Incentive applicants must meet some additional criteria

As mentioned above, both your renewable heat installer and the installation itself will need to be MCS certified or qualify for an equivalent scheme. Anyone applying to the scheme will also need to have a Green Deal Assessment carried out on their home – more information about this is available in our Green Living section here.


DECC is set to release details of how to apply for the scheme very soon – in the meantime, any questions about the scheme should be directed to the Energy Saving Advice Line on 0300 123 1234.

You can find out more about these renewable heat technologies in our Green Living section – it’s packed full of handy information on all things energy saving.

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