Renewable Heat Incentive Helps Businesses

mcdermott renewables

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) helps businesses, the public sector and non-profit organisations meet the cost of installing renewable heat technologies.

The types of heating covered by the scheme are:

  • biomass
  • heat pumps (ground source and water source)
  • geothermal
  • solar thermal collectors
  • biomethane and biogas

What you'll get

Payments are spread over 20 years. You’ll receive a payment every 3 months.

How much you get depends on:

  • the type of technology you install
  • how much energy the installation can produce (its capacity)
  • how much energy you actually use


You get a certain amount per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Small and medium-scale biomass tariffs have 2 payment rates called ‘tiers’. You’ll be paid at the tier 1 rate up to a certain limit. If you use more energy than that, the rest of the energy is paid at the tier 2 rate.


You install a biomass boiler with a capacity of 199kWth. Because of the capacity, it’s on the ‘Small Biomass’ tariff. You use the boiler at full capacity for 2000 hours in 1 year.

You’ll be paid:

  • 8.3p per kWh (the tier 1 rate) for the first 1,314 hours
  • 2.1p per kWh (the tier 2 rate) for the other 686 hours


To be eligible for the scheme:

  • your equipment must be installed in England, Scotland or Wales on or after 15 July 2009
  • you can’t use a public grant to buy or install the equipment
  • the equipment you install must be new and of a certain size or ‘capacity
  • the equipment and installer must have Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or equivalent certification (if available for your type of installation)
  • your equipment must use liquid or steam to deliver the heat
  • your equipment must be used to heat a space or water - or for carrying out a process where the heat is used within a building
  • you can’t use the equipment to heat a single home (though a combination of homes sharing a heating installation might be eligible - eg a block of flats)

Heating type

You can use:

  • solid biomass - including solid biomass contained in municipal solid waste
  • ground-source or water-source heat pumps
  • deep geothermal
  • solar thermal collectors
  • biomethane injection and biogas combustion (except from landfill gas)

Extra rules

There are some extra rules for certain heating types:

  • biomass boilers must only be able to burn biomass
  • ground- and water-source heat pumps must have a ‘coefficient of performance’ (COP) at least 2.9
  • solar hot water systems - water heating panels must be ‘flat plate’ or ‘evacuated tube’