The renewable heat incentive (RHI) was a UK government scheme/grant that was introduced in 2011 in order to encourage the use of renewable heat sources and technologies.

The idea behind it was to provide an extra incentive for people who wanted to reduce their carbon footprint by using more environmentally friendly heating methods, as well as providing cheaper electricity bills.

Unfortunately, the scheme closed on March 2022, meaning that people who have recently moved or been approved for the scheme/subsidy can no longer apply.


About the Scheme

What is a renewable heat incentive?

While it was running, the RHI gave participants a certain amount of funding based on the renewable technology they had installed, as well as how much heat they were producing and using.

Some of the most common types of technologies included solar panels/thermal, biomass boilers, air-source, and ground source heat pumps.

Despite the funding being quite generous, it’s unclear whether or not the scheme was successful overall.

While some people reported cheaper electricity bills after installing a renewable heating system, others said that they were still spending just as much on their energy bills as before the change.

The program, which was available to all-electric and gas-powered households that had implemented a renewable heating technology and met the requirements, allowed people to join without cost.

People who enrolled in the scheme and followed the conditions were eligible for quarterly payments over seven years based on how much clean, green, renewable heat their systems are anticipated to generate.

Types of Heating

You could claim for:

  • Biomass boilers.
  • Solar water heating.
  • Certain heat pumps.


You could apply if you lived in England, Scotland or Wales. You either had to:

  • Own your home.
  • Be a private or social landlord.

New build properties will not normally be eligible. The only exception is if you’re building your own home.

Renewable Heat Incentive Calculator

The scheme is now closed, so the RHI calculator is now defunct, but the link for the government calculator can be found here.

Renewable Heat Incentive Scandal

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was a government program that was founded to encourage businesses in Northern Ireland to convert from fossil fuels to renewable resources. However, the scheme’s setup and administration posed significant concerns about its potential cost overruns, with the possibility of a £700m overrun over 20 years.

The scheme was shut down in 2016 amid controversy after it was revealed that many businesses had abused the program and were submitting false claims for subsidies.

This created significant outrage from politicians, who argued that this scandal could have been avoided if more careful monitoring had been implemented during the program’s setup phase.

Despite these concerns, a number of public officials in Northern Ireland continue to argue that the RHI program was a success and that it has had a positive impact on the region’s economy. However, many are called for an investigation into this scandal, arguing that more should be done to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Renewable Heat Incentive Replacement

What is the Clean Heat Grant? 

The Clean Heat Grant is being directed toward households and small non–domestic buildings across the UK. It will help with the upfront installation cost of heat pumps that provide space heating and hot water. The big advantage of the Clean Heat Grant over the RHI is that it is simpler – doing away with the RHI’s heat demand-based system.

The government-sponsored program will offer subsidies of up to £4000 for heat pump installations. Ground source heat pumps, air-source heat pumps, and water source heat pumps are all eligible.

The initiative is limited to small-scale projects since the qualifying heat pump installations must have a capacity of 45kW or less, explaining why this scheme is aimed at households and small businesses.

The government has previously indicated that the award may aid biomass installations “only when absolutely required,” implying that it might support biomass. This is due to the Committee on Climate Change, which claims that heat pumps have the greatest potential for heat decarbonization.

Are You Eligible To Get The Clean Heat Grant?

The Clean Heat Grant is a government initiative that rewards people for installing renewable energy systems on their homes or businesses.

The following are some of the requirements that the candidate must fulfill in order to be eligible for the Clean Heat Grant.

They are listed below:

  1. You must have a valid EPC for the property in question. This implies that the EPC should be one that was generated within the last ten years. To see whether your property has a valid EPC, go to the Government’s website and use the EPC register accessible to everyone.
  2. There must be no recommendation for loft insulation or cavity wall insulation on the valid EPC. In some situations, this restriction will be waived. If your home is a listed building, for example. The authorities have also proposed that the insulation exemptions will be identical to those on the domestic RHI scheme right now.
  3. The application procedure for the RHI voucher will be slightly different from that of a domestic RHI. All applicants will require an installation assessment from at least one contractor, as well as a quotation. This is only for administrative purposes since it will cut down on speculative applications and help to streamline administration at the first stage.


Is the Renewable Heat Incentive still available?

Unfortunately, not. The scheme ended in March 2022, although some replacement schemes may be available in the future. There are various RHI programs available for businesses, the government sector, and non-profit organizations.

What is replacing the Renewable Heat Incentive?

When the RHI scheme ended in March 2022, it was replaced by the Clean Heat Grant. The grant is a government initiative that offers subsidies of up to £4000 for heat pump installations. Ground source heat pumps, air-source heat pumps, and water source heat pumps are all eligible.

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