About the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) payment calculator

  1. About the Domestic RHI scheme
  2. About the Domestic RHI payment calculator
  3. Are Domestic RHI payment calculator estimates taken into account when applying for the scheme with Ofgem?
  4. How we calculate your potential Domestic RHI payments from your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  5. How we estimate your potential Domestic RHI payments by asking a few questions about your property
  6. The additional savings you could make on your energy bills
  7. What to do once you have received your estimate
  8. What is a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF)?
  9. What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
  10. What is a MCS Certificate?
  11. Already received support for your renewable heating system under another grant scheme?
  12. What is the Domestic RHU's optional Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP)?
  13. Why can I change the floor area assumed for my property?

1. About the Domestic RHI scheme

The Domestic RHI is a UK Government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions and could help you reduce your heating bills. If you join and comply with the scheme rules, you will receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat the system produces.

The scheme is open to anyone who can meet the joining requirements. It is for households both off and on mains gas.

Those households off mains gas have the greatest potential to save on fuel bills and decrease carbon emissions.

To find out more about the Domestic RHI in England, Wales and Scotland, or to make an application please visit the Ofgem webpages

The Domestic RHI applies to householders in England, Scotland and Wales only. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland administers a separate domestic RHI scheme. If you live in Northern Ireland further information on support for domestic renewable heat installations can be found at www.detini.gov.uk/articles/renewable-heat-incentive-rhi or by phoning 028 9052 9219 or emailing ni.rhi@detini.gov.uk. However, the scheme is currently suspended to new applicants.

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2. About the Domestic RHI payment calculator

This calculator has been developed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Scottish Government and the Energy Saving Trust.

This calculator has been developed to allow consumers and installers in England, Scotland and Wales to estimate Domestic RHI payments received if an eligible renewable heat technology is installed.

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3. Are Domestic RHI payment calculator estimates taken into account when applying for the scheme with Ofgem?

Although sponsored by Government, this calculator and the estimates it gives you has no bearing on Ofgem’s decisions regarding payments or other elements of eligibility to the Domestic RHI scheme. The calculator should just be seen as an indication, not a guarantee, of what someone’s payments might be.

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4. How we calculate your potential Domestic RHI payments from your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The starting point for applying to the scheme is that your renewable heating system is in a property that has a domestic EPC. An EPC is the proof Ofgem need that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘property’. Without this you cannot apply and won’t be able to join the scheme.

For most households, payments are based on an estimation of your renewable heating system’s annual heat use. For biomass we get this figure from your EPC. Likewise for a heat pump, although its efficiency (Seasonal Performance Factor) is factored in to calculate payments.

If you do not have an EPC at this stage, you can still get an estimate of your Domestic RHI payments by answering just a few questions. To start your journey click here

For air source and ground source heat pumps, when you apply to the Domestic RHI, Ofgem will use the efficiency figure from your MCS Certificate, calculated by your intstaller. An efficiency figure is not required for biomass systems.

For solar thermal we ask you additional questions about your property to estimate an annual hot water use figure. However, when you apply to the scheme this figure will be taken from your MCS certificate. An installer will calculate this for you based on your hot water demand and the system you install (for the purpose of this tool we’ve assumed that you don’t have this figure so are making an estimate.)

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5. How we estimate your potential Domestic RHI payments by asking a few questions about your property

If you do not have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) at this stage, you can still get an estimate of the Domestic RHI payments you could receive by answering a few questions about your property.

We use the information you give us to make some assumptions about your property and its annual energy use. We then calculate the potential RHI payments using this figure, as if it were taken from an EPC.

It is important to note that the annual heat use provided by this method is just an estimate and will not replace the information provided by an EPC. The estimated Domestic RHI payments provided by this calculator may not reflect the actual payments you might receive through the Domestic RHI scheme.

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6. The additional savings you could make on your energy bills

This calculator gives you an estimate of your Domestic RHI payments. However, you can also make savings on your fuel bills.

By installing a renewable heating technology you will be generating your own heat and/or hot water using a different source, which will mean you may not need to spend as much on heating as before.

For more information about additional savings you can make on your bills visit the Energy Saving Trust website:

If you live in England:
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/

If you live in Scotland:
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland

If you live in Wales:
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/wales/

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7. What to do once you have received your estimate

7.1. Research the technologies

Do some research to find out which technologies are most suitable for you and your property.

The Energy Saving Trust website has information about renewable heating technologies which can help you decide which systems are best for you.

If your property is in England or Wales then contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or energy-advice@est.org.uk. If your property is in Scotland then there is additional advice and support from the Scottish Government via the EST Scotland website and from Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 (free from landlines and most mobiles).

7.2. Find out if you need planning permission and a building warrant

When installing a renewable heating system you will ultimately be responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations (regardless of the need to apply for planning permission and/or building regulations approval or not).

The general advice is to always discuss your proposals with the relevant Local Planning Authority and Building Control Service before starting work.

Additionally, if you live in a rented property you will need to get permission from your landlord.

7.3. Find a certified installer

Renewable heating systems could be a great investment for your home, but they are not cheap to install and must be installed properly, so it's worth taking care to find a reputable and qualified installer. In order to be eligible for the Domestic RHI you must use an installer and system with current certification from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Solar water heating systems only can also be certified by Solar Keymark. To find a certified installer in your area search at the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) website.

If you live in Scotland you can also use the Renewables Installer Finder to find local installers and read reviews and ratings of installers left by householders https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/Generating-energy/Find-a-renewables-installer-in-your-area

7.4. Make an application

The Domestic RHI scheme is administered by Ofgem.

For details about eligibility and to apply for the Domestic RHI visit their website. The application process is straightforward, with many successful applications being accredited to the scheme automatically.

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8. What is a Seasonal Performance Factor?

The Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) is a measure of a heat pump’s efficiency based on the amount of useful heat a heat pump produces compared with the amount of electricity needed to run the system. For example, a heat pump with an SPF of 3.00 generates three kWhs (units) of heat for every one kWh (unit) of electricity it uses. The eligible heat for the purposes of RHI payment will be worked out using the following formula:

Eligible heat demand = Total heat demand x (1 - 1/SPF)

This means that if the heat pump has an SPF of 3.00, two-thirds of the heat output will be renewable and therefore eligible for RHI payments.

The SPF required for the RHI will be calculated by your installer as part of the installation. The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) allows installers to use two methods to establish SPFs, either using a Seasonal Co-efficient of Performance (SCOP) calculator or a Temperature Star Rating. Your installer will advise you on the appropriate method to use.

It is unlikely that you will know the SPF at this stage so we will assume a default SPF in order to estimate your potential RHI payments. You can also change the SPF should you have some information from your installer about your heat pump’s efficiency.

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9. What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). They let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be. The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. EPCs are needed whenever a property is built, sold, or rented and they last for 10 years.

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10. What is a MCS Certificate?

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an industry-led and internationally recognised quality assurance scheme.

A MCS Certificate is a document that your MCS certified installer will provide you on installation of your MCS certified renewable heating system. It proves that your installation is MCS certified. You will need to quote the MCS certificate number which is at the top of the certificate e.g. MCS 01234567-A, when applying for the RHI scheme.

To find a certified MCS installer in your area visit the MCS website

If you live in Scotland you can also use the Renewables Installer Finder to find local installers and read reviews and ratings of installers left by householders

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11. Already received support for your renewable heating system under another grant scheme?

If you have already received another grant in connection to your renewable heating system, you may still be eligible for the Domestic RHI, but your payments will be reduced by the amount you have already received. You need to be aware of this when using the calculator. To find out more, visit the Ofgem RHI pages

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12. What is the Domestic RHI’s optional Metering and Monitoring Service Package?

If you are thinking of installing a heat pump or biomass boiler that burns wood pellets (not biomass pellet stoves or any other biomass boilers) there is an optional Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP) that you can register for in the Domestic RHI. A MMSP works like a service contract and is a useful way of checking how well your heating system is performing. People who are successful in registering one get paid extra per year towards its costs. You can register for it whether or not your heating system needs to be metered for payments. It doesn't affect your joining or payment criteria.

More information about MMSPs can be found at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-renewable-heat-incentive/about-domestic-rhi/optional-monitoring-package-domestic-renewable-heat-incentive

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13. Why can I change the floor area assumed for my property?

If you don’t have an EPC, we use the information you give us to make some assumptions about your property and its annual energy use. In the case of floor area, this is taken from the number of bedrooms you have and the property type.

The size of your property will affect your annual energy use. It is possible you might already know the floor area of your property, in which case you can enter this figure on the results page to refine your estimated energy use and payment estimate.

It is important to note that the energy use figure provided is just an estimate and will not replace the information provided by an EPC. The estimated Domestic RHI payments provided by this calculator may not reflect the actual payments you might receive through the Domestic RHI scheme.