Renewable Heat Incentive

  • Government scheme administered by Ofgem
  • Encouraged renewable heat technologies
  • Allowed householders to be paid for the renewable heat they generated
  • 7-year grants could be worth £1,000+ / year 
  • Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps
  • Solar Thermal Installations

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive was a government scheme that offered grants to encourage the take-up of renewable heating systems. The scheme went live on April 9th, 2014, replacing the Renewable Heat Premium Payment which closed on March 31st, 2014.

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (DRHI) closed to new applicants on 31 March 2022. However, for those already signed up, it will continue to operate for the duration of the seven-year term.

For all installations commencing on or after 1 April 2022, the DRHI has been replaced by the BUS boiler upgrade scheme, which offers up to £6,000 as an incentive for ground-source heat pumps, or £5,000 for air-source heat pumps, to homeowners who have first met the home insulation recommendations in an EPC report. Applications will open on 23 May 2022. Eligibility requirements are similar to those for the DRHI, as detailed below; see the government’s BUS eligibility advice page.

You could apply to join the DRHI scheme if you installed an eligible renewable heating system in a qualifying domestic property that you owned or occupied, albeit the scheme was retrofit-orientated and an installation in a new build property would normally only qualify if it was a ‘self build’.

Eligible systems included Ground Source Heat Pumps, Air-to-Water Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal Panels. However, specific technical requirements also applied, as did further restrictions on how the technologies could be used. All installations had to be MCS-certified or equivalent.

To apply to the scheme, you first had to have obtained an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property in the 24 months prior to your application date. If the certificate recommended loft and / or cavity wall insulation, this normally also needed to be installed for you to qualify for the scheme.

Successful applicants who stuck to the scheme’s rules received a grant in the form of a series of payments based on the renewable heat deemed to be produced by their installation and a tariff/kWh dependent on the technology installed. Payments were to be received quarterly for a 7-year period from the date of grant. The tariff / kWh was fixed at the outset, but stood to  be revised each year in line with inflation.

The Energy Savings Trust estimated that these payments could be worth in excess of £1,000 per year in the case of an Air-to-Water Heat Pump being installed in an average detached 4 bedroom home and in excess of £2,500 in the case of a Ground Source Heat Pump. Find out more about these figures.

Technology Indicative current tariff / kWh
Air-to-Water Heat Pump 7.51p / kWh deemed renewable heat
Ground Source Heat Pump 19.33p / kWh deemed renewable heat
Solar Thermal Panel 19.51p / kWh deemed renewable heat

Learn more about the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

[Last updated: April 2022]