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With the Government closing applications for the Renewable Heat Incentive on March 31st 2022, if you are thinking of replacing your boiler with an Air Source Heat Pump now is the time to do it.

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a Government scheme that was introduced in 2011 to replace the Low Carbon Building Programme. Its aim is to encourage people to invest in renewable forms of heating, by paying them for the renewable heat they produce. The commercial segment of the Renewable Heat Incentive has been running since 2011, and the domestic part started three years later in 2014.

The renewable technologies that the RHI covers are biomass boilers, air to water heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, water source heat pumps, and solar thermal. If you have any of these renewable technologies installed, it is most likely that you are already registered for the RHI, however if you are not yet registered, we strongly recommend you apply to the scheme. The payments should help cover the initial install cost of the renewable technology that has been installed, and potentially cover any maintenance costs in the longer term.

When is the Renewable Heat Incentive being replaced? 

The Renewable Heat Incentive is set to last until 31st March 2022. Originally, the scheme was intended to finish in March 2021, however the Government chose to extend it by an additional year due to its popularity.

When the RHI scheme ends in March 2022, it will be replaced by the Clean Heat Grant – this scheme is due to start a month later, in April 2022.

At the moment, the Government are proposing to make the Clean Heat Grant available for just two years ending in March 2024, and the funding is limited to £100m. 

What is the Clean Heat Grant? 

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

The Government run scheme will provide grants of up to £4000 towards heat pump installations. It will cover ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, and water source heat pumps. The scheme suggests that the eligible heat pump installations must have a capacity of 45kW or less, which explains why this scheme is directed to smaller scale installations, leaving commercial building to fend for themselves. 

In recent consultations regarding the Clean Heat Grant, the Government have implied that the grant could support biomass installations as well, however only when absolutely necessary. This is mainly due to the Committee on Climate Change who state that heat pumps offer the greatest potential for heat decarbonisation. 

Our Thoughts

The Renewable Heat Incentive has been a great incentive with many of our customers due to receive up to 70% of the total install costs back over the 7 years.

We feel there is unlikely to be another incentive as good as this and if you have the chance and are in a position to go ahead with an installation now we would advise that you do !