The U.K. government yesterday launched its Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (d-RHI), which pays households that generate heat and hot water using renewable energy systems such as solar hot water, geothermal heat pumps and biomass heating.

In order to get the most out of these heating systems, properties should be energy efficient. Therefore, customers must undergo a Green Deal Assessment to ensure proper insulation, etc. before they can take advantage of the incentive program. Tariffs for each technology are as follows:

Payments will be made to homeowners quarterly over seven years, according to Bloomberg.

UK Ren heat incentive tariffs
UK Ren heat incentive tariffs

“This is the first scheme anywhere of its kind in the world,” U.K. Energy Minister Greg Barker said. “Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, they will reduce their carbon emissions, and will also get cash payments for installing these new technologies.”

The domestic RHI will support air-to-water heat pumps, ground and water source heat pumps, biomass-only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers, and flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels. Tariff levels have been set at 7.3 pence (€0.08)/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2 pence (€0.14)/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8 pence (€0.22)/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 pence (€0.22)/kWh for solar thermal — although DECC noted that the solar thermal tariff may end up being higher. The final tariff will be announced in the autumn, it said.

Payments will be made on a quarterly basis for seven years. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says the tariffs have been set at a level that reflects the expected cost of renewable heat generation over 20 years. In most cases, it says, payments will be made based on the estimated heat demand of each property. DECC will offer an extra set payment of £230 (€266) per year where consumers take out metering and monitoring support packages for heat pumps, and £200 (€231.54) for biomass boilers.

Homeowners can also get help with the up-front costs of renewable heating under the Green Deal, which allows people to pay for energy efficiency improvements including renewable heating systems through savings on their energy bills. Money-off vouchers are also available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme.