The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

The domestic Renewable Heating Incentive (dRHI) for England, Wales and Scotland has been launched on 9 April 2014. During 2016 the UK government consulted to remove solar thermal from this schemes, but this proposal was rejected just before 2017. The tariff rate for solar thermal remained steady during 2017 with only minor adjustments for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and is at 0.1044 Pound Sterling (GBP) per kWh payable for 20 years at the end of 2017. The recipient of the subsidy is the owner of the heating system.

Northern Ireland has a different Renewable Heat Incentive which remains suspended since 29 February 2016.
This table was set up by Chris Laughton, Founder and Managing Director of The Solar Design Company in Great Britain.

Country / region

England, Wales and Scotland

Name of programme

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (dRHI)

Type of incentive

Payment to the end-user every ¼ year related to the quantity of energy

Eligible technologies

  • Solar thermal flat plate and evacuated tube collectors for domestic hot water (DHW) only
  • Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves for space heating only or with DHW
  • Air source heat pumps for space heating only or with DHW
  • Ground source heat pumps for space heating only or with DHW

Applicable sectors

Homes that have a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property less than 24 months old at the date of application.

Whoever owns the heating system or occupies the building as:

  • Owner-occupiers
  • Private landlords
  • Registered providers of social housing
  • Self-builders


Different rates are paid according to technology and size. For solar thermal the initial rate during 2017 was 0.2006 Pound Sterling (GBP) per kWh payable for 7 years. Applicants who are already part of the scheme will receive their existing tariff adjusted annually by reference to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The rates for new applicants will be affected by degression in response to demand.

Maximum incentive

For one solar thermal systems with six or less people. One additional technology with solar thermal is possible. Solar thermal system payments will be calculated using the estimated annual generation figure calculated by the MCS installer on the MCS certificate.

Requirements for system

  • The solar thermal system must use liquid or steam to deliver the heat (i.e. no direct air heating).
  • The heat generated must be used in a building for heating DHW.

System to have thermal limit of 45kW for a single renewable heating product. Products may be combined in capacity of not more than 70 kW to meet larger heat demands.

Requirements for installation

  • Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
  • If EPC recommends loft and cavity wall insulation, this must be first fitted
  • Solar thermal collector to be certified from Solar Keymark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and categorised as flat plate or evacuated tube collectors.

Finance provider

Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) former Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

Total funds

Originally GBP 860 million (for all technologies – domestic and non-domestic). Subject to Parliamentary approval, the second stage of regulation amendments are planned to follow later in 2017/2018 intended to extend the RHI’s budget management mechanism until the end of 2020/21

Funding source

Public budget

Effective date

April 2014, some installations back-dated to 15 July 2009 were eligible

Expiration date

No closure date, but tariffs are regularly reviewed.


Last review of this tabloid

November 2017


Apply online or enquiries via:
Energy Saving Advice Service
Phone: 0044 / 300 123 1234


Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of