rhi and air source heat pumps

Heat pumps are not a brand new technology, the same as RHI, but only around 14 percent of respondents are aware of both. Additional 10% know about the incentive but aren’t sure about its details and how it works. Another 8% consider that they fully know what it is and what benefits does it bring but did not use the advantage yet. Another 4% applied for the RHI.

Totally, these respondents make 35% of people that were asked. It means that air source heat pump RHI is known to roughly every third. What is it? Maybe people are right not knowing about it? Let’s try to figure out.


What is the renewable heat incentive anyway?


RHI is a Renewable Heat Incentive program that has been launched by the UK’s government to:

  • lower the carbon pollution of the environment as a general goal
  • stimulate users in the UK to use the ‘green’ technologies to pursue that goal.


To do that, the government had introduced quarterly payment during 7 years to everyone who will shift from the old heating system to a new one, and will pick one of these as the aim:


  • heat pumps (but only these two are qualified for RHI: ground source and air source)
  • biomass-only boilers
  • solar panels that are used exclusively to heat up the water.


The main idea of saving the environment with these technologies is that they do not generate heat – they collect it from the outer environment to operate. That makes them carbon pollution-free and saving the planet.


RHI commercial heat pumps


Now, there are three types of heat pumps that are good for RHI scheme:

  • geothermal
  • water
  • air.


If you want to select now what type of it to install, you’d better take a look at this picture below to understand how much you will get compensated by the government for every generated kWh.

As you can see, from the heat pumps, only ground-source ones are highly efficient. But what does it actually mean?

We are disclosing below some financial data to underscore the advantages of dealing with the replacement of heat pumps. During 7 years, you will have money paid by you by the government every quarter for the use of the technology you have selected. Ground source heat pump is the most expensive one in the installation and so the amount paid is highest amongst the heat pumps. Compared to an air pump, it is 2.9 times more gainful for you and 2.6 times more lucrative than a biomass-only boiler.

Okay, you ask, now you are convinced that RHI and air source heat pumps are a good thing. So how to get this money?

Well, first, you have to apply for the RHI scheme. To do that, you have to provide several documents, such as the receipt for the installation of a heat pump system, the technical specification of it, installation and performance certificate numbers, and your bank details.

It must be done via the official site, filling up the form of the Application Support Center. If for some reason, you can’t apply online, call them – you may find the phone on the Domestic RHI site.

To make it even easier for you to calculate and be more specific in your case, the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy of the UK has developed an online calculator in which asks you a set of questions to define your particular specificity and to make an approximation of how much will you earn. Indicating parameters of your house, its insulation, heated meters, the residential area, the technology you are now using and from which you’ll going to switch and other issues, you will get the pretty tuned result, close to what you’ll have when really applying.

You also have to consider that the calculations made by the government when defining the payback amount are based on the rated amount, mathematical approximation, not your real numbers. In some cases, though, you will have to make real measurements to correct the paid money.


The annual corrections

Just to make you aware, there is a procedure of annual correction of payback amounts. And they are based on the annual inflation index that is calculated from the retail prices. But they are applicable only to new members joining the RHI program. For everyone who uses it already, the payments stay the same during the entire period.

For more information about RHI and heat pumps , address the pages of our site to find out details.


All figures and numbers are approximate and stated for information only. Figures for your property may vary. Subject to survey.

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