Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

What is Domestic RHI?

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, otherwise known as the Domestic RHI scheme, is a government financial incentive scheme set up to encourage the installation and usage of renewable heating technologies in existing homes. Launched in Spring 2014, the scheme enables those using renewable heating systems to receive quarterly payments at a set rate (kilowatt hour, kWh) per unit of clean, green renewable heat their system produces.

Who is the Domestic RHI scheme for?

The Domestic RHI scheme covers single domestic properties and is open to home owners, private landlords, registered providers of social housing, third party owners of heating systems and self-builders. It is available to households both off and off of the gas grid. For non-domestic properties such as those that are the premises for businesses, schools and hospitals etc. there is a separate scheme called the Non-Domestic RHI.

At William Smith Heating, we offer a comprehensive range of heating systems that are eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme. These include air source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal technology.

Domestic RHI payment tariffs

Please follow this link for the latest tariffs:

Once you have joined the domestic RHI, you'll remain on the same tariff rate.

Why take part in the scheme?

Taking part in the Domestic RHI scheme will enable you to help the environment and save yourself money at the same time. The scheme is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems which use renewable energies in place of fossil fuels will help the UK reduce its carbon emissions. As fossil fuels are finite resources that are steadily increasing in price year on year, you will also save on the cost of these. In addition to this, you will also be paid for the hot water and heat that you generate and use yourself. This payment level varies depending on the type of technology you install in your property. The Domestic RHI scheme is ideal for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and CO2 emissions through sustainable technology. Additional incentives are also available for those wishing to install metering and monitoring packages.

Which technologies are eligible for the domestic RHI?

Air source heat pumps (ASHP)

Utilising the free renewable heat taken from the air, air source heat pumps can be installed internally or externally. The more efficient the heat pump, the more renewable heat will be produced. Initially the domestic RHI only covers ASHP that heat water – i.e. air to water.


  • Lower fuel bills and carbon emissions
  • Ideal for properties with limited space
  • No need for fuel deliveries
  • Provides heating and hot water
  • Requires little maintenance


  • Lower efficiencies than ground source heat pumps
  • Delivers lower temperatures than traditional boiler, but for much longer periods
  • May need to be on constantly throughout the winter
  • Only suitable for well insulated homes

Biomass boilers and wood pellet stoves

You can install either a biomass-only boiler, fuelled by wood pellet, wood chip or logs, or a biomass pellet stove with a back burner (this includes boiler stoves). Ideal for properties with their own wood supply or for those with good access to replenish the wood fuel.


  • Lower fuel bills and carbon emissions
  • Wood fuel is cheaper than gas or oil
  • Use your own wood supply
  • Available with logs, pellets or chips
  • Potential fuel savings of £100 per year if replacing a gas boiler, or £580 per year if replacing electric


  • Property requires access for wood fuel deliveries
  • Wood fuel prices may vary

Ground and water source heat pumps (GSHP)

The renewable heat is taken from the ground or water and is suitable for properties with access to open or large gardens, or additional land. Installations can be completed via a borehole method – where a small hole is drilled into the earth to pick up geothermal heat – or the ground loop method – where ground loop pipes are buried in channels up and down the garden / land.


  • Lower fuel bills and carbon emissions
  • Higher efficiencies than air source heat pumps
  • Doesn’t require fuel deliveries
  • Provides heating and hot water
  • Requires little maintenance


  • Requires ample land or suitability for boreholes
  • Delivers lower temperatures than a traditional boiler, but for much longer periods
  • May need to be on consistently throughout the winter
  • Requires boreholes or trenches to be dug
  • Only suitable for well insulated homes

Solar thermal (hot water)

Using free energy from the sun to provide hot water, solar thermal flat plate panels or evacuated tubes, work all year round to reduce your energy bills and CO2 emissions. A boiler or immersion heater will be needed to top up the water temperature during winter months. You'll need around 3-5 square metres of roof space which faces east to west through south and receives direct sunlight for the main part of the day. The panels don't have to be mounted on a roof: they can be fixed to a frame on a flat roof or hung on a wall.


  • Lowers fuel bills and carbon emissions
  • Provides hot water all year round
  • Can be installed on a roof or hung on a wall
  • A choice of flat plate collectors or evacuates tubes
  • Solar energy is completely free


  • Requires suitable roof orientation
  • Domestic RHI payments are only made when using solar thermal for domestic hot water (DHW), not when using for central heating contribution