It pays to have a renewable heating system

Could you be eligible for the Green Homes Grant or the Renewable Heat Incentive?

Low carbon heating and hot water solutions are one of most impactful ways you can reduce your homes carbon emissions, with 31% of household emissions currently coming from central heating[₁], technologies such as heat pumps are one of the best ways to sustainably heat your home, lower your heating bills and reduce your carbon footprint. To further support the switch to renewables, there are two renewable incentives currently available in the UK;

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Green Homes Grant (GHG)


Both are available to homeowners and can work in conjunction with one another.

What is RHI?

The RHI is a government scheme developed to promote the use of renewable heating system technology to help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and meet the UK’s target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Qualifying for the scheme means homeowners can receive regular payment contributions over a seven-year period. Homeowners can also benefit from fuel savings, courtesy of highly efficient renewable heating systems such as Vaillant’s heat pump range. The RHI will close to new applications in March 2022.

How much could you earn?

How much you can earn over the seven-year period depends on the type of heating system and the property age and size. To calculate the RHI funding on offer, homeowners must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) less than two years old and as part of the installation the MCS accredited installer will conduct a MIS 3005 heat loss calculation. This is a room-by-room heat loss calculation taking into account the size of windows, the floor and ceiling type, how the walls are constructed and the type of doors in the property.

An EPC will also examine the status of other typical energy efficiency areas within the property, such as double glazing and loft and cavity wall installation which may help reduce the house’s overall energy consumption. To qualify for the RHI a minimum of 270mm loft insulation must be in place and any cavity wall construction must be internally insulated unless deemed exempt.

When do you receive the RHI payments?

Once the installation has been completed and commissioned by an MCS accredited installer, the installer will issue an MCS certificate and the homeowner can register the install online. Subject to eligibility the RHI payments will be paid every quarter for seven years.

Who is eligible?

All homeowners could be eligible for the RHI when retrofitting a heat pump, subject to the building having the appropriate measures and all relevant planning requirement being met. New build properties are not eligible unless they are self-build properties. To claim the RHI you must choose an MCS approved installer and the property must be in England, Scotland or Wales. All Vaillant Renewable installers are MCS accredited Find your installer here.

Making an RHI application

To make a claim for RHI payments based upon the installation of a renewable heating system, applicants will be required to provide the following information:

  • EPC reference number – located on the top right of the first page of the EPC document
  • The serial number of the heat meter fitted to the system if required – located on the calibration report for the heat meter
  • The serial number of the electrical meter – located on the meter
  • MCS installation certificate number – supplied by the installer Successful applications take approximately 30 minutes to complete. For more information go to:

So RHI is great if you have all the funds upfront for your install, however you could also be eligible for the Green Homes Grant (GHG)…

What is the GHG?

The GHG can be used to help homeowners and landlords in England improve their property’s energy efficiency, including upgrading the windows, insulation or upgrading to a low carbon heating system. The grant can be applied for before the install to help fund the installation or the product costs however, the installation must be completed by an MCS accredited and Trustmark registered installer. This scheme will close on 31st March 2022.

How much could you receive?

Vouchers can be claimed to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of upgrading the energy efficiency of their home up to a maximum contribution of £5,000. In some cases where a household receives certain benefits, the voucher may be able to cover 100% of the cost or up to a maximum of £10,000.

When do you receive the voucher?

Vouchers will be issued from early November 2020 and will be valid for three months or until 31st March 2022.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must live in England and own their own home or are a residential landlord in the private or social rented sector.

Making a GHG application

You will need to make your application via the Simple Energy Advice web site where you can check if you’re eligible for a voucher, check what improvements may be suitable for your home, choose which improvements you would like and see an estimate of how much they may cost.

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