Renewable Heat Incentive - Air Source Heat Pump Systems


Posted by Sam | 25th September 2014

Renewable Heat Incentive

We are frequently asked about Heat Pumps and the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Griffiths have provided a quick guide to help you understand the Government Scheme and how air source heat pumps attract funding.

What is a heat pump and how does it work?

Heat Pumps extract heat from the outside air or ground in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from the food inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15degC. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the air or ground is constantly being renewed naturally.

Heat from the air or ground is absorbed at low temperature into a refrigerant. This refrigerant then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased, and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the house.

You will still have to pay fuel bills with a heat pump because it is powered by electricity, but you will save on the fuel you are replacing. If the fuel you are replacing is expensive, such as oil, you will make a greater saving.

What is the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was designed to provide a kick-start for the installation of energy efficient heating products in the same way as the Feed-In-Tariff has done for electricity producing solar PV.

As always with government schemes certain criteria has to be met. RHI will apply to existing properties and single self-build new homes. The heat pump or solar thermal panels have to be MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) approved as does the installer. Griffiths were the first installers in Northamptonshire to be MCS registered for heat pumps back in 2008.

The installation property has to meet minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity wall insulation where possible. In addition, as the government tries to have all domestic properties assessed for energy saving improvements, a EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will also be required.

For qualifying installations, payments will be made quarterly over 7 years and could amount to several thousand pounds depending on the size of system and type of property..

I'm interested, so what do i do next?

Initially you can look on the home page of our website ( where a guide simply explains the RHI. You can also visit the 'contact us' page and send us an enquiry.

Next, you could call into our Energy Efficiency Centre showroom at 111 High Street in Burton Latimer where working examples of heat pumps can be viewed. Helpful staff will answer any questions and arrange for our surveyor to visit your home to gather the information we will need to prepare a quotation.