What does the RHI mean for specific technologies?

Solar Thermal Systems use solar panels, called collectors, usually fitted to a roof.  Unlike biomass and heat pumps, solar thermal panels usually only heat water and don’t provide room heating. 
 
The panels collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
 
There are two types of solar thermal panels that are eligible for the RHI, both which can be fixed on to roof tiles or integrated into the roof:

  • Evacuated tubes

  • Flat plate collectors

For more information about Solar Thermal and the RHI read our Solar Thermal fact sheet.
 
Biomass heating systems burn fuel such as wood pellets, chips or logs to provide central heating and hot water in a home.

Subject to the air quality and fuel sustainability, the eligible types of biomass technologies are:

  • Biomass only boilers (covering all solid biomass, including logs and chips

  • Biomass pellet stoves with back boilers

Condensing biomass boilers will not initially be eligible for the domestic RHI.  However, this may change following the outcome of current tests by Defra.
 
For more information about Biomass and the RHI read our Biomass fact sheet.
 
Heat Pumps transfer heat from the outside environment to the inside of a house.  There are two different types that are eligible for the domestic RHI:
 

  • Ground source heat pumps - extract heat from the ground or water and are usually placed in an outbuilding or utility area.  Typically they are the size of a fridge freezer.  This heat can then be used to provide space heating and/or hot water in a home

  • Air source heat pumps - absorb heat from the outside air.  They are similar in appearance to air-conditioning units and are fitted to the outside of a building.  The heat can then be used to provide space heating and/or hot water in a home

Only heat pumps that run on electricity will be eligible.  

For more information on Heat Pumps and the RHI read our Heat Pumps fact sheet.