FIT and RHI schemes

Feed In Tariff (FIT)

If you install an electricity-generating technology from a renewable or low-carbon source such as solar PV or wind turbine, the government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme (FIT) could mean you get money from your energy supplier.

You can be paid for the electricity you generate, even if you use it yourself, and for any surplus electricity you export to the grid. And of course you’ll also save money on your electricity bill, because you’ll be using your own electricity.

Most domestic technologies (and larger systems up to 5 megawatts) qualify for the scheme, including:

  • solar electricity (PV) (roof mounted or stand alone)
  • wind turbines (building mounted or free standing)
  • hydroelectricity
  • anaerobic digesters
  • micro combined heat and power (CHP).

It is energy suppliers that will pay you the FITs payments with the ‘big six’ energy suppliers required by law to provide these payments. Some smaller electricity suppliers may not offer FITs payments as it is not compulsory for them though many have opted to offer the payments.

The tariffs available and the process for getting them depend on when the technology was installed, and whether the system and the installer were certificated under the Microgeneration Certification scheme.

How FITs work

If you are eligible to receive FITs you will benefit in three ways:

  • Generation tariff – your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked. The tariff received depends upon the technology used to generate the electricity – see table below.
  • Export tariff – you will get a further 4.91p/kWh (correct as at 1st May 2016) from your energy supplier for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate but don’t use yourself. This rate is the same for all technologies. At some stage smart meters will be installed to measure what you export, but until then it is estimated as being 50% of the electricity you generate (so that if your solar PV system is less than 30kWp you do not need to have an export meter fitted).
  • Energy bill savings – you will be making savings on your electricity bills , because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.

A typical domestic solar electricity system with an installation size of 3kWp could earn:

  • £400 a year from the Generation Tariff
  • £50 a year from the Export Tariff
  • £90 a year reduction of current electricity bills

to give a total saving of around £540 per year.

Registering for FITs

Once we have installed your generating technology, take these steps to register for FIT:

  1. We register you on the central MCS database and send you a certificate confirming MCS compliance.
  2. Tell your chosen FIT supplier that you wish to register for the FIT and send them a completed application form along with the MCS certificate and the Energy Performance Certificate that shows your home has an energy efficiency rating band D or better (applicable to solar PV only from 1st April 2012 although the UK Government is consulting on whether to include this requirement for wind turbines and microCHP too).

Your FIT supplier will:

  • cross-reference your installation with the MCS database and undertake other eligibility checks.
  • confirm your eligibility and the date you are eligible for payments from
  • add you to the Ofgem Central FIT Register, which records all installations in the FIT scheme
  • agree with you if and when you will need to provide meter readings and when they will make FIT payments to you – these will form part of your statement of FIT terms.

Current FIT rates

Current fit rates can be found on the OFGEM website – Current FIT Rates

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Switching to heating systems that use naturally replenished energy can help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.

People who join the scheme and stick to its rules, receive quarterly payments for seven years (Domestic installations) or twenty years (Non-Domestic) for the amount of clean, green renewable heat their system produces.

Who’s it for?

The scheme’s open to anyone who can meet the joining requirements. It’s for properties both off and on the gas grid.

People off mains gas have the most potential to save on fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Two schemes: Domestic and Non-Domestic

The Renewable Heat Incentive has two schemes – Domestic and Non-Domestic. They have separate tariffs, joining conditions, rules and application processes.

Each application can only be to one of the schemes. To decide which, consider the information below, and have a chat with us as to which is the appropriate scheme for you.

The Domestic RHI

Key to joining is that the renewable heating system heats only a single property which is capable of getting a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC is the proof we need that your property is assessed as a domestic ‘dwelling’. Without one, you won’t be able to apply and can’t join the scheme.

An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use, plus recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money. It’s required every time you buy, sell or rent a property.

All Domestic RHI applications are administered online and you can register via Domestic RHI Application

The Non-Domestic RHI

Generally, if the renewable heating system is in commercial, public or industrial premises, then you would apply to the Non-Domestic RHI. This can include small and large businesses, hospitals, schools, and organisations with district heating schemes where one heating system serves multiple homes.