Income generation

Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs)

Installing solar PV on roofThe Feed-In Tariff (FIT) was introduced in April 2010 and pays domestic and commercial customers for generating electricity from onsite renewables.

This includes payments for generation and a separate payment for electricity which is exported to the national grid.  Since the feed-in tariff was introduced there have been a number of significant revisions including the changes to rates for multi-site solar PV generators, general reductions in rates for all solar PV generation and most recently changes to tie eligibility for feed-in tariffs to the achievement of specific levels of energy efficiency as defined by Energy Performance Certificate assessments.  There is also an ongoing consultation (April 2012) which includes a specific review of tariffs for community renewables projects.

Despite these changes the Feed-In Tariff can continue to provide a return for communities and home owners investing in renewable technologies.  The technologies currently covered by the FIT currently include:

  • Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
  • Wind
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Micro CHP

Further Information about the Feed-in Tariff, including information on the specific rates that apply for different technologies and sizes of installation and how to apply for the FIT, can be found on the DECC website.

Renewable Heat Incentives (RHIs)

Solar thermal tubes on roofThe Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced in November 2011 for non-domestic installations.  It applies to any organisation installing an eligible renewable heating system including those in public and community buildings.  This makes it particularly relevant for community energy projects focusing on community buildings such as village halls and local schools.

The RHI will provide regular income for renewable heat generators for a period of twenty years with support levels varying depending on the technology installed.  The technologies currently included in the scheme are:

  • Biomass Boilers (with exclusions)
  • Energy From Waste Combustion
  • Ground and Water Source Heat Pumps (not air)
  • Deep Geothermal
  • Solar Thermal
  • Heating from Biogas Combustion
  • Biomethane Injection into the National Grid

The RHI scheme is administered by OFGEM and details about the scheme including the application process and levels of support are available on the OFGEM website.  The DECC website also provides information about the RHI.

Heat meters

Renewable Heat Incentive payments depend on measurement of heat output using heat meters.   Heat meters measure changes in the temperature of water or steam flowing through the heating system meaning that renewable technologies that do not produce heat as water or steam are difficult to meter.  This explains why some heat technologies are not currently eligible for support.  The costs associated with heat meters also make them impractical for domestic installation.

Support for Domestic Installations

Rollout of the RHI for domestic properties has been put back to 2013 however the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) is available to support domestic renewable heat installations.  The RHPP is administered by DECC and the Energy Saving Trust.  More information is available from the DECC website and the EST website.