Commercial Renewable Heat Incentives (RHIs)

From Monday 28th November 2011, Businesses can register to be paid for the Renewable Heat they generate under the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

What is a Commercial Solar Thermal system?

Commercial Solar Thermal systems allow businesses and organisations to save money while significantly boosting their environmental credentials.

Solar panels collect heat from the sun which is then used to warm water that can be stored in a hot water cylinder until needed.

Solar Thermal systems can function all year round, although in colder months, boilers or immersion heaters can be used to heat the water further to the desired temperature.

As well as reducing the drain on resources caused by hot water costs, the government-backed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will offer a payment for every unit of energy generated.

Commercial RHIs

  • Improve your company's green credentials
  • For firms using large volumes of hot water
  • Technology can function all year round
  • Big savings on water heating costs
  • Solid investment with strong returns
  • Act now to take advantage of RHI scheme

Why should my business install Solar Thermal?

Companies which use large volumes of hot water can make dramatic savings on their running costs by harnessing the sun’s power with a Solar Thermal installation.

On average, between 40 and 70% of a company’s hot water needs can potentially be met each year with a suitable, fully-functioning Solar Thermal system.

In addition, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) means businesses can also generate income by investing in a Solar Thermal system.

With clients increasingly focused on the environmental performance of the firms they trade with, reducing your carbon footprint is an added benefit of installing a Solar Thermal system.

Levels of support
Tariff name Eligible technology Eligible sizes Tariff rate


Small biomass

Solid biomass;

Municipal Solid Waste
(incl. CHP)

Less than 200 kWth Tier 1: 7.9
Tier 2: 2.0
Medium biomass 200 kWth and above;
less than 1000 kWth
Tier 1: 4.9
Tier 2: 2.0
Large biomass 1000 kWth and above 1.0
Small ground source Ground-source heat pumps;
Water-source heat pumps;
Deep Geothermal
Less than 100 kWth 4.5
Large ground source 100 kWth and above 3.2
Solar thermal Solar thermal Less than 200 kWth 8.5
Biomethane Biomethane injection and biogas combustion, except from landfill gas Biomethane all scales, biogas combustion less than 200 kWth 6.8

When will the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payment be available for Commercial Solar Thermal?

RHI Payments for non-domestic systems started on Monday 28th November 2011.

Any system installed after July 2009 will be eligible for the payments for 20 years after registering with the RHI scheme. However, there will be no retrospective payments and existing systems cannot be registered with the RHI scheme until it is launched.

What is the ROI of a Solar Thermal system?

The UK Government believes that Commercial Solar Thermal systems will receive around a 7% return on investment over 20 years.

The technology represents a safe investment with a stronger return than many savings accounts, with the added incentive of reducing your company’s carbon footprint.

According to the RHI tariff levels drawn up in 2010 - which will be adjusted in line with the Retail Price Index when the scheme goes live - installations with a capacity up to 200 kW will receive 8.5p per unit generated.

Commercial Renewable Heat Incentives (RHIs)
  • Solar Thermal systems convert sun’s energy into heat
  • Significant savings on hot water costs
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Earn money from government payments
  • Receive around a 7% return on investment
  • Payment scheme valid for at least 20 years

Can EnergyLink help?

While EnergyLink is unable to assist with Commercial Solar Thermal installations at this time, we are currently developing this aspect of the business and hope to make an announcement soon.

In the meantime, we suggest that you contact the Energy Saving Trust via the organisation’s website for further information on Commercial Solar Thermal systems.

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