Energy regulator Ofgem said that hundreds of thousands of systems have received funds through incentive that closed for applications last month ahead of incoming replacement scheme

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) scheme has supported the installation of 110,281 ‘renewable heat generator’ systems over the course of its lifetime, the energy regulator Ofgem has announced.

A blog post from the regulator’s director of delivery and schemes, Philippa Pickford, said the incentive was anticipated to have supported 7.04TWh of clean heat generation since launching in 2014. This is the equivalent energy required to heat 2.5 billion hot baths.

The DRHI was designed to provide ongoing financial support for the operation of air source and ground source heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal technologies used to provide heat in homes.  It closed to new applications last month ahead of the launch of a replacement incentive known as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme that will begin providing upfront payments to install low carbon heat systems from 23 May.

Ms Pickford said that a total of £819.3m has been paid through the DRHI to member organisations with the aim to start to diversify the type of technologies being used in homes in place of heating systems that are dependent exclusively on fossil fuels.

She said, “When the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) scheme was launched in 2014, it was the first domestic scheme of its kind to support renewable heat generation for households. The scheme has grown since 2014, reaching 50,000 installations accredited during 2016, and the milestone of 100,000 accredited installations in February 2022.”

Despite having stopped accepting new applications through the incentive, Ms Pickford added that any previously approved funds can be continued to be received for the majority of the next decade.

She said, “Members will continue to receive support payments for up to 7 years if they continue to follow the scheme rules. Over this time, we’ll continue to monitor compliance.”

Next generation of incentives

Ofgem said it would also continue to work closely with the government and the HVAC sector with regard to the next generation of low carbon heat incentives that includes both the BUS and Green Gas Support Scheme that is focused on decarbonising the existing network.

Funds for the BUS will be made available for eligible systems such as air and ground source heat pumps – as well as biomass boilers in specific circumstances – that are commissioned from 1 April 2022 onwards.

BEIS aims for 30,000 installations to be supported via the scheme over the course of the current year. The incentive is scheduled to run for an initial three year period.


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