Changes to the scheme

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial scheme to promote the use of renewable heat. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) develops the scheme policy and rules. Ofgem implements and administers the scheme.

The government periodically reviews policy which means the rules can change for both new and existing participants. To achieve successful accreditations and to keep receiving  payments, it’s important you keep up to date with the scheme rules.

We’ll publish the information you need to know if policy changes are planned, or introduced, in this section of our website. Please note that the content and timing of any changes we outline will be subject to parliamentary process. Our updates are based on information provided by BEIS.

Recent changes

On 1 April 2021, changes made to Domestic RHI regulations by BEIS came into force, relaxing the requirement for accreditation applications to be submitted within 12 months of the eligible heating system’s commissioning date. Participants who’s heating system was commissioned on or after 1 March 2019, will now be able to apply for the Domestic RHI, until the scheme closes to new applications (ie before midnight at the end of 31 March 2022). Applicants who commissioned their eligible heating system on or after 1 March 2019 and were previously rejected for failing to meet the 12-month rule, can re-apply for accreditation to the scheme. Please read the essential guide for applicants for more information: - Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive essential guide for applicants

In March 2016, the Government published a consultation on changes to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. After taking account of the feedback it received, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its consultation response on 14 December 2016. You can read the consultation response, The Renewable Heat Incentive: A Reformed Scheme on the BEIS website.

The changes to the scheme Regulations that were announced in the consultation response are being introduced in two stages. The first stage of changes to the Domestic Scheme came into effect on 20 September 2017, and the second stage came into effect on 22 May 2018. These second stage changes include: metering for performance for heat pumps, new Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP) payment schedules and enforcement powers, assignment of rights, revised degression thresholds, as well as extending the RHI’s budget management mechanism until the end of 2020/21. Please note that assignment of rights came into effect later on 27 June 2018. The Government has published the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

Please read the factsheet about the changes for more information: - Factsheet: Important changes to the Domestic RHI Scheme.

Changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Other recent changes to the Domestic RHI

  • No degression on 1 March 2018
  • No degression on 1 January 2018
  • No degressions on 1 October 2017
  • Effective 1 July 2017: Biomass tariff degression

Historical changes

​​​​​​​Changes to MCS installation standards for heat pumps

Effective from 31 July 2017, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) introduced a change to the Domestic RHI Regulations to reflect the latest version of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation standard for heat pumps.

Version 5.0 of MIS 3005 of the MCS standards was introduced by MCS on 28 April 2017; taking effect from 17 May 2017. From 30 October 2017 onwards, heat pumps must be installed in accordance with this version of the MCS standards.

Where contracts have been signed for installations in accordance with version 4.3 of MIS 3005 prior to 30th October 2017, the system may be installed in accordance with version 4.3 of MIS 3005 and could be eligible for RHI if applying within 12 months of the first commissioning date.  

What do the MCS standards do?

standards make sure installers meet a quality mark and demonstrate compliance to industry standards. The microgeneration installation standard outlines the requirements for MCS installers undertaking the supply, design, installation, set to work, commissioning, and handover of microgeneration heat pump systems.

Please make sure your MCS installer is aware of these changes. 

Which standards should my heat pump reflect?

Applications submitted to the Domestic RHI before 31 July 2017.

For heat pumps with a first commissioning date before 31 July 2017, they should meet version 4.3 MIS 3005 standards to be considered eligible for the Domestic RHI; providing all other eligibility criteria are met.

Applications submitted to the Domestic RHI on or after 31 July 2017.

For heat pumps with a first commissioning date on or after 31 July 2017, they can meet either version 4.3 or version 5.0 MIS 3005 standards to be considered eligible for the Domestic RHI; providing all other eligibility criteria are met.

Applications submitted to the Domestic RHI on or after 30 October 2017.

For heat pumps with a first commissioning date on or after 30 October 2017, it depends on when your contract started:

  • If you’ve signed a contract for your heat pump installation in accordance with version 4.3 of MIS 3005 prior to 30 October, this version may be eligible for the Domestic RHI if you apply within 12 months of the first commissioning date.
  • If you sign a contract for your heat pump installation on or after the 30 October 2017, version 5.0 of MIS 3005 must be used for to install your heat pump.

Publications and updates