Case studies

We asked some of our customers about their experience of the Domestic RHI. Have a look below to see what they had to say about the application process and how they’ve benefitted from the scheme.

You can also have a read of our publications, which look at who the first 1,000 and 10,000 participants of the scheme have been and how our customers are enjoying greener, cheaper and more efficient energy in their homes.

Biomass

Mr Lambert, Inverness, Scotland

 “I thoroughly researched my options before replacing my oil boiler with a pellet biomass boiler. Lowering carbon emissions is important to me, but my choice ultimately depended on the numbers. Although the upfront costs were high, I hoped the Domestic RHI would help me out. The gamble paid off and now I have a system that is carbon neutral, costs 20% less to run per annum and my RHI payments will more than cover the interest free loan we took out.
   
In general, I found the online RHI application process through Ofgem to be straightforward enough and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending renewable heating systems to anyone.”

Ms Day, Newton Abbot

“We were building our own house (in an area where mains gas was not available) and therefore had a great opportunity to choose the right heating system for us.  We settled on a biomass boiler after looking into air source and ground source heat pumps.

After speaking to The Energy Saving Trust we received a list of MCS accredited installers. We chose a local firm to us and we are very pleased with the boiler and installation process.  Once installed, it was simple to apply for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP), which went towards the cost of the boiler.

My installer informed me that we would be entitled to apply for the Domestic RHI and I kept looking on the Energy Saving Trust website for further information.  In July I applied for the Domestic RHI online and found it to be a very easy process. We had to provide some additional information as we had an eligible new-build, but everything was clearly set out and we were able to provide the correct paperwork straight away. We received a decision that we were eligible for the funding within a week.”

Ground source heat pump

Mr Evans, Llanybydder, Wales

“The bitterly cold winter of 2010 and the resulting heavy consumption of kerosene (a tank full in a month!) proved to be the tipping point; there had to be a better way of heating our house. Six months of detailed research on the internet brought GSHP to the fore as the best option for our 17th century farm house. A year later the system was in; two boreholes, a combi heat pump and larger radiators. What a transformation! The house was lovely and warm all the time, and better still, the cost of running the system was nearly 60% less than with oil. My installer told me at the time that RHI would happen one day, and sure enough, three years later, an e-mail from Ofgem advised me that domestic RHI was live, and that I should apply. I followed their online advice and got all the necessary documentation in place ready for legacy system D day. The application process itself was really easy and quick. Now I can look forward to an income stream over the next seven years that will go a long way to offset the cost incurred with the original installation. A cracking deal, and it’s cheaper to run too!”

Mr Sheppard, Bicester

“We had the exciting opportunity to build a brand new house in a beautiful Oxfordshire village, replacing a thatched cottage that had been destroyed in a fire.

For us, installing a ground source heat pump was a no-brainer. There’s no mains gas to the house and with the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) the heat pump was not only the right decision for environmental purposes, it was easily the best option financially.

Now that the house is finished, we couldn't be more delighted with the heating and hot water - with highly reliable performance, low maintenance costs and very reasonable electricity bills.

We first heard about the Domestic RHI scheme at one of the Homebuilding and Renovating shows which we found invaluable during the build process. The application process was actually very straightforward. The Energy Saving Trust website has a huge amount of information that helps you through the process. The only complicating factor was the need to obtain a Seasonal Performance Factor for the heat pump, which involved someone coming out to survey the house.

We would absolutely recommend a ground source heat pump to anyone with a self-build, particularly if they are considering underfloor heating (which is wonderful). Low fuel bills, low maintenance costs, no carbon emissions - and a grant from the government with a straightforward application process - wonderful!”

Air source heat pump

Mr Retallack, Energy Efficiency Projects Manager, CHL, Cornwall

“Coastline Housing Ltd (CHL) own and manage 4000 properties located in Cornwall. CHL is predominately a provider of general needs housing, although 650 of its homes are for older people.

40% of Coastline homes are in rural off gas areas, many of which have little or no prospect of economic connection to the gas main. The rising cost of fuel, in particular oil in recent years has brought fuel poverty concerns to the fore of the agenda for both CHL and tenant customers alike.

Renewable heating Air Source Heat Pump technology has been at the fore of CHL’s Affordable Warmth Strategy for a number of years and we are delighted to now benefit from RHI payments for both ongoing and importantly legacy installations. The funding will allow us to extend our programme and further this essential work. In total 205 ASHPs have been installed to date, of which 175 will qualify for RHI legacy install payments.

The RHI claim process has commenced and CHL’s experience has been good! The level of contact by Ofgem and information provided ahead of application to smooth the application process has been excellent. It was immediately evident to us that Ofgem wished to make the application process as smooth as possible and from our experience they have achieved this aim; we engaged with the Social Landlord’s Webinar which was extremely helpful and where we have had queries we have been able to speak directly to an informed person within the Domestic RHI team to resolve at first point. Except for some minor typical first application issues which were quickly resolved the application process is now straightforward and trouble free. Importantly we know that if we have an issue we will be able to directly discuss with Ofgem and quickly resolve.”

Mr Patrick, Cornwall

“I’d been involved in renewable energy in Cornwall for some time. Our house is a converted roundhouse barn where the main fuel was oil, with under-floor heating.

A consultant recommended solar PV, solar thermal panels and an air source heat pump. We also have a wood burning stove. The Feed-In Tariff from the PV contributes significantly to the electricity used by the heat pump. The Domestic RHI reduces our energy cost to zero for the foreseeable future - but this, of course, is the result of having made a significant total investment in renewables.

The Domestic RHI was a factor in my decision. I periodically checked websites for updates and that is how I knew of the implementation. It was surprisingly easy to schedule an assessment with a Green Deal consultant and extremely easy to apply for the Domestic RHI online.

Investments in renewables, given these incentives, offer a decent return on investment, so of course I would recommend that anyone should seriously consider renewables. I think you need to plan projects very carefully and compare technologies and suppliers, as with any significant investment.”

Mr and Mrs Byfield, Isle of Tiree, SW Scotland

“We chose air source heat pump technology because we were looking to renew our outdated heating system and heard from a friend that this was an economical renewable heating source that required very low maintenance. We had electric storage heaters which were very expensive and did not heat the house very well and an immersion heater to heat the hot water. The air source heat pump is far superior to the old electric storage heaters. The house is warm and the costs are reduced.

Our installer informed us about the Domestic RHI and from beginning to end the application process was quick and easy. When I phoned the helpline everyone was extremely helpful, well informed and friendly. I couldn't fault the process or the people at Ofgem. The MyRHI online service is fantastic informing you of your payment schedule for the next seven years.

We would have no hesitation in recommending a renewable heating technology to friends and family and we would also let them know about applying for Domestic RHI as this is a great help for anyone wishing to install this type of heating system in their homes.”

Mr Howells, Cwmbran, Wales

“With heating oil prices rising I researched alternative options. As I had already installed solar PV panels, feeding that electricity generation into an air source heat pump appeared to be the best option, especially when I heard about the Domestic RHI. I applied as soon as possible and now the RHI will nearly cover the installation costs.

My system has been running for a couple of years and performs better than expected with virtually no maintenance to worry about. I would recommend the heat pump system to anyone who has a well-insulated house.”

Solar Thermal

Mr Thyer, Brighton

"Over a number of years our property in Small Dole suffered with a subsidence problem. Rectification would have been expensive, disruptive and not guaranteed to be successful, so we opted for demolition and a complete rebuild. Installation of solar thermal panels seemed like a very good idea from the start, to both future proof against rising energy prices, and also to help our local planning authority application. The installer who supplied and fitted our solar thermal panels also told us about the Domestic RHI and supplied us with the relevant certificates The application process was fairly straight forward and Ofgem’s applicant support centre was extremely helpful with regard to the information and documentation we needed to supply. The solar thermal system provides us with all the hot water we require during the summer and just needs a bit of help from our gas boiler during the winter months."

Next steps

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