Eligible heating systems

Mae’r dudalen yma ar gael yn Gymraeg.

The Government recently published its response to the consultation on Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) reform. For information on what the Government changes mean for you, please see our changes to the scheme.

To apply for the Domestic RHI, your renewable heating system needs to be one of the four technology types eligible for the scheme. It must also meet specific technical requirements and provide heat for a permitted use.

Which renewable technologies are eligible?

There are four eligible renewable technology types. These are:

  1. biomass only boilers, and biomass pellet stoves
  2. air source heat pumps
  3. ground source heat pumps
  4. flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal panels.

Product check

As well as being one of the four eligible technology types, you should check that the make and model of your product appears on the Product Eligibility List (PEL).

For products showing as ‘to be determined’ on the Product Eligibility List:

If a heating system is listed as ‘to be determined’ on the PEL, it means that we haven’t yet received all of the information we need from the product manufacturer. See our PEL publication page for more information on what you’ll need to do.

Check heat uses

You’ll see from the table below that there are restrictions on what the heat produced can be used for.

Biomass boiler

Eligibility requirements Eligible uses Ineligible uses
Must use a liquid to provide space (eg, room) heating Space heating (eg, room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property

Designed to generate heat to cook food

Must be designed and installed to use solid biomass fuel Biomass systems do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so  
Must comply with Air qualityopen key term pop-up requirements    

Biomass stove

Eligibility requirements Eligible uses Ineligible uses
Must be designed and installed to use with wood pellets. (Log burning stoves are not eligible) Space heating (eg, room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property Designed primarily to generate heat to cook food. For more information see cooker stovesopen key term pop-up
Must use a liquid filled heat exchanger, enclosed within the system Biomass systems do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so  
Must comply with air quality requirements    

Air source heat pump

Eligibility requirements Eligible uses Ineligible uses
Must use a compressor driven by electricity Space heating (eg, room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property Designed to use heat from air expelled from an appliance or building when generating heat
Must use a liquid to provide space (eg, room) heating Air source heat pumps do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so Air source heat pumps with an SPF lower than 2.5
Must have a minimum ‘seasonal performance factor’ (SPF) of 2.5    

Ground source heat pump

Eligibility requirements Eligible uses Ineligible uses
Must use a compressor driven by electricity Space heating (eg, room), or space and hot water heating for a domestic property Have a ground loop array that is shared with heat pumps in other eligible properties
Must use a liquid to provide space (eg, room) heating Ground source heat pumps do not have to provide water heating to be eligible but may do so  
Must have a minimum ‘seasonal performance factor’ SPF of 2.5    

Solar thermal

Eligibility requirements Eligible uses Ineligible uses
Flat plate or evacuated tube only Hot water heating for a domestic property only Space heating (eg, room) or heating a swimming pool (an internal heat dump, eg towel rail, is considered to be space heating)
    Thermal stores contributing to space heating
    Any use which is not domestic hot water heating
    Generating electricity

Please note, space heating must be delivered by a liquid medium, such as a radiator. Domestic hot water heating means hot water used for purposes other than space heating or heating a swimming pool.

For more information on heating system type, read Section 3, 'Requirements for heating systems' in our Essential Guide for Applicants.

Next steps

To find out more, see:

To apply:

Air quality

Biomass products first commissioned after scheme launch must meet certain air quality rules. These set limits on the emissions a product can produce. ‘Legacy’ participants (those whose product was commissioned before launch) don’t need to meet these. More.

Cooker stoves

Cooker stove means a biomass stove which is capable of generating heat for the purpose of cooking food. More.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 8th Aug 2017
  • Guidance
  • 3 Associated documents
This document shows the makes and models of renewable heating products which have already been assessed as eligible for the Domestic RHI.

  • Published: 9th Sep 2015
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
Read our clarification note on the eligibility of Ground Source Heat Pumps and shared ground loop arrays.

  • Published: 18th Jul 2014
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
You will need to complete this template if a heating system is listed as ‘to be determined’ on the Product Eligibility List, unless the missing data is an Emission Certificate for biomass products.

  • Published: 24th Mar 2014
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
If you're considering applying to the Domestic RHI, this guide explains the joining requirements, the application process and the rules you must stick to once you're on the scheme.

  • Published: 19th Feb 2014
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This factsheet is for people who installed a renewable heating system before the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive opened.