There is one main grant that is available in the UK for people who have a biomass boiler installed, this is called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This was setup by the UK government as a way to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies such as biomass boilers. The scheme essentially pays consumers for the kWh that they generate and use for heating. There are two different types of RHI schemes which are the domestic and non-domestic.
The domestic RHI is open to anyone looking to heat a single domestic dwelling. It lasts for a period of 7 years with payments typically calculated on a deemed basis using the EPC for the property. RHI account holders are essentially paid for the kWh shown on their EPC regardless of how much or little they actually use. The amount of kWh shown on the EPC is multiplied by the domestic RHI tariff to give the total payable amount over the year. The current tariff is 6.88p/kWh, so if an EPC states 20,000kWh should be used for heating in the year, then this would generate an annual payment of £1,376 (6.88 x 20,000) regardless of if they actually only used 10,000kWh for heating or 30,000kWh. This is capped at 25,000kWh, so any EPC's that are over this amount would only be paid for 25,000kWh.
The non-domestic RHI is also known as the commercial RHI. This is open to anyone installing a biomass boiler to heat a commercial property. District heating schemes where more than one domestic property is heated by the same biomass boiler also qualify for the commercial RHI. The commercial RHI runs for a period of 20 years., with payments made every quarter. Unlike the domestic RHI, the payments are based on actual meter readings, where account holders are paid for the usage that is recorded on a heat meter. There are two tariffs that you can get paid against, initially payments are made based on the Tier 1 rate that is currently 3.11p/kWh, then once a certain threshold is met a Tier 2 of 2.18p/kWh is paid for the remaining usage that year.. The threshold is based on the boiler being at peak capacity for 35% of the year, this equates to 3,066 hours. This multiplied by the capacity of the boiler gives the amount of kWh per annum which can be paid at the Tier 1 tariff. As an example, a 1,000kW boiler will have a Tier 1 threshold of 3,066,000kWh, so if someone were to use 5,000,000kWh per year they would be paid for £95,353 (3.11 x 3,066,000) for the Tier 1 usage, then £42,161 (2.18 x (5,000,000 - 3,066,000)) for the Tier 2 usage.
The RHI is not the only reason for switching to biomass from fossil fuels. There can be significant fuel savings that in some cases will provide a larger financial gain than the RHI. It also reduces your carbon emissions, something in this day and age is desperately required.
More information on the RHI can be found on our own website, as well as on Ofgems website where the official guidance documents are found. Alternatively you can contact us to talk through things. We have successfully completed hundreds of applications for our customers who are now benefiting from the quarterly payments.