Subsidies and incentive payments

The impact of a renewable energy installation, whether it is a solar PV system, solar thermal or other heat generating system, on your energy bills should not be underestimated, and the savings can be considerable and very beneficial. When these savings are combined with the payments from the RHI and the FITs, the overall benefit can be quite astounding.

We are in the process of producing energy consumption and money saving graphs on a selection of the installations we have done that will be available in the near future.

There are primarily two financial incentives available for the production of renewable energy from small scale or microgeneration systems. These are:

  • For solar PV this is the Feed-in tariff Scheme, known as FITs
  • For solar thermal or other heat producing technologies it is the Renewable Heat Incentive, known as the RHI

Both of these ‘reward schemes’ are administered by Ofgem. However, the payment mechanisms to you, as the energy producer, are managed entirely differently.

We advise all of our customers, whether domestic, business or commercial, to visit the Ofgem website to view the basic guidelines of how the schemes operate, the latest rules governing the awards and the current rates applicable for the technology concerned.

As a company we have made a conscious decision not to publish the rules, regulations and rates of payment of these systems due to the changing nature of these issues, and more specifically not to mislead our customers.

As you progress through the application process you will quickly appreciate that there are strings attached to the incentive schemes, which essentially place obligations on your part to make your property more energy efficient before you will receive any form of payment. These energy efficiency obligations are wrapped up in the requirements to provide up to date Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and a Green Deal assessment to both demonstrate and certify that measures have been assessed and put in place as required under the rules. We can help you with these requirements and obtain both Green Deal assessments and EPCs on your behalf.

Applications for FITs and RHI and guidance

We have direct and personal experience of the process of applying for the FITs and the RHI, mostly at domestic level, and we endeavour to provide full support to our customers seeking these payments.

We will provide you with the full documentation, certification and correspondence you will need from us as the installer to make an application to your nominated energy supplier for the FITs payments, or Ofgem for payments relating to the RHI in the case of solar thermal.

Please also note that there are certain obligations on your part, as the customer, that we will discuss with you at the appropriate time.

You can be assured that we will guide you through the application process, which can appear quite daunting, in a way that other installers may not entertain.

Documents you will need for your FITs application

This list is provided for your guidance. Each FITs supplier will have their own rules and list of requirements, so you should check them carefully when applying. You may find this useful to give you an idea of the paperwork involved in the process.

  • The unique MCS certificate for your property, premises or dwelling. This is provided by your installer after the information has been fed into the national MCS database and only accessible by MCS accredited installation companies
  • Proof of ownership document. This is normally a zero balance invoice from us as your installer.
  • Completed application form. This is mostly customer information but can be a little tricky. There are one or two bits of technical data to add which we will provide.
  • Identity document(s). For example, a recent domestic fuel bill.
  • Up to date Energy Performance Certificate for the property. To qualify for the highest level of FIT payment you will need to demonstrate that your property reaches a certain standard or level of energy performance, this document is the only one they will accept as evidence. We can arrange an EPC survey for you if you do not possess one already.

FITs payments

To receive your payments you will need to read your new electricity generation meter, which is fitted as part of the solar PV installation, on a quarterly basis and send this reading to your nominated FITs provider via email or on the phone.

They will work out the payment due, based on the meter readings provided and the rates per kWh agreed in your agreement. Shortly thereafter the money is paid either directly into your bank account or they send you a cheque! Yes, it’s that simple and how often has that happened to you in your lifetime?!!!

Maximise the use of the energy you produce!

The way the rules for payment under the Feed-in Tariff for your electricity generation are applied at present there is a benefit to you to maximise the usage of the energy you produce rather than exporting it to the grid.

If your existing hot water arrangement is suitable then you may consider the inclusion of a solar immersion unit. We can supply and install these for you so that you have the additional benefit of free hot water from your PV system when the right conditions prevail. Please see the Immersun unit information.


These units can also work with storage heaters or electric underfloor heating so there may be some opportunity elsewhere if not suitable for hot water production.

Documents you will need for your RHI application

Ofgem administers the RHI application process directly, and therefore the documents required do not vary compared to the FITs. Broadly speaking they follow the same lines.

  • The unique MCS certificate for your property, premises or dwelling. Similary this is provided by your installer for the heat generating equipment fitted and is obtained from the national MCS database. There is more information required from you as the owner in order to produce the MCS certificate than with Solar PV but this is dealt with at the design stage.
  • A Green Deal assessment for your property.
  • Up to date Energy Performance Certificate for the property. This will need to be updated to demonstrate that any works required resulting from the Green Deal assessment have been carried out so that Ofgem have the latest documentary evidence regarding your properties energy performance rating.
  • There is no paper form filling, because it is an on-line application process.

Please note that the Ofgem RHI application website will not let you progress from the first page unless you have input your unique MCS, Green Deal and EPC certificate numbers. Therefore making any sort of a start without these is a rather futile exercise.

RHI payments

The RHI payment process differs from the FITs in the agreement, the metering and payment rates per kWh. However, the principle is the same: they pay you money for generating your own heat energy that you are using to heat your own hot water or heat your building. You may or may not need to read a meter, depending upon the renewable energy system you have and if it is a requirement to be metered under the Ofgem rules. There are also different rules between new and existing solar thermal installations that need to be taken into consideration.