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Predicted Solar Growth: New Incentive in Town

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 9th December 2011

Much of the talk surrounding solar as of late, has been about the reduced Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) rates coming in on Monday 12th December.

Whilst this is obviously a newsworthy subject, it is important to remember that there is another incentive in town that could be potentially much larger than solar PV. This incentive, for those unaware, is called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which is the heat equivalent to the FIT scheme and is to be launched for domestic sector in October 2012. The scheme actually went live for non-domestic properties in November 2011 after a short delay concerning compatibility with EU state rules.

This incentive aims to pay homeowners an income for every unit of heat generated by renewable technologies such as Solar Thermal, Biomass Boilers and heat pumps. To encourage the take up of installations such as these, the government have launched a one-off payment called the RHI premium payment, similar to a grant, which is available to all homeowners wishing to take part in the scheme.

Before the FIT launched in 2010, solar thermal technology installations surpassed solar PV installations as it’s reliable, easy to install and should provide you with 50-70% of your hot water all year round. The launch of the RHI is a great opportunity once again for both installers and consumers looking to do something good for the environment and save money on energy bills.

We run a great 3 day solar thermal hot water course designed for skilled plumbers and renewable energy installers looking to take advantage of this predicted demand. The course itself will be run in our state of the art renewable energy training centre on specially designed rigs to prepare you for real installations. Training in this technology ahead of the RHI domestic rollout will prove very wise investment so make sure you get ahead of the game!

For more information on this industry, the RHI or our renewable energy courses call us on 01293 529777 or visit our solar thermal hot water course page or our blog on the Renewable Heat Incentive.


Categories: renewable heat incentive

"A New Era in Home Heating."

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 25th July 2011

In a press release, published Thursday 21st July, the DECC has officially announced details on the Renewable Heat Premium Payments. It has been revealed that householders can receive Premium Payments from next month, to cover a proportion of the installation costs of renewable heat technologies.

£860 million has been allocated for the RHI, with £15 million set aside for Premium Payments. The available £15m will be to support heat installations in up to 25,000 homes with a review point once the £10m limit is approached. £3m of the £15m will be set aside for registered social landlords to improve their housing stock; details of how to apply for this will be released at a later date.

The Premium Payment scheme will be run by the Energy Savings Trust and anyone requiring information about the scheme should contact them at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/RHPP

Key points are as follows:


• The scheme starts 1 August and closes 31 March 2012

Solar thermal is available to any householder. Other technologies are only available for households not currently using gas heating.

• Householders in England, Scotland and Wales can apply. They must certify that this is their main home and that they have basic energy efficiency measures in place (loft insulation to 250mm and cavity wall insulation, where appropriate)

• Both the product and installer must be MCS (we think this also means ‘or equivalent’, but the DECC press release is unclear)

• Recipients of the payments will be eligible for RHI, assuming they meet the other conditions of the RHI. There are no details of these conditions on the press release


• Payments for solar thermal are at the same rates as those previously published - £300

• Once registered, householders receive a voucher for the relevant amount. They must install the kit within 3 months for solar thermal and 6 months for all the others. Installations must have been completed by 31st March 2012

Feedback Information

• Participants must complete 2 surveys

• Some households will also be selected at random to provide further information via meter installations. Agreeing to this if selected is a condition of the scheme – the meters will be installed free of charge.

The scheme is open to householders in England, Scotland and Wales and will open on the 1st August 2011 and operate on a first come, first serve basis. The government have not yet published proposals how the RHI will work in the domestic sector, and have not yet published any eligibility criteria.

In the House of Commons Energy Minister, Greg Baker, called the RHI scheme ‘a new era in home heating.

Research Source - STA

Interested in taking advatnage of the solar thermal demand? Take a look our our solar thermal courses today.


Categories: renewable heat incentive

Quick Guide to the Renewable Heat Incentive

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 15th July 2011

The acronym FIT’s (Feed in Tariff’s) is slowly but surely becoming common knowledge amongst the public as they realise that these three letters actually mean we can not only save money but earn money from Solar PV. However there is a new acronym on the block known as the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive).

Just like it’s electrical cousin the RHI is intended to incentivise businesses and homeowners to implement renewable heating sources along side traditional fossil fuel heating.

Unlike Solar PV where the electricity pumped back into the national grid can be measured accurately RHI intends to reward people for the heat they produce by metering heat generated in commercial settings. It is also suggested that for domestic settings “deeming” could be used to suggest how much heat the installation should produce if the property were well insulated. This is still be confirmed.

Initially the RHI is being rolled out to the non-domestic sector and we are awaiting its launch any day now. However home owners and domestic installations are not due to benefit until October next year. The government believes that the initial non-domestic phase will provide enough momentum to get a number of renewable technologies off the ground including:

Solar Thermal


Geothermal and Ground Source Heat

Biogas Heat and Gas Injection.

However they are still weighing up the inclusion of Air Source Heat Pumps.

For the technologies included above tariff’s will be payable for 20 years (5 less than FIT’s) and the exact levels are likely to be much lower than Solar PV. However the cost of installation is also likely to be much lower. We have laid out some quick reference points below:

Commences in July 2011 (date still to be confirmed) for solar thermal, biomass and Ground Source Heat Pumps. Energy to be metered and tariff lasts for 20 years.

Rates are 8.5p for solar thermal up to 200kW and ground source is 4.3p up to 100kW and 3p above 100kW. Air source is not supported for commercial initially – but may be supported from 2012

Domestic RHI in October 2012 to coincide with Green Deal (but RHI Premium payment available from July 2011 – details still to be announced.)

To claim the Renewable Heat Incentive you must have installed an operating renewable heat system on your property after July 15, 2009.

As of July 2011, up to 25,000 installations will be supported by a new ‘RHI Premium Payment’ to help people cover the purchase price of green heating systems. The RHI Premium Payment will cover technologies across all of Great Britain. The amount for solar thermal for example is £300/unit.

Those taking up the premium will be eligible for a RHI tariff from October 2012, as will anyone else who has had eligible equipment installed from July 15, 2009.

The exact amounts available to consumers have yet to be confirmed. However the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have announced that the following amounts may be available:

Solar Thermal - £300/unit

Air Source Heat Pumps - £850/unit

Biomass boilers - £950/unit

Ground Source Heat Pumps - £1,250/unit.

These are one off payments; so not annual. DECC plan to publish details of the “RHI Premium Payment” and how this will apply in May this year (nothing has been announced so far as of the 15th July 2011)


Categories: renewable heat incentive

Renewable Heat Incentive

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 11th March 2011

After several months of delays, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is here. It’s due to start in 2012 and the £860 million pound scheme is set to save 44 million tonnes of CO2.


We have reached a time where future problems surrounding fossil fuels are inevitable as we cannot reply of the supply of oil and gas. By creating micro-generation technologies, such as solar PV and solar thermal; and launching government agreed incentives, we can start rebuilding our world with secure and natural energy sources like sun, rain and wind.

This new energy supply will reduce our traditional reliance on fossil fuels and at the same time provide new jobs throughout the supply chain: from research and development to manufacturing; renewable fuel production and supply; equipment installation and maintenance.

What is the RHI?

The RHI is similar to the Feed in Tariff but for heat instead of electricity "This incentive is the first of its kind in the world. It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies” says Chris Huhne, Energy secretary. It will guarantee long-term payments of 20 years for the end user on their renewable installations and will include all types of heating, from households to factories and public sector buildings. The Early focus however is on industry, business and large organisations and the payments will be based on the ‘heat requirement that the installation is intended to serve’ using estimates rather than actual consumptions.

Once these micro generation technologies are in place we will be reducing the production of carbon, the harmful gas affecting our world. The Incentive exists to promote these renewable technologies and offer real opportunities for the public to aid the green revolution as adjustments like these need financial support to help bring change. The RHI will pay different tariffs for different technologies, but ministers claim it will provide a 12 per cent return on the original cost of installing the technology.


The Launch of the RHI will coincide with the Governments ‘Green Deal’ which is also set to go live in 2012. The DECC explains that “The coalition government will introduce legislation to make it possible for you to have energy efficient measures carried out through the Green Deal from autumn 2012.”

The Green deal

The Green Deal itself is the biggest shake up in the history of energy efficiency, it too has the opportunity to support thousands of jobs as anyone in the supply chain of green energy is set to benefit, as mentioned before. It is mainly a way to measure energy use and encourage ways into reducing energy consumption in your home or business – whether rented or owned – and allowing you to pay for the work from the great savings on your energy bills.

The work in question, incorporating in the ‘Green Deal’ is energy installation as a quarter, or even worse a third of a home’s heat can be lost through a loft and walls. By carrying out energy efficiency improvements such as insulation you will cut your fuel bills and the saving will allow you to enjoy your cosier home for less.

Image source: solcentric.co.uk


Categories: renewable energy, renewable heat incentive