The Department considered whether solar thermal should be allowed for space heating when the scheme was being designed in 2012/2013. The decision to restrict support to domestic hot water only solar thermal systems for the domestic RHI was based on the following considerations:
- At the time that we made our decision, market intelligence showed that only a small minority of solar thermal systems were designed to provide space heating and there was limited performance data.
- Supporting solar thermal for space heating would not present good value for money, as the RHI is taxpayer-funded – this is because solar thermal systems are only capable of meeting a small portion of a house’s heat demand, and are not as cost-effective in space heating when compared to other technologies.
The Government currently has no plans to review its position on support for solar thermal on the RHI.