Windhager predicts 4 to 5 year payback on non-domestic RHI

Leading biomass heating specialist Windhager UK was pleased to hear the government’s recent announcement about the dates for introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Starting on Monday 1 August 2011, the first stage for the domestic sector is a one-off premium payment of £950 for biomass heating systems and £300 for solar thermal systems.  Whilst the solar thermal payment is for any property, the biomass payment is for boiler replacements and new-build properties alike, not connected to the gas grid.

Commenting on the announcement for the domestic market, Windhager UK managing director Oliver Duckworth said, “ This news has been long awaited and now gives some clarity which will boost the uptake in the domestic market of renewable technologies allowing carbon targets to be met.”  He continued, “£950 is a considerable contribution to the capital cost of installing a biomass system and as soon as we see the RHI payments coming in next year, then I am sure we will see a further increase in interest.”  The introduction of regular RHI payments for the domestic market is scheduled for October 2012 in conjunction with the Green Deal. 

Launching in September 2011 is the RHI scheme for the non-domestic or commercial market applications.  The tariffs for the RHI payments for a biomass system up to 200kW have now been set with the first tier tariff paying 7.6p per kW hour, fixed for twenty years.

Although the application criteria is still to be announced, the tariff makes it extremely attractive to install biomass systems as Oliver Duckworth of Windhager explained, “ When replacing old oil boiler systems with biomass, the return on capital expenditure can be four to five years, after which it is cash-positive.  A 70kW biomass boiler system which we are installing in a nursing home in Aberdeen, which is replacing an old inefficient oil fired boiler, is doing just this and over a twenty-year period it will be seeing a return from the RHI tariff of some £140,000.”  He continued, “This scheme is a great driver for the industry with more and more installations producing more employment in the green sector as well as a better environment in which to live.  We think that demand for higher output biomass boilers will almost certainly double over the next year.”

Importantly, in this commercial sector, the RHI tariff is retrospective to installations going back to July 2009 and also the scheme is index linked.  Any biomass installation under a 45kW output must be using MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) products and fitted by an MCS approved installer.

Interestingly, the RHI scheme is a world first – there are no other incentive schemes anywhere in the world of this type for installing biomass and solar thermal systems.

Windhager UK is experiencing a continuing growth in demand for its biomass boilers, and this is allowing its business to expand, creating further employment and increasing its training programmes for engineers, installers and consultants.

Further information on the RHI schemes and biomass heating systems is available from Windhager UK on 01249 446616, email: or by visiting the company’s website at

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