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UK: Making sense of changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive

GrowSave unpicks the changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme to help growers understand what this means for them.

Some of the long anticipated RHI regulations come into effect today (20th September). These affect mostly biomass boilers where the tariffs for small, medium and large biomass will align to one new tariff. There will also be a change in the Tier 1 load factor which will increase from 15% to 35%, meaning that boilers can run for 3,066 hours instead of 1,314 hours before reaching the threshold.

The new load factor means that the impact of the lower tariff is not as great as it first appears, particularly for smaller and larger installations.

However, if you want the existing tariff and you have a small-medium biomass boiler project being built at this very moment, your key deadline should be 19th September rather than the end of the month. Heat pumps are largely unaffected by the new regulations.

You can read the full announcement regarding changes here.

A significant element of GrowSave’s work has been to offer growers advice on energy sourcing and how they can take advantage of schemes like the RHI. Information is shared through free events, GrowSave News (formerly Energy News) newsletter, technical factsheets and

Pentland Nurseries was one of the first nurseries in the UK to invest in biomass heating, long before the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced. Even with that experience behind the company, they have found themselves turning to GrowSave. Jamie Satterthwaite, the nursery supervisor, reports “It has been hugely important to ornamentals growers when it comes to energy sourcing. We are now on our second generation of biomass boilers, installed about a year ago, and GrowSave really helped when it came to selecting the equipment.”

James Broekhuizen says his cucumber nursery has particularly benefited from GrowSave with help understanding developments in the energy market. “Information in the Energy News newsletter, technical factsheets and on the website helped us work out how to get the best out of the RHI when we installed our biomass boiler in 2012 – that has significantly cut our heating costs as we derive 50% of our energy requirement from it.”

More information on the RHI and the changes to the scheme can be found in this write up of a recent event.

GrowSave is an AHDB-funded project run by FEC Energy and is celebrating ten years of sharing energy saving information and the latest energy saving technologies to UK growers. To find out more about how GrowSave could help your business, follow #GrowSave10 or visit
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