The UK government has published the final report of an evaluation of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. This independent report, led by CAG Consulting, with support from Wavehill, Winning Moves and UCL, was produced for BEIS to evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of this UK-wide scheme from the reforms introduced in 2017/18 to its closure in 2022.
The RHI was a government scheme that provided financial incentives to businesses and households to install renewable heat technologies, such as biomass boilers, heat pumps, and solar thermal panels in domestic and non-domestic settings. The report found that the RHI has helped to increase the number of renewable heat installations in the UK for both settings. It concluded that long timeframes, consistent funding available and policy certainty were key to the success of this scheme.
As part of the evaluation team, Wavehill led on three workstreams:
an analysis of the extent to which the programme supported the transition to more sustainable markets for key renewable heat technologies.
the competition and trade effects of the programme including consideration of whether tariff levels were set at a suitable rate.
an analysis of scheme cost effectiveness.
The report provides clear evidence of the scheme's success in stimulating the deployment of renewable heat technologies, but also highlights challenges that need to be addressed. Many of the insights generated will be important learning for the development of successor schemes to promote renewable heat for domestic and non-domestic settings in the future and ultimately contribute to the UK’s longer-term net zero objectives.