Combined Heat and Power Focus

DECC's Free resource supporting the development of CHP

CHP Helpline 0845 365 5153 or 01235 753033

Renewables Obligation

The Renewables Obligation was introduced in 2002 to support electricity generation from renewable sources. It places a mandatory requirement on UK electricity suppliers to source a growing percentage of electricity from eligible renewable generation capacity. Suppliers are required to produce evidence of their compliance with this obligation via certificates, referred to as Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). Currently each ROC represents 1MWe of electricity generated from eligible renewable sources.

A new Renewables Obligation Order came into effect on 1st April 2009.

Key Features:

  • Introduction of the concept of "banding" which provides varying levels of support (ROCs/MWh) for different types of renewable generation
  • Enhanced support for schemes fuelled by energy crops
  • Increased level of support to Good Quality (GQ) CHP over power-only schemes (Dedicated biomass, Energy from Waste, and cofiring of biomass & energy crops)
  • Continued support for GQ CHP fuelled by waste  


For GQ CHP, the power output eligible for the award of ROCs is determined using the relationship:

Eligible Power Output = Net Power Output X Biomass Content (%) X Qualifying Power Output/Total Power Output*


Eligible renewable CHP technologies and support levels

The rate at which renewable fuel fired CHP schemes receive ROCs is dependent on the fuel type and technology used. DECC are currently undertaking a review of the RO. A consultation on the RO Banding review has been undertaken and the Government intends to publish the response to this consultation shortly. Current RO technology bandings applicable to CHP plants, inclusive of the GQCHP ROC uplift, are shown in the table below:

 Current bandings  
 Dedicated biomass with CHP 2 ROCs/MWhe

 Dedicated energy crops with CHP

 2 ROCs/MWhe
 Co-firing of biomass with CHP 1 ROC/MWhe
 Co-firing of energy crops with CHP 1.5 ROCs/MWhe
 Energy from waste with CHP 1 ROC/MWhe
 Anaerobic digestion 2 ROCs/MWhe
 Sewage gas 0.5 ROCs/MWhe
 Standard gasification and pyrolysis 1 ROC/MWhe
 Advanced gasification and pyrolysis    2 ROCs/MWhe


The ROCs awarded to a renewable CHP generator can be traded on the spot market.  The value of ROCs depends on market demand but currently varies between £40 and £50. Policy responsibility for the RO lies with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and is administered by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

Further information can be found by clicking the following links: 


*Figures taken from the scheme's ‘ROC Eligible' CHPQA Certificate (see CHPQA Guidance Note 44)

Other Topics


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Next: Renewable Heat Incentive 

What's New

UK CHP Development Map

UK CHP Development Map

UK CHP Development Map

UK CHP Development Map Screenshot

The UK CHP Development Tool is the latest version of the map, originally developed as a tool aimed at assisting power station developers consider the opportunities for supplying heat and development of combined heat and power (CHP) as required under planning policy. However, it can also be used by both small and large organisations to help identify the locations where the supply of CHP heat would have the greatest potential, and therefore the largest positive environmental impact.

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