Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a scheme run by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) that provides financial support to non-domestic renewable heat generators and producers of biomethane who are based in Northern Ireland.

The purpose of the scheme

The primary objective for the RHI is to increase the uptake of renewable heat to ten percent by 2020. The ten per cent target for renewable heat equates to 1.6TWh (or an additional 1.3 TWh when considering existing levels). This target was included in the Strategic Energy Framework and an interim target of four percent renewable heat by 2015 has been included in the Programme for Government.

In addition to achieving the set target, it is expected that the RHI will have a number of other wider benefits in terms of fuel security, lower emissions and ‘green jobs’.

Who is the scheme for?

In the context of the scheme, a non-domestic installation is a renewable heat unit that supplies large-scale industrial heating right down to small community heating projects. This includes small businesses, hospitals, schools and so on, as well as district heating schemes (for example where one boiler serves multiple homes).

Initially only non-domestic sectors were supported, however, DETI has introduced a second phase of support for the domestic sector.

DETI has confirmed that renewable heat installations commissioned since 1 September 2010 will be eligible to apply for accreditation under the RHI scheme.

How the scheme works

The RHI provides financial support for renewable heat technologies for the lifetime of the installation (to a maximum of 20 years). Payments will be made on a quarterly basis and determined by the actual heat output of the system therefore heat meters will be required for each installation. 

Under the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, the RHI tariffs must be adjusted annually in line with the retail price index (RPI) for the previous calendar year. DETI must make the necessary calculations and publish the revised tariffs and Ofgem, as administrators of the scheme, must take account of the tariff changes and ensure they are applied. 

The tables below detail the supported technologies and the tariffs at 1 April 2014. These tariffs have been adjusted in line with RPI. The increase in the RPI for the calendar year 2013 was 2.7 per cent. The tariffs are therefore increasing by this amount, with the resulting figure being rounded, in line with regulations, to the nearest tenth of a penny, with any twentieth of a penny being rounded upwards.

Ground source heat pump

This applies to installations using water source heat pumps and deep geothermal.

Size rangeNI RHI tariff (pence per kWh)Length of tariff
Less than 20kWth8.920 years
20kWth and above, up to but not including 100kWth4.520 years
100kWth and above1.520 years

Further Information can be found here: RHI Website 

Application Forms can be foud here https://rhi.ofgem.gov.uk