Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)


Renewable heat is simply heat from renewable sources. This is where a home or business has decided that instead of using a traditional fossil fuel system (oil, gas or coal) they will use a renewable technology for their heating needs.

Examples of renewable heating include biomass (wood chip or wood pellets), solar thermal panels for hot water, deep geothermal, ground source or air source heat pumps.

What is DfE’s role?

The Department for the Economy (DfE) is responsible for implementing appropriate policy that will support the development of renewable heat technologies.  

NI Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Schemes 

In order to increase the proportion of heat generated from renewable sources, the Department introduced the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2012 and the domestic RHI in 2014.  

Domestic RHI

The domestic RHI provides domestic properties with payments for the use of an eligible renewable heat technology. The scheme closed to new applications on 29 February 2016.  This scheme is administered by the Department.

Information on the domestic RHI scheme is available on the nidirect website. Queries on the domestic RHI can also be directed to or 0300 200 7874. 

Non-domestic RHI

This scheme closed to new applicants on 29 February 2016. 

The non-domestic scheme is administered by the energy regulator for Great Britain, Ofgem.

    Voluntary Buy-Out Arrangements

    The window for applications for the 2019/20 voluntary buy-out arrangements for non-domestic RHI scheme participants with small and medium sized biomass installations (up to but not including 200kW) closed on 8 November 2019.

    More information can be found at the following link:

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