The future of the Northern Ireland Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

Consultation opened on 14 June 2018. Closing date 06 September 2018.


This consultation sets out the Department's proposals for the future of the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in Northern Ireland and invites views on these proposals.


Consultation description

The future of the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Consultation Report

The Department for the Economy has completed its analysis of responses to its consultation on the future of the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and has published its report (31 January 2019). 

A total of 258 responses to the Consultation were received. The responses provided the Department with a range of information and views, including information from Scheme participants on costs associated with biomass installations, the impact of tariff changes and data on capital costs.

The Consultation Report provides an impartial record of the views and information provided by respondents. It also outlines the Department’s key considerations in identifying its preferred option for the long term payment structure for Non-Domestic RHI Scheme.

The Department will now identify a preferred option for the long-term payment structure. The Department will then write to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland requesting that she sponsors legislation in Westminster which would give effect to that option (in the absence of a Northern Ireland Assembly).   

The Department is grateful to those who took the time to respond.

Purpose of consultation

The purpose of this consultation document is to take your views on the future of the Scheme, including tariff options and other issues as the Department develops arrangements that it intends would be implemented from 1 April 2019. The objective of the Scheme is to support the generation of renewable heat. In doing so, the Department must balance its obligation to provide a reasonable rate of return on investment to the Scheme participants that receives State aid approval from the European Commission, with its duty to safeguard the public interest.

In line with the principles within Fresh Start Agreement which promotes greater use the digital platform and online consultation, the consultation will be undertaken using Citizen Space. Responses can be submitted online through the link above. The consultation can be provided in other formats on request.

Inspections and compliance

Installations on the Scheme are subject to audits which have been undertaken on behalf of the Department by Ofgem as part of its audit strategy. In addition to the audits already undertaken, the Department is carrying out a programme of inspections of installations to assess compliance with the Non-Domestic NIRHI Regulations and Scheme Guidance. This inspection and compliance activity will be ongoing over the Scheme’s lifetime. Further information on the inspection process is available online at RHI Non-Domestic Inspections Programme.

The Public Inquiry

This consultation is not intended to review the historic issues with the administration of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme. The Public Inquiry, which began hearings in November 2017, is currently examining the design, governance, implementation and operation of the Scheme in considerable detail and will report its findings.  Any evidence relevant to these specific issues should be provided to the Public Inquiry rather than in response to this consultation:

RHI Inquiry
1st Floor, Waterfront Plaza
8 Laganbank Road
Belfast, BT1 3LY

Telephone: 028 9040 8833

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