The Northern Ireland (Regional Rates and Energy) Act 2019 conferred powers on the Department for the Economy to operate voluntary buy-out (VBO) arrangements during the period while there was no Northern Ireland Executive. On 14 October 2019 the Department launched a call for applications under the 2019/20 VBO arrangements.
In light of the return of the Northern Ireland Executive, and publication of the New Decade, New Approach deal which states that: “RHI will be closed down and replaced by a scheme that effectively cuts carbon emissions”, the department is considering the options for the future of the Non-Domestic RHI Scheme.
Given these considerations, on 23 March 2020 the department advised VBO applicants that the 2019/20 VBO arrangements would be halted with no offers issued.
The department will communicate with all participants in due course in relation to the future of the Non-Domestic RHI Scheme.