Guidance for applicants to the Non-Domestic RHI VBO Arrangements

Date published: 14 October 2019

Last updated: 13 November 2019


Guidance on eligibility and application for the 2019/20 non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Voluntary Buy-Out (VBO) arrangements can be downloaded from this page. The application window is now closed and the Department will contact applicants in due course. The Department will write to authorised signatories when any new application window opens.


VBO arrangements

The VBO arrangements have been introduced to ensure all current participants on the Northern Ireland non-domestic RHI scheme with small and medium sized biomass installations (up to but not including 200kW) have the potential to achieve a 12 per cent internal rate of return on the additional capital investment of installing a renewable technology as opposed to its fossil fuel alternative. This is the rate of return that the typical installation on the Scheme was intended to achieve, and the rate that was approved by the European Commission. On acceptance of a buy-out payment, an installation will cease to be accredited under the NIRHI scheme, and no further periodic payments will be made.

Full guidance on the 2019/20 VBO arrangements is available below.

Online Calculators

The Department has developed online calculators to allow participants to obtain an estimate of the buy-out offer which may be made based on the particular circumstances of their own installation(s). Before applying, the Department recommends that applicants seek an indication of the buy-out payment likely to be offered using the appropriate online calculator below. Any buy-out payment quoted using the calculators is an indicative amount only. The online calculators perform a simplified calculation based on input values entered by the applicant, therefore the actual amount offered by the Department may differ.

Privacy Notice

A privacy notice outlining how personal information will be handled under the NIRHI non-domestic VBO arrangements is included within the application form and available below.


Applications, including the supporting evidence detailed in the guidance, should be submitted electronically by the authorised signatory to, using the email address recorded as being the contact email address of the accredited installation, currently held by the Department/Ofgem. The application window is now closed.


Any queries relating to the VBO arrangements should be made in writing to Participants should quote the relevant installation number to which the query relates. The Department will only advise on specific cases where the request has been made by the authorised signatory, using the email address recorded as being the contact email address of the accredited installation, currently held by the Department/Ofgem. Postal queries should be sent to: RHI VBO Team, 
Netherleigh, Massey Avenue, Belfast, BT4 2JP.


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