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Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in Northern Ireland

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 23, 2013
The solar thermal tariff of the Renewable Heat Incentive in Northern Ireland is lower than those offered in the mainland Great Britain scheme by 0.006 Pound Stirling (GBP)/kWh as the Northern Ireland tariffs are designed against displacing mainly oil rather than natural gas. Oil is the dominant heating fuel in Northern Ireland at 75%+, whereas natural gas is the dominant heating fuel in Great Britian at 70%+. As oil is a more expensive fossil fuel, The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) propose that less of an incentive is required to use renewables and so the subsidy effect works out approximately equal between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Great Britain has a slightly different Renewable Heat Incentive which is described in a separate table
This table was set up by Chris Laughton, Founder and Managing Director of The Solar Design Company in Great Britain.

Country / region

Northern Ireland

Name of programme

Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive

Type of incentive

Payment to the end-user every ¼ year related to the quantity of energy

Eligible technologies

  • Solar thermal
  • Solid biomass 
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Water-source heat pumps
  • Geothermal
  • Biogas combustion
  • CHP
  • Biomethane injection

Applicable sectors

Non-domestic unless multiple dwellings


Different rates are paid according to technology and size. For solar thermal the rate is  0.088 GBP/kWh for 20 years. Applicants who are already part of the scheme will receive their existing tariff adjusted annually by reference to the Retail Price Index. A degression method will reduce the tariffs paid to new RHI recipients on a quarterly basis, if uptake of the scheme is higher than expected.

Maximum incentive

For solar thermal systems with less than 200 kWth

Requirements for system

  • The system must use liquid or steam to deliver the heat (i.e. no direct air heating).
  • The heat generated must be used in a building for space heating, heating water or for carrying out a process where the heat is used for cleaning or drying carried out on a commercial basis.
  • At least one heat meter must be fitted.
  • Solar thermal collector to be certified from Solar Keymark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

Requirements for installation

Below 45 kWth, the installation must be carried out by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered installer.

Finance provider

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Total funds

GBP 25 million up to 2015 (for all technologies)

Funding source

Public budget

Effective date

Some installations can be back-dated to 1 September 2010

Expiration date

March 2020 but tariffs for new applicants are regularly reviewed. Above mentioned tariffs are valid until 15 April 2014


Last review of this tabloid

December 2013


Ofgem E-Serve RHI Enquiries:

Phone: 0044/845 200 2122



Effective Date: 
September 1, 2010