Grants

The Northern Ireland domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is to encourage people to switch to renewable heating systems and reduce carbon emissions. If you join and meet the requirements you'll get an upfront sum and a payment every year for the following seven years.

The scheme is open to all households but if you don't have mains gas you will get the most benefit from fuel bill savings and reduced carbon emissions.

The eligible heating systems for the Domestic RHI are:

  • Biomass boilers
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source and water source heat pumps
  • Flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal systems (solar does not require an EPC certificate)

Domestic RHI

You can apply to the Domestic RHI scheme if your renewable heating system only heats a single home for which you have a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The EPC is the proof we need that your property is assessed as a domestic dwelling.Without an EPC you won’t be able to join the domestic RHI scheme.

Upfront payments

Type of heating Payment
Biomass £2,500
Air source heat pump £1,700
Ground source heat pump £3,500
Solar thermal £320

If you have already received support under the RHPP you will receive the ongoing payment only.

If you are installing a Grant wood pellet boiler you would be eligible for a further £1500 from grant  engineering

Ongoing payments

The ongoing payments are calculated multiplying a tariff with the heat demand/use in your home.

The current tariff rates in pence per kilo watt hour (p/kWh) are as follows:

Type of heating Tariff
Biomass 5.7p/kWh
Air source heat pump 3.6p/kWh
Ground source heat pump 8.3p/kWh
Solar thermal 13.7p/kWh

 

Non-Domestic RHI

The Non-Domestic RHI is generally for those with renewable heating systems in commercial, public or industrial premises. This can include small and large businesses, hospitals, schools and organisations with district heating schemes where one heating system serves multiple homes.

The Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a scheme run by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) that provides financial support to non-domestic renewable heat generators who are based in Northern Ireland.

Where it can be more complicated

If your property set-up doesn’t quite fit into the standard descriptions above, or if your renewable system supplies heat to more than one building, it can be more difficult to decide which scheme to apply to. It depends on several factors but very generally:

  • Properties with a home office within a house that has, or can get, a domestic EPC should be eligible for domestic RHI.
  • Properties with annexes attached to the house are normally covered by one domestic EPC and should be eligible for domestic RHI.
  • Properties with a main house and a self contained outbuilding (with its own bathroom and kitchen) both heated by a single renewable heating system would normally have an EPC for each, and would not be eligible for the domestic RHI but they may be eligible for the non-domestic scheme.
  • Properties with a main house and other outbuildings (not covered by an EPC) all heated by a single renewable heating system would not be eligible for the domestic RHI but they may be eligible for the non-domestic scheme.

As a starting point, you could check which buildings are covered by your EPC with your EPC advisor.

Biomass boilers

This applies to installations using solid biomass; municipal solid waste (including combined heat and power).

Size range NI RHI tariff (pence per kWh) Length of tariff
Less than 20kWth 6.7 20 years
20kWth and above, up to but not including 100kWth 6.4 20 years
100kWth and above, up to but not including 1000kWth 1.5 20 years

 

Ground source heat pump

This applies to installations using water source heat pumps and deep geothermal.

Size range NI RHI tariff (pence per kWh) Length of tariff
Less than 20kWth 9.0 20 years
20kWth and above, up to but not including 100kWth 4.6 20 years
100kWth and above 1.3 20 years

 

Solar thermal

This applies to installations using solar thermal panels.

Size range NI RHI tariff (pence per kWh) Length of tariff
Below 200kWth 9.1 20 years