Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell, has announced proposed changes to the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme.
The RHI provides long term financial support for businesses and households wishing to switch from conventional heating to renewable heating solutions, such as biomass, heat pumps and solar thermal.
Due to the success of the non-domestic scheme and an unprecedented increase in application numbers changes are proposed to introduce tiered tariffs for new biomass heating systems from 4 November 2015.
Commenting on the changes to the scheme, Jonathan Bell said: “Both RHI schemes are performing very well and we’re on track to achieve the interim Programme for Government target of 4% renewable heat this year. However this success now means we need to ensure the scheme remains affordable and that support can continue to be provided to consumers and businesses wishing to switch to renewable heating technologies in the future. I want businesses to continue to achieve a reasonable return on their investment while contributing to the protection of our environment.”
The Minister added: “It is anticipated that changes will take effect from 4 November 2015, subject to Assembly procedures. Any installations completed before this date will be eligible for the current tariffs. More information on the RHI scheme is provided on the Energywise pages of the Executive’s NI Direct website.”
The domestic and non-domestic RHI schemes are open to all households and businesses and support installations commissioned since 1 September 2010. The levels of support under the RHI schemes and guidance documents for applicants and installers can be found here.