Many within the mushroom growing sector and among poultry producers have taken advantage of the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and installed biomass boilers to provide heating on their farms.

A range of wood pellet and wood chip boilers have been installed across Northern Ireland and their owners are benefiting from the RHI payments.

The RHI was launched during November 2012 for the non-domestic sector. The scheme provides support to renewable heat installations commissioned after 1 September 2010 and is expected to be open to new applicants until 31 March 2020, providing guaranteed payments for 20 years following accreditation of the installation.

The scheme is administered by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem). They are responsible for receiving applications, ensuring the conditions of the scheme are adhered to, making payments and auditing systems.

At 1 February 2014, there were 90 applications of which 60 have been fully accredited. All of the applications, to date, have been for biomass boilers.  The total heat capacity of the RHI applications is in the order of 12MW and the average size of boiler is 130kW.

For more information go to or contact Ofgem at [email protected] or 0845 200 2122.

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme was launched during May 2012 as a support measure for domestic users to utilise renewable heating. The full domestic RHI scheme is expected to be launched later this year and will provide ongoing payments for domestic consumers using renewable heating.

Pictured one of the biomass boilers on the farm of Mr Paul Hobson, Dungannon, which benefits from the Renewable Heat Incentive. Hear more about it at the Practical On-farm Renewable Energy Event at Enniskillen Campus on 26 February.

By Cathal Ellis, Renewable Energy Technologist, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus 

To date the RHPP scheme has proved popular with over 1500 applications and 844 heating systems installed.  The renewable heat capacity of these installations is 12.2MW. Further information on the RHPP can be found at