Discover Solar Power

Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO)

The Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (or NIRO as it is commonly known) is a government incentive to encourage you to purchase a solar installation for your home or business.

It means that you get paid for the electricity you generate from your solar installation and it is composed of two parts:

  • Generation tariff: Your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (i.e. kWh) of electricity you generate, regardless of whether you have used that free electricity or not.
  • Export tariff: If your electricity is supplied by Power NI, they will also pay you for the electricity you export back to the grid. This is the free electricity generated by your solar installation, which you have not had the opportunity to use. A meter is installed in your home to measure how much electricity is exported and you will be paid accordingly.

What is the current rate of both tariffs under the NIRO? 

This rate is the same for all domestic installations which are up to 50 kWp in size, so this will cover all homes in Northern Ireland.

  • Generation tariff: You will be paid in Renewable Obligation Certifcates (ROCs) for the amount of energy you produce. For a domestic system (up to 50kW) you will earn 4 ROCs for every unit of energy (i.e. kWh) you generate. Each ROC is worth 4.08p, so that’s a total of 16.32p.
  • Export tariff: You will be paid 5.59p for every unit (i.e. kWh) exported.


How long will these continue to be paid? 

Currently in Northern Ireland there is government consultation taking place, by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI).
From 1 April 2015, it is proposed that the value of each ROC will be significantly lower. This is still under review – You can find out all the latest information on the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment website.

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