Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Location of all firms and farms that joined botched RHI energy scheme in Northern Ireland

The locations of those businesses that claimed from the botched Renewable Heating Incentive have been revealed.

Stormont has consistently refused to disclose details of those businesses that have claimed from the scheme which enabled some claimants to rake in huge profits from the scheme.

However, on Tuesday, the Stephen Nolan Radio Ulster Show revealed a breakdown of the locations of those businesses by post code area.

Of those businesses that are receiving money, 1,014 are commercial, 871 the agricultural poultry industry and 243 are farms.

There is nothing to suggest any of those businesses that claimed from the scheme have done anything wrong, however, Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said there had been "a degree of fraud" detected in early investigations, but his committee was told there was not enough to call in the police as yet.

The top five areas which have RHI claimants by post code are:

BT70 - Dungannon and South Tyrone - 192 applications

BT71 - Dungannons and South Tyrone - 150 applications

BT60 - Armagh - 112 applications

BT44 - Ballymena - 90 applications

BT78 - Omagh - 82 applications

RHI incentivised businesses to take up sustainable wood pellet boilers for heating systems. However, unlike a near identical scheme in England, there were no caps on tariffs meaning as the cost of the fuel went down, many profited from the scheme.

A projected overspend of £490m is to be picked up by the Northern Ireland taxpayer. Mr Hamilton outlined a plan intended to reduce that cost.

The Economy Minister said there was a large number of claimants generating "supernormal profits from the scheme".

He said his plan would allow costs to be reduced while a long term solution was found.

Arlene Foster, who was Enterprise Minister when the scheme was set up has pledged to fully investigate the matter and reduce the overspend to zero.

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