Belfast Telegraph

Companies signed up to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme are named

Companies which signed up to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme have been named.

Poultry and mushroom farms are among recipients of grant aid for using biomass fuel, including chicken factory Moy Park.

No wrongdoing is alleged against any business or organisation involved.

Sainsbury's installed wood boilers as well as Charles Hurst car sales.

Stormont's Agriculture Department is using biomass to heat Greenmount and Loughry Colleges.

The National Trust's Giant's Causeway visitor centre is part of the scheme as well as a number of other properties owned by the conservation organisation.

Several golf clubs and nursing homes are on the list.

Hotels including Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown signed up.

People who applied as individuals, not companies, have not yet been named.

The Economy Department won a court case earlier this month after some boiler owners challenged plans to publish the names.

Details of the individuals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be released later.

Former First Minister Arlene Foster established the RHI scheme in 2012 when she was enterprise minister in a bid to move from fossil to renewable energy sources.

However, flaws in the scheme's design meant recipients were able to earn more than it cost to fuel the boilers, leading to allegations of a "cash for ash" scandal.

The overspend could cost taxpayers £490 million over the next 20 years.

Former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness asked Mrs Foster to stand aside and when she refused he resigned and collapsed the power-sharing institutions.

A snap election was held earlier this month.

A public inquiry into the RHI will be led by retired judge Sir Patrick Coghlin, with the first session expected in April.

It will consider allegations that political pressure was applied to delay the closure of the scheme as problems became apparent.

The Renewable Heat Association of Northern Ireland (RHANI) represents some firms receiving payments.

It said: " The Renewable Heat Association hopes that this will not lead to an assumption by the public or the media that the participants are acting improperly in any way, as the simple publication of names is, in no way, evidence of wrongdoing.

"Participants of the Renewable Heat Incentive entered a scheme legitimately which was designed and promoted by the Government in Northern Ireland."

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph