Our Association represents the churches, civic and sports clubs, charities, businesses and farmers affected by the 2017 Regulations and by DfE (NI)’s mismanagement of the Scheme.  Many were very reluctant to have to take on the Government but charity trustees who entered into these 20 year agreements are obligated to do something.

The announcement yesterday, that all Scheme members had been informed of the pilot audit (10 announced and 10 unannounced) would appear to have been a smokescreen for this announcement that appeared on the Department’s website, this afternoon after a number of journalists had enquired.  In the style of the Department, no notice had been given to those affected by this proposal.  Empty-shed man does not exist.  The audit should have started in 2016 and any fly by night scammer- if they ever existed – has flown, leaving councils to heat swimming pools and departments to heat hospitals using expensive renewables.

The businesses that made the colossal £150M investment in this green-energy scheme must rue the day when they accepted at face value, the guarantees and promises that the Department’s officials made at the various road shows and then burdened themselves with borrowings.

The banks will never again trust any Northern Ireland Department promise and the Assembly, the Scheme members and the people of Northern Ireland must doubt the words of those who told them that the emergency measures were for one year only whilst DfE balanced their books, this year and sorted out their relationship with the Department of Finance.

Why has this latest u-turn happened?  ? Because our Department for the Economy can’t do economic appraisals, can’t plan, can’t do sums and can’t apologise.

DfE can however, balance its books if it bankrupts the businesses who believed its pledges and invested their own money and turned away from burning oil.  These were 20 year, indexed linked guaranteed promises.

Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK and probably the only region in Europe with no currently available renewable energy scheme of any kind.

Link to www.rhani.org/rhi-economic-scale