RHI scheme: Independent expert to examine claims of financial hardship

The RHI scheme was dubbed 'cash for ash'
The RHI scheme was dubbed 'cash for ash'
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The Department for the Economy has announced the appointment of energy expert Andrew Buglass to consider the issue of hardship relating to participants in the Northern Ireland Non-Domestic RHI scheme (NIRHI).

Mr Buglass’ appointment follows a Call for Evidence process with NIRHI participants, which took place in the summer. It sought evidence of the presence and nature of financial hardship as a result of cuts to NIRHI tariffs.

The department yesterday published its response to that consultation.

“While the majority of the 78 respondents to the Call for Evidence claimed they face hardship as a result of the tariff changes, only a minority submitted sufficient supporting evidence to the department of their circumstances. Many indicated a preference to instead deal directly with the independent person or panel that would consider the issue,” a department spokesperson said.

“Mr Buglass, an independent consultant with significant experience advising on energy schemes, will engage with participants to consider and seek evidence of hardship suffered by businesses.

“He will develop a relevant definition of hardship, investigate its presence as a result of NIRHI participation, and make recommendations to the department on any appropriate course of action.”

Mr Buglass is expected to report to the department before the end of the year.