RHI applicants total 126 in Craigavon area

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A breakdown of applicants to the controversial Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) shows there were 126 made in the Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown areas.

Released by the BBC’s Stephen Nolan, the figures are broken down by postcode.

It also shows that Banbridge had just 29 applicants while Dromore had 14.

However, the vast majority of applicants appear to come from west of the Bann and in the Antrim and Ballymena areas.

Issues relating to scheme have contributed to the resignation of the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and the collapse of the Assembly

Set up in November 2012, the RHI scheme was an attempt by the NI Executive to help to increase consumption of heat from renewable sources.

It was run by then Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI). Its functions, and therefore the responsibility for the RHI, are now under the remit of the Department for the Economy and its minister, the DUP’s Simon Hamilton. The DETI minister at the time was the now First Minister, Arlene Foster.

The RHI offered a financial incentive for businesses and other non-domestic users to install renewable heat systems on their premises.

Those systems included biomass boilers, mostly burning wood pellets, as well as solar thermal and heat pumps.

An investigation into the scheme got under way in February 2016. It was prompted by the spike in applications and because a whistleblower contacted the Northern Ireland Executive in January alleging that the scheme was being abused.