Charity Commission reopens Action Renewables probe after RHI evidence

Action Renewables
Brendan Hughes

THE Charity Commission has formally reopened its investigation into Action Renewables following damning evidence at the RHI inquiry.

The green energy firm, a registered charity, knew of serious flaws in the RHI scheme from its inception but did not warn Stormont officials, the inquiry heard.

It earned almost £250,000 advising on around a quarter of all RHI applications, and it told Invest NI clients in consultant reports it was "not wrong" to run RHI boilers longer than necessary for greater returns.

Last year the Charity Commission concluded that Action Renewables (AR) was operating within charity law, but RHI inquiry chair Sir Patrick Coghlin earlier this month said there was an "inescapable inference" the firm was "misleading the charity commissioners".

AR subsequently referred itself to the Charity Commission in a "serious incident report", while Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson also wrote to the watchdog seeking a fresh investigation.

In a letter yesterday to Mr Dickson, the Charity Commission said: "The commission can confirm that we have reopened our enquiry file into this charity."

Mr Dickson welcomed the probe and said he would be seeking a meeting with the watchdog to ask why the original investigation last year was closed.

He said he hoped the issue would be taken "extremely seriously" and any issues "appropriately addressed".

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