The group representing owners of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) accredited boilers in NI has written an open letter to all RHI claimants asking them to join the association.
The letter is aimed at directors and trustees of charities, community groups, churches and GAA clubs that have RHI accredited boilers installed.
“There are just under 600 members at present. Farmers and small business owners were the first to join, but we have seen increased number of sports clubs, churches and voluntary organisations join recently,” RHANI executive chair Andrew Trimble told the Irish Farmers Journal.
There are around 1,100 operators of RHI-accredited boilers, between farmers, small businesses, limited companies and voluntary organisations. “It is our aim to recruit and then advise and represent all participants in the RHI scheme,” the letter reads.
The cost of RHANI's judicial review next week which challenges the Department for the Economy’s decision to cut RHI tariffs earlier this year is around £200,000, with this money coming from membership fees and donations.
RHANI has four membership bands with initial joining fees as well as annual fees. These are corporate member for businesses with a turnover over £5m, full member for small- and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organisations and associate member.
For example, full membership involves a fee of £75 plus £125 for each accredited boiler with a provisional fee for 2018 levied at £100 per boiler.
Trimble said that he also wants to increase membership in preparation for a future consultation on RHI. The cost-cutting 2017 regulations were originally in place for one year and the department said in January that a consultation would be carried out before changing the regulations permanently. However, in August it was announced that this could be put off for at least another 12 months.