A company used as a major film location for Game of Thrones installed 10 RHI boilers during the ‘spike’ in applications ahead of a cost cap being introduced.
John Hogg and Co already had two RHI boilers in place by that point in September 2015, meaning that it has a total of 12 biomass heating systems which have already brought in £417,322 for the firm.
There is no suggestion whatsoever that the company – which has publicised its environmental credentials – is among those abusing the scheme.
Every single one of the company’s boilers are 99kwth – the maximum size on which the most lucrative rate can be claimed and bring in a total of about £760 a day in subsidies.
Yesterday the company said that the boilers at its film studio and other property on the former Ulster Weavers mill site in Banbridge had been installed as part of its “award-winning Zero Carbon Sustainability Action Plan”.
The site has reportedly been used by Lady Gaga and other major international artists.
John Hogg Operational – which operates the film studio – does not itself employ any staff and is a subsidiary of John Hogg and Co Ltd.
That company made £1.27 million in profit last year and paid its top director £228,000.
The company’s most recent annual accounts also state that it has made no political donations.
Its two controlling directors are Ian William Larmor Webb and Robert Mitchel Webb.
Details of the firm’s RHI claims are contained within the lengthy list of RHI claimants released at the end of last week by Stormont.
The company’s 19-acre site on Castlewellan Road is home to a number of businesses, including manufacturing and logistics firms. Its most famous tenant has been hit TV show Game of Thrones.
In a statement, John Hogg and Co Ltd said that the RHI boilers provide renewable heating for tenants at the site.
It said: “In pursuit of John Hogg Operational’s award-winning Zero Carbon Sustainability Action Plan, biomass boilers are used to provide 100% renewable heating for all tenants on our Banbridge site.
“Installed, operated and maintained in accordance with energy management best practice, biomass technology is making a positive contribution to climate change mitigation, energy security, job security and local business development.”
The company was asked how many tenants are currently based at the site and if the cost of heating is included in their rent. It had not replied at the time of publication.
According to the company’s website, it has made a £1 million investment in renewable heat. A promotional leaflet by the company describes its heating system as a “distributed biomass heating scheme that utilises 12 zoned biomass boilers and bespoke woodchip drying infrastructure to provide the site with 100% renewable heat”.
And it says that the space occupied by HBO for Game of Thrones is renewably heated “to protect their valuable and temperature-sensitive film sets”, saying that “previously inefficient oil-fired blow heaters were used with limited success for this function”.