N. Ireland Politics

Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry day-by-day reports

Burning wood pellets in a biomass boiler
Image caption The RHI scheme offered financial incentives for businesses to use renewable fuels to generate heat

A public inquiry into the scandal surrounding the disastrous Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme is taking place at Stormont.

It is investigating how a harmless-looking green energy initiative led to the biggest political crisis in Northern Ireland for over a decade.

The RHI scheme offered financial incentives for businesses start using renewable fuels to generate heat.

But it was critically flawed, causing a vast overspend of public money.

Follow BBC News NI's full day-by day coverage by clicking on the links below.

Day one: Tuesday 7 November

Summary: RHI scheme 'struck at democracy's heart'

Detailed updates: Public inquiry into RHI scandal opens

Day two: Wednesday 8 November

Summary: Foster 'wanted RHI launched without delay'

Detailed updates: 'Scene set' for cash-for-ash inquiry

Day three: Thursday 9 November

Summary: DUP advisers 'stopped RHI decisions'

Detailed updates: DUP adviser emails laid out at RHI probe

Day four: Friday 10 November

Summary: 'Conspiracy of silence' around RHI scheme

Detailed updates: Department 'sorry' for cash-for-ash flaws

Day five: Tuesday 14 November

Summary: NI's need for own energy scheme questioned

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' probe told of RHI inception

Day six: Wednesday 15 November

Summary: Concerns over 'abuse' of UK energy scheme

Detailed updates: Inquiry examines 'cash-for-ash' origins

Day seven: Thursday 16 November

Summary: Foster to be quizzed over RHI assumptions

Detailed updates: Inquiry hears of birth of 'cash-for-ash

Day eight: Friday 17 November

Summary: Many knew RHI 'too good to be true'

Detailed updates: RHI scheme 'too good to be true'

Day nine: Tuesday 28 November

Summary: No evidence of 'senior hand' in RHI scheme

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' inquiry questions first witness

Day 10: Wednesday 29 November

Summary: Officials 'not told of RHI restrictions'

Detailed updates: Inquiry hears of 'cash-for-ash' funding

Day 11: Thursday 30 November

Summary: Advisers 'should have noticed RHI flaw'

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' adviser appears at inquiry

Day 12: Friday 1 December

Summary: RHI consultants 'reputation is at stake'

Detailed updates: Adviser quizzed on key 'cash-for-ash' error

Day 13: Tuesday 5 December

Summary: RHI official 'raised staff shortage risk'

Detailed updates: Key official faces inquiry over scheme role

Day 14: Wednesday 6 December

Summary: Budget experts 'didn't grasp' cash-for-ash finances

Detailed updates: Finance officials questioned on energy scheme

Day 15: Thursday 7 December

Summary: Foster not told of hike in RHI costs

Detailed updates: Department's energy boss quizzed at inquiry

Day 16: Friday 8 December

Summary: 'Opportunity missed' to close RHI loophole

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' official recalled to inquiry

Day 17: Monday 18 December

Summary: Foster 'should have been told RHI costs'

Detailed updates: Key scheme official faces more questions

Day 18: Tuesday 19 December

Summary: Missing RHI flaw 'doesn't look too clever'

Detailed updates: More questions for 'cash-for-ash' boss

Day 19: Wednesday 20 December

Summary: RHI scheme 'cost £300m more than alternative'

Detailed updates: DETI economist under 'cash-for-ash' scrutiny

Day 20: Thursday 21 December

Detailed updates: More evidence from RHI scheme economist

Day 21: Monday 8 January

Summary: Foster's RHI inquiry date brought forward

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' boss back in inquiry spotlight

Day 22: Tuesday 9 January

Summary: Cash-for-ash cost controls removed twice

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' probe examines scheme rules

Day 23: Wednesday 10 January

Summary: RHI scheme details 'withheld from MLAs'

Detailed updates: MLA 'angry' over 'cash-for-ash' failings

Day 24: Thursday 11 January

Summary: Lawyer warned of weaknesses in RHI scheme

Detailed updates: 'Cash-for-ash' legal advice 'ignored by DETI'

Day 25: Wednesday 24 January

Summary: RHI scheme communication 'dangerous'

Detailed updates: 'Fundamental dangers' of cash-for-ash communication

Day 26: Thursday 25 January

Summary: RHI economist says scheme was 'beyond' him

Detailed updates: RHI economist admits to inexperience

Day 27: Friday 26 January

Summary: Economist 'did not see RHI's false economy'

Detailed updates: 'Incredible time pressure' over RHI scheme

Day 28: Tuesday 30 January

Summary: Flaws mean cash-for-ash 'could happen again'

Detailed updates: 'Time pressure applied' over cash-for-ash scheme

Day 29: Wednesday 31 January

Summary: Civil servants 'furious' when scheme costs doubled

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash boss 'furious' over cost rise

Day 30: Thursday 1 February

Summary: RHI tax issue 'should've gone to Europe'

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash boss's order 'not normal'

Day 31: Friday 2 February

Summary: Official thought RHI had 'big red button'

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash paper for Foster 'inaccurate'

Day 32: Tuesday 6 February

Summary: Foster letter subject of 'media speculation'

Detailed updates: Foster 'didn't write' cash-for-ash letter to banks

Day 33: Wednesday 7 February

Summary: Whistleblower 'doubted concerns would be investigated'

Detailed updates: Whistleblowers concerns 'not probed'

Day 34: Thursday 8 February

Summary: Civil servants 'want to spread blame'

Detailed updates: 'Feeding frenzy' as cash-for-ash closed

Day 35: Friday 9 February

Summary: Whistleblower 'would take same actions again'

Detailed updates: Whistleblower 'made out as liar'

Day 36: Tuesday 20 February

Summary: Dispute over RHI personal information

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash makes 'official feel sick'

Day 37: Wednesday 21 February

Summary: Ministers 'should be more involved' in policy

Detailed updates: Officials warned of cash-for-ash risks

Day 38: Thursday 22 February

Summary: Foster and official disagree on meetings

Detailed updates: 'Evidence contrast' from Foster and RHI boss

Day 39: Friday 23 February

Summary: RHI scheme boss 'never saw lurid leaflets'

Detailed updates: Foster not told of missed cash-for-ash target

Day 40: Tuesday 27 February

Summary: Official 'did not enjoy' running scheme

Detailed updates: RHI civil servant 'caught in eye of storm'

Day 41: Wednesday 28 February

Summary: Scheme given go-ahead 'without enough resources'

Detailed updates: Foster and DETI 'chose not to prioritise RHI'

Day 42: Thursday 1 March

Summary: Civil servant 'didn't really understand what was going on'

Detailed updates: 'No-one monitored' for cash-for-ash risks

Day 43: Friday 2 March

Summary: Cost control delay 'is inexplicable'

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash staff changes 'were incorrect'

Day 44: Tuesday 13 March

Summary: Minutes not taken 'to frustrate freedom of information'

Detailed updates: Civil service boss 'can't explain' cash-for-ash

Day 45: Wednesday 14 March

Summary: 'Two versions' of key meeting minutes

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash meeting minutes 'watered down'

Day 46: Thursday 15 March

Summary: Paisley 'lobbied' administrator over RHI application

Detailed updates: Paisley 'lobbied' for cash-for-ash applicant

Day 47: Friday 16 March

Summary: Major poultry firm 'consulted' on cost controls

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash oversight 'not like in GB'

Day 48: Tuesday 20 March

Summary: Sterling admits responsibility for failings

Detailed updates: Civil service boss admits cash-for-ash failures

Day 49: Wednesday 21 March

Summary: Paisley calls for apology over 'intimidating call' remark

Detailed updates: DUP MP demands apology from inquiry chair

Day 50: Thursday 22 March

Summary: Sterling defends Stormont department's record

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash department 'serial money offender'

Day 51: Friday 23 March

Summary: Foster cost control assumption 'incorrect'

Detailed updates: 'No evidence' for claim against Foster

Day 52: Tuesday 10 April

Summary: RHI boiler 'earned £35k in one year'

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash strategy 'risky' for farmers

Day 53: Wednesday 11 April

Summary: Adviser 'did not try to keep scheme open'

Detailed updates: Foster adviser 'didn't read key RHI report'

Day 54: Thursday 12 April

Summary: Foster 'bears no responsibility' for debacle

Detailed updates: 'Personal regret' for Foster over cash-for-ash

Day 55: Friday 13 April

Summary: Foster's cash-for-ash department 'dysfunctional'

Detailed updates: Wish I'd asked more questions, says Foster

Day 56: Monday 16 April

Summary: Foster 'wrote blank cheque' for scheme

Detailed updates: 'Officials misled Foster' on cash-for-ash

Day 57: Tuesday 17 April

Summary: Adviser 'did not intend to advantage cousin'

Detailed updates: Foster adviser leaked RHI papers to cousin

Day 58: Wednesday 18 April

Summary: Civil service boss's note-taking claim nonsense, says Foster

Detailed updates: Foster 'didn't write blank cheque' for RHI

Day 59: Thursday 19 April

Summary: Foster denies cash-for-ash was to benefit DUP voters

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash whistleblower 'fed to wolves'

Day 60: Tuesday 8 May

Summary: Boiler applications 'more than double' estimate

Detailed updates: Moy Park told of key cash-for-ash changes

Day 61: Wednesday 9 May

Summary: Buck stops with me, says auditor

Detailed updates: 'Failures made' by cash-for-ash auditor

Day 62: Thursday 10 May

Detailed updates: 'Penny dropped' over cash-for-ash budget

Day 63: Friday 11 May

Summary: Ofgem 'allowed abuse of taxpayers' money'

Detailed updates: Public body 'participated in RHI cash waste'

Day 64: Tuesday 15 May

Summary: Cash-for-ash manager admits 'naivety'

Detailed updates: Moy Park cash-for-ash consultation 'naive'

Day 65: Wednesday 16 May

Summary: Inquiry hears of 'total divorce' between departments

Detailed updates: 'Total divorce' at Stormont over cash-for-ash

Day 66: Thursday 17 May

Summary: Boss 'did not read' RHI problems report

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash team 'faced sea of risks'

Day 67: Friday 18 May

Summary: Officials not warned of boiler 'gaming'

Detailed updates: 'No interest' in making RHI value for money

Day 68: Wednesday 30 May

Summary: Foster 'did not halt cost control plans'

Detailed updates: Minister 'not told of RHI warning'

Day 69: Thursday 31 May

Summary: Foster adviser shared privileged legal letter

Detailed updates: Legal letter passed to ex-DUP leader Robinson's son

Day 70: Friday 1 June

Summary: 'Limited paper trail' between DUP advisers

Detailed updates: RHI minister had curry house confrontation

Day 71: Tuesday 5 June

Summary: Inquiry 'must decide if Foster showed candour'

Detailed updates: RHI minister Bell 'was a passenger'

Day 72: Wednesday 6 June

Summary: Manager 'unaware' of newspaper articles on RHI

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash call from DUP adviser 'unusual'

Day 73: Thursday 7 June

Summary: Three RHI boilers were 'heating empty space'

Detailed updates: Only 1.5% of cash-for-ash boilers inspected

Day 74: Friday 8 June

Summary: Boiler installers 'urged customers to order quickly'

Detailed updates: 'Panic' as cash-for-ash crisis unfolded

Day 75: Tuesday 19 June

Summary: Moy Park told of RHI changes 'as courtesy'

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash concerns 'played down'

Day 76: Wednesday 20 June

Summary: Plan to stop spike led to flood of applications

Detailed updates: RHI document 'didn't reflect reality'

Day 77: Thursday 21 June

Summary: Key meeting 'driven by unelected adviser, not minister'

Detailed updates: DUP adviser 'delayed cash-for-ash changes'

Day 78: Friday 22 June

Summary: Moy Park 'drove farmers to RHI scheme'

Detailed updates: Farmers 'tarred by cash-for-ash pub talk'

Day 79: Tuesday 26 June

Summary: RHI not 'fully understood' by finance officials

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash assurances 'taken at face value'

Day 80: Wednesday 27 June

Summary: Officials 'treated as opposition' by DUP advisers

Detailed updates: DUP 'treated RHI officials as opposition'

Day 81: Thursday 28 June

Summary: 'Attempt to protect Foster' over RHI closure

Detailed updates: DUP 'had desire to pin RHI blame' on Bell

Day 82: Friday 29 June

Summary: Moy Park 'got indirect benefit' from scheme

Detailed updates: Poultry giant 'urged farmers to join RHI'

Day 83: Tuesday 4 September

Summary: Bell 'had dysfunctional relationship' with adviser

Detailed updates: Cash-for-ash 'baton dropped' by officials

Day 84: Wednesday 5 September

Summary: 'No resistance' from advisers to RHI on agenda

Detailed updates: Breakfast row 'caused RHI trust breakdown'

Day 85: Thursday 6 September

Summary: Bell a 'monster who had to be put to sleep'

Detailed updates: Bell 'victim of DUP smear campaign'

Day 86: Friday 7 September

Summary: Bell opposed RHI extension 'to protect public funds'

Detailed updates: Bell 'argued hard with Foster' to close RHI

Day 87: Tuesday 11 September

Summary: DUP advisers at odds over RHI delay

Detailed updates: Bell 'not suitable' for ministerial job

Day 88: Wednesday 12 September

Summary: Advisers' 'irreconcilable difference' over RHI

Detailed updates: DUP 'protected top adviser' over cash-for-ash

Day 89: Thursday 13 September

Summary: DUP 'pinned blame' for RHI on Crawford

Detailed updates: Foster's DUP adviser 'sore' over RHI blame

Day 90: Friday 14 September

Summary: Ex-DUP adviser 'cut poultry RHI reference'

Detailed updates: DUP adviser denies closure tip-off for Moy Park

Day 91: Thursday 20 September

Summary: Consultant 'raised RHI concerns' with Invest NI

Detailed updates: Energy expert spotted critical RHI flaws

Day 92: Friday 21 September

Summary: Invest NI 'missed opportunity' to raise RHI concerns

Detailed updates: Moy Park 'benefitted financially' from RHI scheme