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Location :: Press Releases » PR » Solar PV Panels Online Comments on Ongoing Feed-In-Tariff Changes


Solar PV Panels Online Comments on Ongoing Feed-In-Tariff Changes

posted on: February 2nd, 2012
Solar PV Panels Online, a network of solar panel suppliers and installers in the UK, comments on the further developments with the feed-in-tariff (FIT) cuts.
The Department of Energy and Climate Control (DECC) lost its appeal to slash the 43p FIT rate to 21p for solar PV installations performed from the 12th of December to 3rd March 2012 onwards, as part of their efforts to reduce the pressure on their budget.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, has taken another step to ensure the cuts go ahead by seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court, which could take one year to resolve.
If the government are unsuccessful, the FIT will be paid at 43p for any installation before March 3rd. It will then drop to 21p for any installations performed after this date.
The saga of the cuts started in October 2011 when Mr. Huhne first proposed that the rate homeowners received for their excess energy should be halved. Although the industry accepted that the price of panels had significantly reduced and therefore profits were higher than expected, the proposal to backdate the cuts before the end of the consultation period was the real concern.
Solar companies HomeSun and SolarCentury, along with Friends of the Earth, decided to take the government to court and quickly won their case. Since then, the government has been appealing the decision.

The government has announced that no matter what the outcome of this latest appeal, they will implement the cuts on the 3rd March. The fear is that this will generate another rush on installations that the industry simply won’t be able to fit in time.

SolarCentury hosted a web-based Q&A session with Which? magazine to try to answer questions from the general public about the current status and the future of solar. By far and away the most common question was “Should I gamble on achieving a March installation?”. Clearly the drive is still there to install panels and reap the rewards of clean energy, but even companies whose business is solar are advising caution until this final appeal is resolved.
A spokesperson for Solar PV Panels Online commented: “We at Solar PV Panel Online think if the DECC wants to save money, they should instead reduce the guaranteed period from 25 years down to 20 years. This would keep the market afloat and save the government money at the same time.”