Feed-In Tariff Cuts Explained
There has been a big growth of Solar PV (electricity) over the last 18 months, stimulated by a hugely successful Feed in Tariff subsidy. This all now looks set to stop in its tracks.
The Feed in Tariffs (or ‘FITs’) started in April 2010, and since then 1000s of people across the country have been able to have solar installed. That’s because the financial returns meant that buying made sense, and because companies (led by HomeSun) began offering free solar to homeowners and for social housing. Free solar is around 50% of residential solar, and 50% is paid for.
The Tariff subsidy was due to be reduced in April 2011. However, on 31st October the government announced proposals to cut the subsidy by 50% (from 43.3p to 21p) from December 12th, midway through a 'consultation period'. This looks set to make Free Solar and thing of the past and to reduce the attractiveness of a paid-for system, certainly for those in the north of the country. Not only is this disappointing for homeowners who will lose out on free electricity, but also for the solar business. Solar is now a £billion industry, generating £25,000 jobs and over £270m for Treasury/public services every year.
Along with other solar businesses, trade associations and organisations like Friends of the Earth, HomeSun is trying to persuade government to change its position. We believe, in particular, that the 12th December date - being half way through a consultation - is unlawful, and has a very significant negative impact on businesses as well as the aspiration of homeowners who have applied for solar in good faith. With that background, we have started legal process and filed for a judicial review.
**The Government consultation document on solar PV is now out. Click here if you would like to read the whole thing**
Update 6 January 2012:
Government is granted permission to appeal on Friday 13 January 2012. Read more>>>
On 21 December 2011 Justice Mitting found Government Ministers had acted unlawfully in cutting feed-in tariffs from the 12th December. A Landmark Result for HomeSun, SolarCentury, and Friends of the Earth! Read more >>>