HomeSun Makes A Difference
Sometimes - regardless of the odds - you have to stand up for what you believe in. So it was that in 2011 HomeSun took on the UK government in the courts over their treatment of Feed-in Tariffs which threatened to leave homeowners stranded and undermine the future of the solar industry. We won the case.
Why did we take the action?
Solar is now a £1billion industry, employing almost 40,000 people and generating for Treasury (for our public services) over £270million per year. This success is partly down to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidy which was launched in April 2010 and which runs for 4 years. The purpose of the subsidy was to enable the solar industry to grow to scale, so that costs would come down and then, without a subsidy, it would be more easily affordable for homeowners.
The FiT was due to reduce in April 2012, and the industry had proposed a reduction of 30%. Suddenly on 31st October, government announced a 'consultation' running to 23rd December, and a proposed cut of 50% from 12th December 2011. This announcement created chaos: thousands of homeowners trying to get installed when there weren't enough people or kits to do the job; thousands of businesses going to the wall because they had committed stock which wouldn't be arriving until 2012; thousands of people put on notice of losing their jobs.
The prime reason for the chaos was having a 'cut date' mid way through a consultation period. HomeSun believed the action was illegal and we had to stand up for the industry, our customers and other homeowners and groups who had begun the process of investing in solar and were likely to be let down. We started the legal challenge on our own, and then joined forces with Friends of the Earth and Solarcentury. HomeSun's barrister lead the case.
We won the case - government's actions were declared illegal. In fact, we won three times: in the High Court, in the Court of Appeal and then when the government's final appeal to the Supreme Court failed.
At the court announcement, Daniel Green, our CEO said
“The losers here are the big energy companies who don’t want to see homeowners producing their own energy but just want us to pay more and more to them; and also those who appear to be their allies in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Government cannot push through legislation at any cost without due consultation."
“HomeSun will continue to work on behalf of the British public to free people from unfair and relentless energy price rises.
“This ruling is important not only for the solar industry but for all future government consultations. To have an ‘effective date’ in the middle of a consultation must never happen again because it makes a mockery of the very essence of what a consultation is. By finding this policy illegal, the Judicial Review has stopped a dangerous precedent being set.”
Many of our customers have mailed and phoned us with messages of support. Thank you very much - it's kept us going. Thank you also to our staff who have been an amazing team throughout a challenging time, we finally got the decision we have fought so hard for.