Solarfeedintariff.co.uk has received hundreds of enquiries asking how the coalition government’s Spending Review will impact on feed-in tariffs. Feed-in tariffs, in the UK known as the Clean Energy Cash Back scheme were introduced as a way of incentivising investment in green energy through the payment of fixed, premium rates for energy generated from small scale renewable projects. Most of the enquiries coming through this website have focused specifically on how the Spending Review will affect UK solar projects so we will seek to answer some of the most popular queries.
How will the Spending Review affect Feed-in Tariffs?
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has stated that the tariffs will now be focused on the most cost-effective technologies and fortunately, this includes solar pv. The DECC has said,
“Feed-in tariffs will be refocused on the most cost-effective technologies saving £40m in 2014-15. The changes will be implemented at the first scheduled review of tariffs [in 2012, to kick in 2013] unless higher than expected deployment requires an early review.”
While rates for solar projects will remain unchanged, the government has announced that changes could be made in the 2012 review which could see the tariff cut by 10 per cent in 2014 and 2015. Rates paid by the tariff could be effected by what the DECC have termed a ‘Trigger Point’ where a figure for solar installation is met, reducing the tariff payments.
When will the Trigger Point take affect?
No announcement has been made as yet on the Trigger Point criteria but is likely to revolve around something like installed capacity or applications to install. We will not hear anything until 2012 at which point the government will have to revisit the legislation because currently there is no mention of trigger points in the tariff scheme.
When is the best time to install?
Perhaps one of the most common questions coming to us through our website is the question of the best time to install solar pv panels in order to start taking advantage of the feed-in tariffs. Our answer is always, right away! As it currently stands, you will be able to take advantage of rates of 41.3p until 2012 for units of energy generated from your solar panels. If, however there is a massive take up in solar installation within the next 2 years, the government may decide to reduce the tariff for future installations.
How will any changes affect people who have already installed?
It won’t. Contracts are fixed meaning that anyone who signs up for a tariff rate of 41.3p for units of energy generated can expect those payments for the next 25 years.
Solarfeedintariff.co.uk along with a number of environmental groups are happy with the way solar pv projects are safeguarded amongst the government’s drastic spending review. Now is certainly the time to take advantage of high tariff rates and generate revenue for your household for the next quarter of a century.