On December 12th 2011 the Solar Feed-in-Tariff was due to be slashed in half to 21p per kilowatt-hour, but this move has been fought in the courts as it was deemed to be detrimental to the solar industry, potentially costing thousands of jobs.
The government claims that the current solar tariff is unsustainable and that there is not enough budget to cover it. The tariff was at 43.3p per kilowatt-hour, but they proposed cutting it to 21p. However, the proposal was expected to come into effect from April 1st 2012, instead it was announced in October of last year it would come into effect on December 12th.
This sudden change caused uproar from the solar industry who decided to take the government to court, with The High Court ruling today (25/01/12), that the changing of the tariff in this way was “legally flawed”, which is now being upheld by the Court of Appeal. This change upset the industry because there was then a rush to get projects completed to ensure they get the initial amount of Feed-in-Tariff.
The government have a contingency plan in place, should the tariff of 43.3p have to remain in place until March, but the government are considering appealing to the Supreme Court against the ruling, which may then allow them to return to the cut-off date of December 12th. This has resulted in there being no guarantee on you having the higher tariff if you had an installation after the cut-off date.
The Feed-in-Tariff may be in a bit of confusion, but some things about photovoltaic solar energy are plain and simple. They will generate electricity for your home. They will save you money on your bills. They are helping the UK reduce its carbon footprint. You will be making your home a greener place to live.
What do you think about the government’s decision to cut the tariff when it did? What would you have done differently? Let us know using the comment panel below.