DECC cuts penalty for multiple solar schemes

Housing providers who install photovoltaic panels could be in line for higher than expected payments following changes to government plans.

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Yesterday the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced it is lowering the reduction in feed-in tariff payments for multiple installations from 80 per cent of the payment to 90 per cent.

However landlords will still be hit by sharp cuts to FIT payments, which have been confirmed by the government in its response to the first of two consultations on the solar incentive scheme.

This states the payment will fall from 21p/kilowatt hour to 16p/KwH from 1 August, one month later than planned, and will then decline by an average of 3.5 per cent every three months from then on. DECC said the reductions reflect the falling cost of photovoltaic technology.

Social landlords could avoid the 10 per cent additional reduction to payments if the second FIT consultation goes through as planned.

This said community schemes, which could include social landlords, would be exempt from the aggregated scheme reduction. The government response to this consultation is expected in July.

An impact assessment published alongside yesterday’s consultation response drastically cut predictions for the deployment of PV panels by 2020. The government had been aiming to have 22GW of capacity in place, but has now cut its forecast to 11.9GW due to an increase in the estimated costs of PV.

Despite this climate change minister Greg Barker insisted the new FIT rules would ‘provide a strong, sustainable foundation for growth for the solar sector’.

He said: ‘UK solar continues to be an attractive proposition for many consumers considering microgeneration technologies and that having placed the subsidy support for this technology on a long-term, sustainable footing, industry can plan for growth with confidence.’


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