Anger at Government plans to cut money for solar energy
31 October 2011
A Barnsley solar panel installer has hit out at Government proposals to slash the money paid out to householders who generate electricity from the sun’s energy.
The government wants to reduce the Feed in Tariff (FIT) by more than half in just six weeks time. The FIT is paid for energy not used by the householder, but fed back in to the National Grid. In the first three months of this year alone the Government paid out more than £4.4m in FITs across the UK.
Philip Mosley, who runs Norcroft Electrical in Hoylandswaine, said it would have a devastating effect on the solar energy industry.
“We all knew FITs were going to be reduced at the end of next March, but to cut them so much and so soon could kill a growing industry and put thousands of people out of work.”
The Government announced today (October 31st) the FIT will be reduced from 43.3.p per KWh to just 21p for panels installed after December 12 this year.
The proposed reduction means that instead of paying for itself in ten years it would take 18 years to recoup the money for a 2.9kW system, which costs about £11,500 to install, according to the Energy Saving Trust’s figures.
And the early deadline would cause chaos in the industry, said Mr Mosley.
“We have orders on our books through to next March and there is no way we can get the work through in time. Everyone appreciates the Government needs to save money, but this is ridiculous.”
Mr Mosley set up Norcroft Electrical over ten years ago to carry out domestic and commercial electrical installations. In 2006 the family-run business started fitting solar panels. The business has grown year on year, doubling the turnover in the last year alone – and the increased demand for solar panels had led to an even busier time for the firm.
“My firm like many others will be hit hard by this change. But we are not just talking about jobs, we are talking about the future of a major renewable energy source. Householders are much less likely to fit solar panels if the financial returns are not as good.”
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