Government loses case to appeal and higher feed-in-tariff stays
Supreme Court rules against DECC to finally bring clarity on feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates.
The government has been denied the right to appeal against the High Court ruling that its action to drop the FIT by more than 50% was unlawful. The Supreme Court‘s decision to disallow an appeal means that the FIT decrease is inapplicable due to the government’s attempt to implement it prior to the end of the public consultation in December last year.
As a result, all installations completed between 12 December 2011 and 3 March 2012 qualify for the higher FIT rate of 45.4p per kWh (this represents the 43.3p rate increased by the annual inflation increase). If your system was installed before 12 December 2011 your new tariff is also 45.4p.
The uncertainty regarding the feed-in-tariff available to our solar PV customers has made it difficult to advise on potential energy savings and financial earnings from their new systems, but we welcome the Court’s decision and are delighted for those customers who will now receive the higher rate over the next 25 years.
Next steps – 21p FIT rate and EPCs
We are also pleased to be able to move cleanly into the next stage of solar installations. From 4 March until 30 June 2012 the FIT rate is set at 21p per kWh. With this and the substantial drop in price of solar panels since last month, solar installations remain a very good investment with attractive rates of return.
For example, as a result of the reduction of costs, a Sharp 4kWp system now costs £8,661 installed – inclusive of scaffolding and VAT. This represents an 11.5% return on investment with the new 21p FIT rate.
New energy efficiency rules also mean that new solar systems must be installed on buildings that meet the criteria of EPC Level D after the installation of solar electricity in order to receive the 21p feed-in-tariff. An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) provides an energy efficiency rating for a building, estimated costs of energy use plus recommendations for improvements. The rating runs from A-G, with A being the best.
The cost of a domestic energy assessment, so that we can issue an EPC, is included in the price of a solar system.
Get in touch with us to arrange a free solar survey for your home or building: 01803 868750