Can I get the feed-in tariff and a grant?
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 July 2010 at 12:15 pm
Community groups and schools that received Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) phase 2 grants have been told that if they want to receive the feed-in tariff they will have to pay the grant back. As many of them went ahead and installed in the belief that they would be entitled to the feed-in tariffs, this is a huge blow, and there are lots of worried people about. They also don't know what they will be paid for electricity they generate or export if they choose not to pay the grant back.
A phone call to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has clarified matters a bit:
State aid rules
The uncertainty arises because of the European Commission's State Aid rules. The aim of this control is to ensure that government interventions don't distort competition and trade inside the EU. The feed-in tariff has been passed as complying with the rules, but what's not clear is whether the feed-in tariff plus an additional grant complies. The decision has been passed from DECC officials to "the minister" to make, and until he does, the charities, community organisations, schools and other public sector bodies which received LCBP phase 2 grants will remain in an uncomfortabe stat of limbo. Once the decision is made it will be posted on the DECC website.
So what does it mean for me?
If you got a domestic LCBP grant to install solar panels, a wind turbine, or micro hydro, and installed on or after 15 July 2009 then you are eligible for the feed-in tariff at the full rate for your size of installation, and can keep the grant.
If you got a domestic LCBP grant to install prior to July 2009, then you get the early adopters rate of feed-in tariff, and keep the grant.
Organisations that received LCBP phase 2 grants must wait and see. Keep an eye on the DECC website (and this site) for updates.
Farmers hoping to benefit from the EU's Agricultural Fund for Rural Development which is offering grants from £10,000 to £60,000, or up to 40% of the cost of installing a wind turbine, should also wait, and keep an eye on the DECC website for the State Aid decision.
Photo by Colin Gregory Palmer
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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