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FOI request reveals cost of paying feed-in tariffs to early adopters

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 November 2010 at 11:01 am

A freedom of information request has revealed the costs of paying early adopters of microgeneration the full feed-in tariff.

DECC (the department of energy and climate change) estimates that:

  • There are 4,936 installations affected.
  • Annual cost in 2020 of allowing feed-in tariffs at the full rate, without a requirement to pay back the grant would cost £4,251,782.
  • Cumulative costs to 2034 would be £97,474,581.

Paul Truelove, who runs the campaign for fair treatment for microgenerators estimates the cost of including early adopters would work out a 7p per energy bill payer, per year.

DECC also made calculations for a range of other options, including paying at full rate but requiring payback of grants; paying a lower feed-in rate; and paying for a shorter tariff lifetime. In the end they rejected all of them.

"Virtually all of those options would be better than what we get," said Darren Curtis, who made the freedom of information request. "I'd be interested to see if they would actually reconsider one, or more of these, or just dig their heels in.

"I'd like to meet Chris Huhne, David Cameron, Nick Clegg face to fact to discuss. I think we deserve some time with them. My final step would be to take them to court if all else fails."

Paul Truelove is also considering taking the legal route. "What they have presented makes it affordable. I am also considering a legal challenge under the Human Rights Act - property and discrimination."

The second bit of (non) news is about is my invitation to Chris Huhne (secretary of state for energy and climate change). I asked him if he would answer YouGen readers' questions about the broken promise on the website.

I received a response from Charles Hendry (minister of state at DECC). While he topped and tailed the letter in his own fair hand, he didn't actually answer any of my questions. I just got the bog standard DECC response about why they changed their minds. There's lots of waffle, but it boils down to:

"Extending FITs to existing installations would not only increase the costs of the scheme, but would not encourage additional installations, which is the primary objective of the FITs scheme. We do not think that this represents value for money and cannot therefore justify the additional cost to consumers, who ultimately pay for the scheme."

Related post: Chris Huhne breaks promise to microgeneration pioneers


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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1 comments - read them below or add one


peter.orpinComment left on: 25 November 2010 at 12:56 pm

If there were 4936 people who had the guts to do something about investing their money because they cared about the energy situation, all became ambassadors for solar power and heating would that not be a positive for the government? Instead there are an ESTIMATED 4936 who like me, are really up in arms over the shabby treatment metered out by this bunch of charletans. Were any guilty of claiming for solar panel installation on their expenses freebie I wonder?   

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