Four major reasons to join in the mass lobby of Parliament on changes to the Feed-in Tariff
Posted by Howard Johns on 17 November 2011 at 9:08 pm
Now we have all got over the shock of the announcement of potential changes to the feed-in tariff (FIT) some people in the industry are saying we should just get on and make the 21p work.
In many ways if that was what the plan really was I would agree, but having sat in the Ministerial Roundtable about the FIT changes I am left with more worry than before. The Minister made it quite clear “we have to reduce demand”, and there are a number of things in the announced changes that will make this happen.
1. The timing
Bringing in the changes to the FIT before they have finished consulting is possibly unlawful and certainly highly destructive. We as an industry really need to send a strong signal that we do want to co-operate with Government, but that we really will not stand for this level of bad treatment. It is totally unacceptable to have the goal posts changed in this way and we must make that clear to the decision makers or they will keep doing it. Reason one to join in the mass lobby.
2. The Rates
Perhaps many can make them work – and good stuff if you can. However, you cannot go out and sell on the back of them as this is a consultation and they may change again by the end of the period, leaving all our clients in a pickle. It places a level of uncertainty that is designed to stop our businesses working. It also stops many of the invested schemes which – although many don’t like them – are crucial to stopping us being branded as a tax on the poor for the green bling of the rich. We need social homes to have PV to keep this balance. Reason two to join the mass lobby.
3. The energy efficiency requirements
This is perhaps the most worrying. A level C energy performance certificate (EPC) is only held by 10%ish of UK homes. It costs between £5-7,000 to get one. Are your clients really going to want to do that to get their FIT? Of course, we all want to see homes be more efficient – but electrical generation is unrelated to building performance so ultimately irrelevant – this standard is well above what is reasonable. It is using criteria from the green deal – which may or may not start in October, and will almost certainly be dominated by large companies. We are being told that this is an opportunity to diversify our businesses – well thanks but I like my business how it is and I don’t want to be an insulation installer. This is a major show stopper and reason three why you need to be at the mass lobby.
4. The ambition
When you dig into the paperwork (the impact assessment), it seems that government is looking to shrink the market from its likely 500MW installed market this year to a market of between 10MW and at most 200MW. That means that at least half of us – if not 90% of us – are likely to go out of business in the new year. Reason four why you need to attend the mass lobby.
So you may be busy trying to beat the 12 December deadline – but you need to take action now to ensure you have a business beyond that date. Come along to the mass lobby on the 22nd November – details here. We need to come together to show that we want a solar future in the UK and tell all of our good news stories. Your MP needs to hear why green growth is essential and your business is needed to make it happen – see you there.
Picture by TranceMist
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