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Feed-in tariff changes confirmed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 February 2012 at 12:21 pm

The government's response to phase 1 of the consultation on solar PV feed-in tariff rates was published this morning.

The feed-in tariff rates

The 21p rate of feed-in tariff has been confirmed  for solar panel installations of up to and including 4kW with an eligibility date on or after 3 March 2012. The rate will start from 1 April 2012. See here for tariffs for other size installations.

Energy efficiency criteria

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed that it will make energy efficiency criteria a condition of receiving the full rate of feed-in tariff.

It has backed down on its original proposal that applicants must have an energy performance certificate of level C to qualify. This would have ruled out 90% of houses.

From 1 April any building to which a solar PV installation is attached or wired must have an EPC of level D. Just under half of all houses currently meet this category (over 70% of housing association and local authority dwellings). Generators who can't demonstrate that they meet the standard will get just 9p per kWh generation tariff.

Multi-installation rate

DECC has also brought in a new lower rate for multi-installations. These will apply to individuals or companies which receive the feed-in tariff payments from 25 or more other solar PV installations (regardless of their eligibility date).

Alongside the response to the consultation on the comprehensive review of tariffs for solar PV phase 1 (which was launched in October last year), DECC has also published two more consultations: one on solar PV cost control, and the other on tariffs for non-solar PV technologies. Details of these will follow shortly.

Photo: purpletwinkie

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Comments

3 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 9 February 2012 at 2:19 pm

nnw49 - the document says: "generators who can demonstrate that it is not possible to obtain an EPC certificate for the building to which their solar PV installation is attached or wired to provide electricity will be exempt fromthe energy efficiency requirement." 

However, the key works there are "attached or wired". It goes on to say: "We expect the instances in which this exemption will apply will be very limited. This is because it should be possible to obtain an EPC for any building that meets the definition of building set out in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ... in many cases we expect that solar pv insallations which are attached to a building for which it is not possible to obtain an EPC will nonetheless be wired to provide electricity to a building that is."

So an installation on a barn that feeds electricity to a farmhouse, will need an EPC for the farmhouse.

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Fred1

Fred1Comment left on: 9 February 2012 at 2:03 pm

I see they are handling the overspend by cutting the rates even more sharply, depending on the overspread I understand  that the rate could drop from 21p now to 13.6p. Although it appears that homeowners would not have to spend on insulating the property. In that case the rate would still only fall to  4.7 p

 

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nnw49

nnw49Comment left on: 9 February 2012 at 1:08 pm

The trouble with using EPC ratings is that one of the best ways of getting EPC points is to have a condensing gas boiler.

If the property is off the gas grid that isn't an option! Even a relatively well insulated rural property with renewables including heating (e.g. wood fired boiler / solar thermal) may well struggle to reach a SAP rating of D because the cost of the wood is rated much higher than gas - even though the CO2 rating of the house will be much lower.

How is someone going to get a barn or other outbuilding - which is often a good place the site PV - to have an EPC rating of D?

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