Energy efficiency criteria for solar PV feed-in tariff lacks clarity
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 February 2012 at 12:42 pm
NB: The position is now clear. Solar PV will count towards EPC level D. Click here to read more.
It's not clear whether or not newly installed solar PV panels are included in the new energy efficiency requirement of the feed-in tariff. The government has confirmed that a level D energy performance certificate is required for any building to which a solar PV installation is attached or wired.
The reason given for this change is that 'reducing demand for energy is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions and therefore a process that should be prioritised before installing microgeneration, such as solar PV. It will apply to domestic and non-domestic buildings.
To meet the requirement, generators will need to provide a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) certificate as part of their application for the feed-in tariff, which will need to be verified as part of the FITs accreditation process. Generators who can't demonstrate they meet the requirement will get just 9p per kWh generated (compared with the full rate for installations up to 4kW of 21p).
The response document does not make it clear whether or not the solar PV panels can be included in the EPC - they often appear as a suggested measure that consumers could take to improve their building's EPC rating.
One reading of the document is that you could install your solar panels, then get and EPC done, and submit that with your MCS certificate to your FITs supplier. However, it's not clear whether or not this is the case. If this is not the case, there may be a significant impact for take up of the FITs. We'll keep you updated as we find out more.
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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