As the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced a reduction in the Feed-in Tariff’ (FiT) last week (31 October 2011), Peter Searancke, managing director of Leicester-based Intelligent Energy Solutions, advises consumers that this is the right time to make the switch to solar energy, as the current subsidy is fixed for 25 years. The need to switch now is even more pertinent particularly with traditional energy suppliers predicting increases of up to 15 per cent as winter looms. Currently, homeowners who have had small scale solar panels installed receive a FiT subsidy of 43p per kWh but this is set to decrease to 21p per kWh, with effect from 12 December 2011. Whilst the reduction is not as dramatic as many industry experts had feared, some had predicted a drop as low as 9p per kWh, it is still likely to prompt a pre-Christmas ‘rush’ as households look to secure a premium price for the next quarter of a century.
“The FiT system, launched in April 2010, was designed to encourage and raise awareness of all forms of renewable energy,” explains Peter, whose company has recently been recognised as Energy Management Installer of the Year at the national Renewables Roadshow.
“The December 12th reduction will still provide an attractive investment, particularly in light of increasing electricity prices, and has already prompted a massive surge of orders. To secure the premium rates of the 2011 tariff consumers need to act quickly but should not despair if they are unsuccessful. The reduced tariff can still provide a return on investment of up to 10 per cent per annum, which is considerably more than any available interest rates on bank or building society savings accounts so not only it is beneficial for consumers it should also help consolidate a future for the UK’s nascent solar industry.” Searancke concluded.