Dragons’ Den investors Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis have today shown their commitment to the distressed British solar sector by signing a deal with Yorkshire-based Ploughcroft Solar.
With a solar rally and lobby of Parliament planned for tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday 22 November), the solar industry and green organisations are up in arms over the government’s plans to halve the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) which has encouraged tens of thousands of British homeowners to turn to solar.
Demonstrating that they believe there is still a bright future for solar in this country, Meaden and Paphitis have invested in Ploughcroft Solar as a result of managing director, Chris Hopkins’ pitch, on the Dragons’ Den programme this summer.
Said Meaden: “In our lifetime, a switch towards renewable energy is not an option – it has to happen. Consumers need help to make the right choices as there are many conflicting messages being issued to the public. A review of the FiT is the right thing to do, although the scope, timing and conflicting messages have not been helpful.
“Although the government’s proposals to reduce the FiT from 43p/KWh to 21p/KWh are drastic, we believe that even if this new tariff is introduced solar is still an attractive option to homeowners. As energy bills continue to rise consumers will be looking for ways of lowering their energy costs and going green. With the 21p/KWh FIT solar photovoltaic (PV) panel homeowners will get a sensible return on their investment, as well as seeing lower electricity bills and helping the environment.
“Theo and I are both 100 per cent committed to the growth and stability of Ploughcroft, which is leading by example within the solar industry. The government’s proposals haven’t scared us off and should not discourage the British public from investing in solar and other renewable energies. Our job is to make sure people still understand there is a good reason to commit to renewable energy, both financially and ethically. Once the government’s final decision on the new FIT has been made the solid, forward thinking renewable industry can continue to grow.”
Hopkins, who has been at the forefront of the solar industry for six years and is also a member of the newly formed Green Construction Board for the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills added: “Since the government made its FiT reduction announcement on 31 October we have seen a 50 per cent increase in enquiries compared with the previous month. We have already secured sales on systems that we will be installing in January and February 2012 on the new tariff. This indicates that homeowners remain keen to reduce their electricity bills whilst doing their bit to help the environment.”
The expertise of Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis will help Ploughcroft Solar expand into new areas of renewable energy throughout 2012, and support the company’s mission to become the name for renewable energy for homeowners across Britain.
Members of the public and businesses can email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0300 068 5733 to register their comment on the proposed policies.