Solarlec launches legal action against government Feed-in Tariff cuts

Burnley firm Solarlec has launched a legal challenge against the government after it announced urgent plans to slash subsidies paid to consumers who generate their own renewable energy.

Last month the government revealed plans to halve cash paid to consumers through the feed-in tariff scheme from 12 December – leaving companies like Solarlec less than six weeks to install panels on hundreds of homes.

Director Nick Keighley said: “We’ve been put in an almost impossible position with 330 installations to complete in five-and-a-half weeks, around 20 of which are still awaiting planning permission.

“We understand there is a case for the FiT rate to be changed but we feel so angry about the way the government has gone about it – they are potentially putting up to 39,000 jobs in the solar industry at risk just before Christmas.

“It is making it very difficult for us to fulfil all our contracts with our customers which were made in good faith.”

Solarlec claims the government has exceeded its powers under the Energy Act 2008 because the consultation period doesn’t end until the 23 December, thus making the 12 December deadline retrospective.

Solarlec has also contacted Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, who has raised concerns with the chancellor George Osborne and energy secretary Chris Huhne.