The government has laid draft licence modifications to the Energy Act, which will allow it to reduce the tariff rates in the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) to those laid out in its consultation document for all installations with an eligibility date on or after 3 March 2012. (http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/WMSCH_FITs/)
Cathy Debenham, founder of YouGen has the following comments: “This brings a bit of welcome certainty to both consumers and installers in the solar PV market, which can only be a good thing. It’s a pity, that the government didn’t act quicker and lay this amendment as swiftly as it appealed to the High Court.
“It also confirms that if the court finds in its favour that it will go ahead with it’s consultation proposals, and the eligibility date of 12 December 2011 will stand, which is very welcome, as until now there has been no official announcement confirming that whatever happens in the Court of Appeal the rate will not fall below 21p. At last people can make decisions based on facts rather than rumour.
“What rate the Feed-in Tariff rates will be for people with an eligibility date after 31 March 2012 is still unknown, but it’s certainly not likely to be more than 21p, and may well be less. A consultation document is expected at the end of January, which may shed some light on the matter.
“For consumers that are happy with the rate of return that 21p per kWh gives, now is a good time to install. It’s unlikely to get better, and it’s quite likely that the rate may go down again after 3 March 2012. There’s the added bonus that they may win the jackpot and get the 43p rate (if the government loses its appeal), but shouldn’t rely on it when making their decision.”