Solar damages claim swells to £50m

Prospect Law, the legal team spearheading a campaign to recover losses incurred by PV firms during the Feed-in Tariff debacle, says its demand for compensation has reached £50m.

The call for damages began in July with the issue of a pre-action ‘Letter before claim’ which Prospect Law handed to DECC on behalf of three solar energy companies. The bid to recover lost income from the government’s unlawful handling of FiT reductions has now gained further traction with a further five installation firms adding their weight to the campaign.

Companies seeking damages have until today (31 Oct) to sign up before the limitation period for making damages claims against DECC expires.

Simon Gillett, CEO of E-tricity, one of the new claimant firms, said: “Sadly, the damage that the government’s unlawful conduct caused the PV industry was very serious indeed. The Ministerial Announcement at the end of October 2011 put a great deal of pressure on both the business and its employees, forcing us to make drastic cut-backs and cost reductions wherever possible.

“We are one of the lucky few that have been able to keep our business moving, but the reality is that the way in which DECC attempted to introduce these cuts to FiTs rates caused our business and the industry significant damage and loss. By issuing a Letter Before Claim today we are requesting that the government acknowledges the losses it caused, and takes the appropriate action to compensate us.”

A spokesperson from Prospect Law added: “By casting aside the rules under which the solar industry operated, the government caused major financial losses and materially harmed the confidence of both consumers and the industry. Solar is a robust industry, and one the public wants, but significant damage has been done to the sector. By issuing court action these claimant firms are asking the High Court to ensure that the government is obliged to act responsibly, face up to its unlawful conduct and the damage this caused and is ordered to pay compensation.”