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Drastic cuts to Feed-in Tariff. Our Advice? Rush but Don’t Trip

Advice to homeowners as government announces huge cuts to Solar Feed-in Tariff.

 

The government’s announced plans to slash money that can be earned from the Solar Feed-in Tariff by 87%, means that anyone who has ever considered solar will need to act quickly and ensure panels are installed before the end of the year. We are already experiencing an increasing demand and anticipating a rush for solar in the next few months.

Our advice to anyone considering solar is to be careful not to compromise on quality, performance and warranties, as solar installers will be stretched and working at full capacity to respond to the demand.

Understanding the cuts to the Feed-in Tariff

 

Solar Panels earn money for property owners in three ways; the Feed-in Tariff makes the largest contribution to these earnings. Property owners who install Solar Panels benefit from:

  1. A lower electricity bill. When your solar panels are generating electricity, you can use their energy. This can save around £300/year on energy bills.
  2. The ‘Feed-in Tariff’. This is a payment you receive for all the electricity the panels generate, even if you use it yourself. The rate drops slightly from 12.92p/kWh to 12.47p/kWh on 1 October, but it’s proposed from January 2016 it’ll drop to 1.63p/kWh. So what now pays £435/year would be just £55/year if that happens.
  3. The ‘Export Tariff’. You’re paid this for energy you don’t use and export back to the grid. That’s generally assumed to be 50% of what you generate. This would typically earn roughly £80/year per house.

 

The amount you are paid for the electricity your solar panels generate is based on the rate on the day you register for the Feed-in Tariff, which happens after you’ve had the panels installed. At that point the tariff is set for 20 years (and rises with inflation). So, it is possible to beat the cuts and lock in the higher rate if you move fast and ensure your panels are on your roof and commissioned before the end of the year.

We have seen this type of reaction before. Solar Panels are a popular choice and well worth the investment at the current rates. The problems come when solar installers struggle to keep up with the demand and compromises are made at the expense of the consumer. In 2012, when the first set of major cuts were made, many installations were rushed through without due care to design and quality. There are now homeowners with solar panels that were installed in the 2012 rush that are now underperforming. Many solar companies closed in the quiet months that followed, leaving customers with nowhere to go when problems occurred. We know this because we have spoken to the homeowners and helped to resolve things.

At EnergyMyWay we are already booking up installations into October and November. We install nationwide and our quality and credibility has meant we have remained in growth throughout the ups and downs of the Feed-in Tariff. We advise homeowners to act quickly, but with caution, to ensure you get the greatest benefit before 1st January.

More information on government announcement from The Solar Power Portal

For advice, or to arrange a survey for Solar PV call 0845 371 3181 or find your nearest EnergyMyWay

James Eades

By: James Eades

Operations Director, James Eades is EnergyMyWay's in-house expert on renewable energy policy, microgeneration technologies and best practice in the renewable energy industry.