On 7 February 2012 DECC announced the outcome of its public consultation on its proposed amendments to the solar photovoltaic (PV) Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme. The changes to be implemented are:
- The new tariffs, which are around 50% lower than the original rates, will apply to all new solar PV systems installed on or after 3 March 2012. It is possible that they will also apply to those installed on or after 12 December 2011, depending on the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal.
- Solar PV systems installed after 1 April 2012 will require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of level D or higher for the buildings to which they are connected. Installations that do not meet this requirement will only be eligible for a lower tariff (of 9p/kWh) for the duration of the tariff lifetime.
- Organisations that have more than 25 installations will be subject to tariffs that are 20% lower than the standard rates. The lower tariffs will only apply to systems installed after 1 April 2012 and will not affect the rates applicable to the initial 25 projects.
The Government has also released two public consultation documents that propose a model by which the FIT scheme will alter over the coming years. It is proposed that further tariff reductions will come into effect for systems installed after 1 July 2012 and that regular incremental reductions are scheduled thereafter. Several other proposals are presented, including a mechanism to support community-owned solar schemes.
For a more detailed breakdown of the announced changes, please visit the Solar Power Portal UK site.
For more information on the consultation documents, please visit the DECC website.
From Jane Reddick, Oxfordshire County Council.