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Welsh Energy Industry Bracing Itself for Tariff Change


c2cmattedwards1Energy industry bracing itself for tariff change

The solar power industry is getting ready to learn the UK Government’s decision on the future of feed-in tariffs.

Tonmawr-based Coast2Coast Group is warning homeowners thinking of installing solar PV to make the most of lucrative ‘feed-in tariffs’ before they are reduced by the end of 2015.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is due to announce by the end of this week their intentions.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, claims that if they do not slash the tariff there could be a potential budget overspend on tariff support schemes of £1.5bn by 2020.

“Under the current scheme homes with solar power get paid 12.47p per kilo watt of energy saved,” said Matt Edwards, Sales Director at Coast2Coast Group based in Tonmawr.

“But the UK Government could decide to slash the tariff to just 1.63p for domestic systems – that’s a cut of some 87 per cent.

“Realistically we need some sort of incentive for another year, and we are pretty uncertain what the change will be, although I believe they will set at around 5p. They have to let us know by November 22 to meet the 40-day criteria to get it signed off for January 1st.”

Added Matt:

“If they don’t make an announcement then we have it confirmed by OFGEM (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) that the figure will be 12.10p.

“But then I expect a significant cut is coming at the end of January. That I would welcome because we need to move away from being reliant on these subsidies and battery storage will be available in January.

“Battery storage systems are available from January.”

When the tariff was introduced in April 2010 the tariff was as high as 41.8p guaranteed for 20 years and index linked.

That tariff was halved in April 2011 and since then it has gradually decreased.

“We always knew the tariff was going to drop but not as quickly. So again I would warn people: if they are seriously considering solar panels they should do it before the end of the year or miss out on a considerable amount of annual savings,” warned Matt.

“Solar PV remains a simple and effective way to save money on your energy bills and I always say it’s not a case of if you decide to fit solar PV, it’s a case of when because in the future most dwellings will have solar PV.”