The recent feed in tariff review, published in October 2011, announced expected yet sudden cuts due to commence in the early days of December 2011. The cuts that were announced saw the solar PV incentive halve from 43.3p p/kwh to 21p/kwh for installations carried out on and after the 12 December 2011. This sudden cut was ruled unlawful by Mr Justice Mitting in the consualtion on 12th December 2011 and he set a deadline of 4th January 2012 for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to seek permission to appeal. In the meantime the cut-off date of 12th December was pushed back to the 1st April 2012 so consumers could adopt the higher rate until this ruling was appealed.
Yesterday afternoon the government announced that they filed this request to appeal and outlined their grounds for appeal in a move to help speed up the legal process.
Should the government win this appeal, the rates will immediately drop back down to 21p/kwh and those consumers who were able to seek the 43.3p/kwh after the 12th December 211 cut-off date will have their incentives cut. This will not affect consumers who had PV installed before 12th December 2011 as their incentives will be protected by contract for up to 25 years.
If the government does not win this appeal then the 43.3p/kwh will remain until the parliamentary process has concluded which is actually expected to be 1st April 2012 or earlier.
Whilst most disagree with the way in which the government handled the cuts with special reference to the time period given to installers and the like to complete installations, it seems this brief relief period until (hopefully) 1st April 2012 will help to put consumer trust back into the industry and be some sort of compensation to consumer and installation companies who were and could have been harmed by the ‘unlawful’ cuts.
Either way it worth getting your PV installed asap as not only will incentive continue to drop as all do, but it may be worth seeking the 43.3p/kwh while you can. As for installers, be prepared for a busy few months as solar PV installation is still a very lucrative and modern money earner.
We have a range of solar PV courses available for those wishing to take advantage of the predicted demand.