Change in Feed-in Tariff for Solar PV

On 31st October 2011 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced a fast-track review of Feed-in Tariffs for domestic Solar PV systems. In short the proposal is to reduce the tariff for systems up to 4kWp to 21p and this change will affect any new installation from 12th December onwards. At first reading it was both a shock and a disappointment … is this the beginning of the end for what was a rapidly growing market? We don’t think so! In reality, the price of PV components has come down significantly since we joined the industry 18 months ago and Feed-in Tariff’s should probably have been on some sort of regular review programme linked to capital investment. The change effective now simply brings the tariff back in line with installation costs. We hope that this change will stabilise the PV market and create long term, sustainable growth for businesses like ours.

November was a crazy month for installation companies and suppliers alike. It was our busiest month on record as we worked hard to fit in as many installations as possible prior to the deadline, especially for those customers who had already committed to an installation. However, we are hoping that once the dust settles in January, we can get back to a more steady pace of installations! As an industry, we will need to focus on engaging with those customers who want to install Solar PV for the right reasons … generating their own free electrcicity, offsetting the rising costs of energy, doing their bit for the environment. Solar PV is no longer a ‘get-rich-quick’ proposition but the Feed-in Tariff is still an incentive worth having, with payback periods of 10-12 years still possible.

What’s next? ‘Green Deal’…