Fit PV now before government ‘changes the rules’

Homeowners should install solar panels now before the government changes the rules, says a Lancashire renewable firm. BSOLAR believes that if solar panels continue to be popular, the government could […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Homeowners should install solar panels now before the government changes the rules, says a Lancashire renewable firm.

BSOLAR believes that if solar panels continue to be popular, the government could reduce the incentives it is currently offering for new installers.

At the moment, the government’s feed-in-tariff means homeowners who generate electricity from solar panels are guaranteed 41.3p per kWh of energy they generate.

This is four times the market cost of electricity, giving home owners an income from their solar panels. However, BSOLAR believes this income is likely to be reduced by the government earlier than expected following the last month’s Spending Review.

BSOLAR managing director Peter Bladen said: “Currently if you’re installing solar panels you can get a healthy return from them. For example, the average system costs around £10,000 and will generate an income of around £800 a year under the government’s feed-in-tariff scheme. This income is guaranteed for the next 25 years.

However, Mr Bladen said this will change. “The government has already announced that they will drop the guaranteed tariff of 41.3p by 3 pence in 2012. In the Spending Review it now appears that this could happen much earlier, if solar panels continue to be popular.”

There have been more than 10,000 installations of panels in the UK and according to BSOLAR this looks likely to increase. Mr Bladen added: “Panel installations are on the increase, and we have seen an incredible demand at BSOLAR. I think in light of this the government will review the scheme earlier than expected and cut the incentives.”

And his final message was clear: “I’d urge people to take advantage of this now, before this is reviewed and the solar panels become a less lucrative investment.”