MPs report slates ‘rushed’ FiTs changes

Government’s “panicked changes” to the solar subsidy could have a fatal impact on the solar industry and undermine confidence in energy policy, MPs warned yesterday. According to a report from […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Government’s “panicked changes” to the solar subsidy could have a fatal impact on the solar industry and undermine confidence in energy policy, MPs warned yesterday.

According to a report from both the energy and environment select committees, energy ministers “clumsily” handled plans to bring forward the chop to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT).

As of 12 December, anyone applying to get the FiT for small scale solar will only get 21p/kWh, half the original amount.

MPs further slated the decision for failing to give “adequate notice” to consumers and installers.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee (pictured) said: “There is no question that solar subsidies needed to be urgently reduced, but the Government has handled this clumsily. Ministers should have spotted the solar gold rush much earlier. That way subsidy levels could have been reduced in a more orderly way without delivering such a shock to the industry.”

The MPs’ report comes at the same time as a high court ruled the changes were unlawful because the decision was made before DECC’s consultation on the FiT was finished.

MPs also found fault with plans to make everyone who applies for the FiT have a minimum level of energy efficiency, likely to be a ‘C’ rating.

Joan Walley, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said: “These proposals will require most households to spend thousands of pounds on extra insulation before they even purchase the panels. This will stop nine out of ten installations from going ahead, which will have a devastating effect on hundreds of solar companies and small building firms.”