On 21st December, the High Court upheld a legal challenge from Friends of the Earth and two solar firms against the Government’s controversial decision to slash the Feed-in Tariff incentives for solar installations.
The challenge was made on the basis that the cuts, which were brought into force before the end of the consultation, were illegal and had led to chaos and uncertainty in the industry, causing many jobs which were either unfinished or planned, to be cancelled.
The Court ruled that the government had breached rules governing consultation exercises by announcing that the Feed-in Tariff incentives would be effectively halved before the end of the consultation period. The Judge commented that the consultation was ‘legally flawed’ and can therefore be subjected to a judicial review, adding that the ministers were ‘proposing to make an unlawful decision’.
The ruling effectively paves the way for a judicial review that could force the government to re-launch the consultation, significantly delaying when the proposed cuts will come into effect. However, at present the effects of this ruling are unknown.
Tony O’Connor, Managing Director of BritishEco stated that: ‘I am hopeful that the ruling will prevent the Government from making decisions in this manner in the future and that they will seek to work together with companies to create a sustainable future for solar PV. Whatever the outcome is, I firmly believe that Solar PV has a very important role to play in the future of renewable energy and the growth of BritishEco’.
C&F Green Energy gain MCS certification
BritishEco are proud partners of C&F Green Energy, who have announced that they have now achieved MCS certification for the CF15 (15kW) and CF20 (20kW) turbines.
The 11kW system is also due to be certified by the end of December, as well as the 6kW system in early January.
MCS is an internationally recognised quality assurance scheme which demonstrates to consumers that a company is committed to meeting rigorous and tested standards. Similar to the Gas Safe Register, the MCS gives companies a mark of competency and demonstrates to consumers that a company are able to install to the highest quality every time.
The technical support team at BritishEco are able to quickly review your location and topology to see if one of our range of domestic wind turbines would be suitable for you. This would involve a desktop survey initially and if this showed positive results we are able to follow up with a site visit by one of our Renewable Energy Consultants to provide a quotation.
The Renewable Heat Incentive
Under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, non-domestic consumers across Britain are now able to apply for a heat tariff payment, encouraging a ‘new era of clean green heat technology’ according to Energy Minister Greg Barker.
The scheme, which begun in November for non-domestic sectors and will be open to domestic participants in October 2012, provides financial support to applicants who use renewable heat. This includes solar thermal systems, air and ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers.
For commercial installations, the scheme will operate on a tariff and support levels basis, whereby the financial support is calculated according to the type and size of technology installed. For domestic installations, the scheme has not yet been outlined. However, until it becomes active in October 2012, consumers can apply for vouchers which can be redeemed against renewable heat technologies for their home. The scheme has been allocated a £15 million budget, so time is of the essence if you don’t want to miss out!
Participants of the Renewable Heat Incentive will earn a fixed income for every kilowatt hour of heat they produce. This is likely to be used in their own property, but if participants are connected to a heat network they may get an additional payment for ‘exporting’ surplus heat.
The incentive offers a great opportunity for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills, become more self-sufficient in energy and earn some extra income.
Individuals who have installed a PV system are also able to use the energy generated from this to help power a heat pump or biomass system.
Gas costs, not low-carbon power, responsible for driving up energy bills
A comprehensive report on the impact of low-carbon policies on household energy bills in the UK, published by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), has revealed that costs associated with the wholesales gas market are responsible for 84% of the rise in bills over the last six years.
In the past year alone, household fuel bills have increased by as much as 20%, which lead to claims that the costs associated with implementing UK environmental policies was responsible. However, the CCC have now announced that their findings ‘disprove’ such claims.
The report, which looked at data from 21 million dual-fuel energy customers, found that energy bills increased from around £605 per household in 2004 to £1,060 per household in 2010, with 84% of that cost related to the UK’s drive for gas-sourced power.
In the past year, nearly all household energy companies have hiked their prices . For example, EDF announced in September they were to increase electricity and gas prices by 4.5% and 15.4% respectively.
By installing a renewable energy system, you can safeguard yourself against future prices rises. As well as reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills, renewable energy allows you to become self-sufficient in energy and earn some extra income. To find out how renewable energy can help you and what would be suitable for your property.
YouGov & Sunday Times survey results show public support for renewable energy
The results of a survey published by The Sunday Times and YouGov have revealed huge public support for renewable energy. A staggering 74% of respondents think the Government should be looking to use more solar power than at present, with 56% of respondents saying the same about wind farms.
In contrast, support for nuclear, oil or coal power stations was considerably less favoured with higher numbers of respondents voting in favour of the Government using ‘less than at present’ levels . The results come at a time when officials have allowed work to begin on a new nuclear power station in Somerset – the first for 20 years – whilst subsidies for Solar PV have been reduced.
Recent months have seen the topic of climate change feature prominently in the media, and as a result people are becoming more educated about the effects of climate change. Results of the survey suggest that increasing numbers of people recognise the positive impact of renewable energy on climate change – 67% of respondents in the survey agreed with the statement that solar power is a realistic way of combating climate change.
BritishEco would like to wish all our customers, associates and readers of the newsletter a very merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy new year.