Feed-In Tariffs

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When are the next FITs tariff cuts due?

Tariffs are now adjusted yearly (or quarterly for PV) in accordance with the degression schedule.

Earlier response to this question:

The cuts proposed in Phase 2A of the comprehensive review, were originally intended to take effect from 1st July 2012.

It now looks possible that they will be delayed until 1st August – see here.

Government policy is now disseminated on Twitter it seems!

Why did the Supreme Court refuse permission for the government to appeal?

The Court believed that the Appeal Court was correct in ruling that the government’s attempt to change tariff levels retrospectively was unlawful.

It said:

Permission to appeal was refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time, bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal.

Why did the Appeal Court rule that the government’s proposed FITs changes were illegal?

The Court said the proposed change was effectively retrospective because (as summarised by the supreme court ruling):

The Court of Appeal upheld the Administrative Court’s judgment that it is not within the power conferred on the Secretary of State by the Energy Act 2008 to reduce the tariff paid for electricity generated by small-scale solar photovoltaic generators, in respect of installations becoming eligible for payment prior to the coming into force of the modification.

This gives comfort that the government cannot change tariff levels applicable to systems installed before the new tariff levels have been approved by parliament.

What if I own more than one installation – will I be paid less?

Not unless you are in receipt of tariffs for more than 25 solar PV installations.  If that is the case, you will receive a lower tariff.  These lower tariffs are in the third column of the table linked here, and described in the footnotes to this table.

Does my property need to have a certain level of energy efficiency to be eligible?

Yes – but for solar PV systems only.  From 1 April 2012, the property to which your solar PV system is electrically connected (or attached) must have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D or better.

Can I link to your website?

If you want to link to this website, be our guest.

If you want to gratuitously pilfer copy for your own website please note that our terms and conditions require you to do the decent thing and ask permission first!

What happens if I start earning the Feed-in Tariffs and then I move house?


A FITs registration is specific to a defined system in a specified location. It would lose eligibility if you dismantle the system and move it elsewhere.

In principle, therefore, when you move house, you have two choices.  The first is to sell the system along with the house to the new occupants, who would then receive the tariffs.  This is the most common option taken.

Alternatively you could in theory retain ownership of the system.  In this case, you could continue to receive the generation and export tariffs, but would have to reach agreement with the new occupants about leaving your system on their roof. As part of this arrangement, you would probably allow them to have the benefit of the free electrical generation.  This is a much less used option as it is difficult to set up legally.

Why is the government limiting spending on the FITs – it’s not their money?

True – the FITs are paid for by electricity users.

However it has been decreed that any spending caused by government legislation may be treated as public expenditure.

The official government explanation was:

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is the ultimate arbiter of whether a UK Government policy should be classified as tax and spend in the National Accounts. Such judgments are made independently of Government. ONS are guided internationally in their decisions, but in broad terms define mechanisms as taxes where they result in compulsory payments by an individual or organisation who does not receive a direct benefit in return. This is referred to as a “compulsory unrequited payment”. This may result in a policy being classified as a tax even where money does not flow through a Government account (because the outcome is similar to Government taking in then redistributing the money).

A well-established example is the Renewables Obligation, which requires energy suppliers to purchase Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) from renewables generators, or to make payments to the buy-out fund.  Because energy suppliers do not receive a benefit in return, the payment they make is defined as a tax. The redistribution of these revenues (ie the revenue received by renewables generators for their ROCs) is defined as public expenditure.

The ONS decision to treat the Renewables Obligation as a tax is published at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/articles/economic_trends/ET635Gazely.pdf

Is it true, local councils are banned from selling electricity?

Yes it was, under the 1976 Local Government Act. However, DECC reversed this law in August 2010.

How easy is it to generate your own power?

Once you have your systems installed it is tremendously easy as your system will do everything automatically for you.

The more challenging bit is knowing what to install and how to do it. That is why we set up Ownergy!