Feed-In Tariffs

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What will happen if I change electricity supplier after having appointed my FITs licensee?

You can choose. You can change your FITs licensee by notifying the scheme administrator, Ofgem.

You can therefore leave it where it was or move your FITs payments to your new electricity supplier.

I heard the tariffs are going down on 12 December. Am I affected?

The cut in tariffs only applies to installations registered on or after 12 December 2011.  It does not apply to installations that are already receiving tariffs.  If you are already receiving tariffs, you will continue to receive your current rate (going up with inflation).

If you register a system on or after 12 December 2011, you will receive the pre-December tariff until 31 March 2012, and then the reduced rate thereafter.

Note that the 12 December 2011 cut-off may be brought forward to 3 March 2012 (if the government loses its appeal against legal action being taken against it).  However, it is safer to assume that the lower tariffs will be applicable from 12 December 2011.

What are the pre-requisites for preliminary accreditation?

In addition to being in one of the appropriate tariff bands, projects must establish that they are likely to get built by having:

  • planning approval

  • evidence of acceptance of a firm grid connection offer, if a grid connection is needed; and

  • for hydro installations: relevant environmental permits from the Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

When does the Feed-in Tariff scheme end? I heard it is April 2015?

The government’s “annual budgets” for the Feed-in Tariff scheme have only been set until 2015.  However, the scheme is intended to be kept open to new entrants until 31 March 2021.

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.