Legislation for the Feed-In Tariffs

The legal framework for the Tariffs and the legislative process that has been followed

Legislation in the UK is typically made in two stages. The so-called ‘primary legislation’ (the Acts of Parliament listed in each Queen’s Speech) gives minsters powers to create new measures like the Feed-in Tariffs. All the operational details are in ‘secondary legislation’ (and are called ‘Statutory Instruments’), which passes through parliament more quickly.

Primary legislation

The UK’s Feed-in Tariffs were first introduced in the 2008 Energy Act. (If you would like to read the exact details, you can download a pdf here of Chapter 32 of the Energy Act 2008). This provided in sections 41 to 43 the ‘enabling powers’ for the Government to set up the tariffs. It did so by passing secondary legislation called a ‘Statutory Instrument’ as described below.

The Energy Act also provides for similar tariffs for renewable heat and gas, called the Renewable Heat Incentive. The renewable heat incentive will start in April 2011.

Detailed design

The Government then drafted its proposals and took consultations and responses.

Following the consultation, the final design was published in February 2010.

Secondary legislation

The Statutory Instrument which puts these arrangements into practice was approved in March 2010. This gives details of how the tariffs will work. To read it in full, you can download this pdf of the Statutory Instrument.

The subsequent reviews have led to several revisions. You can access most of the original documents here.